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March 22, 2010

Dear GOP: Fight

Hi, it’s me Drew.

Yeah, I know we haven’t always gotten along. I’ve said some nasty stuff about you, refused to return your calls and thrown your letters in the trash without even reading them. And let’s be honest, you had it coming, what with all the times you…no. This isn’t about the past. We don’t need to rehash all the problems we have with each other. We have bigger problems than those and a common enemy.

In an effort to get our new relationship off on the right foot, let me just say you guys (especially in the House) were magnificent in fighting health care. No seriously. I thought the ‘summit’ was going to be a trap like the one the Emperor laid for the rebels above Endor but you sniffed it out like Lando Calrissian and Admiral Ackbar. Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Tom Coburn, hell even Lamar! Alexander were magnificent in calling Obama out on his bullshit.

Mitch McConnell even kept the Maine sisters and George Voinivich on board. That’s a man’s day work right there by anyone's accounting.

Now, you didn’t have the numbers in the end to stop it, of course if you hadn’t fucked things up for the 8 years it…no, I said it’s a new day so we won’t go there. As I was saying, you didn’t have the numbers but you won the argument.

I don’t expect you guys to stop being politicians. Even the founders were politicians who fought some nasty battles within their own group and could be as mean and petty as any generation of politicians. But I need, America needs you to step up here. You need to be statesmen on a mission as much as you can. Something bad happened last night and I think you know it. There weren’t the usual stupid politician tricks, you guys looked scared. And you’re not scared for your political lives, none of you is in any trouble (other than maybe Sen. Burr from N.C.) , I think a lot of you were flat out scared for your country. That’s good, that’s a start. It focuses the mind.

You need to be the party of No for the next 6 months on just about every issue. The only issue (other than national security) that matters is repealing this monstrosity. I don’t know if it can be done but it has to be tried.

Please don’t let Obama drag you into a pissing match over the small stuff. If he has another idiotic jobs bill, just let it go. Vote no but don’t fight about it, reframe the fight in terms of health care. Reframe everything in terms of health care…immigration, taxes, Cap and Trade, whatever other crap they throw at you. It all comes down to health care and the fundamental shift in the relationship between the government and the people. I know the presidency is a hard institution to fight with and Obama just makes shit up but you’ve got to try and keep the focus on the health care bill. More and more details will come out and that will help you.

But it’s bigger than legislation and even politics. You guys are going to be asked to do something you’re not necessarily equipped to do…speak philosophically about what it means to be an American. You are going to have to tell people something politicians don’t like to have say…no. No, Americans can’t have everything and not pay for it. No, they can’t have ‘free’ health care forever. No, you can’t expect the government to do the basic things that free adults should and must do for themselves.

You also need to tell people what that will give them…freedom. Freedom to do the best they can. Freedom to chart the course of their own lives and freedom to live in peace without an army of pushy bureaucrats treating them like children.

I know that kind of freedom scares some people but you need to sell it to them. Remind them how it’s their birthright and how even if they want lots of ‘stuff’ given to them, it’s got to come from somewhere. Freedom and free enterprise are the greatest wealth generators known to mankind, without them there’s nothing else.

You need to remind people of Margret Thatcher’s famous statement that “the problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money”. Well, we’re out and China will be soon. When Obama and the Democrats say “We’re the richest nation on Earth, surely we can afford to….” You need to remind people we aren’t the richest nation any more. Sure we’ve got assets but they are in hock.

We can be the richest, freest, most prosperous nation again but only if we free the great engines of prosperity from the shackles of statism. Once we do that, we can go back to the old fights about dividing it up but right now we are talking about dividing up the assets of a dying concern and in the process speeding up its demise. It’s insanity.

I know this is hard for you. I know it’s dangerous. People may say they want less spending and smaller government but they don’t vote that way. Well, maybe that’s because they don’t always have a choice (again, we’re not going to go there). Too often people telling these truths are seen as kooks, fringe nuts and they kind of are, at least numerically. You need to speak together and make it clear that there are a lot of us. There’s a safety in numbers. Make it safe for people to stand up for freedom. Make it safe for people to say, ‘no, I don’t want the government to do this for me’. Make it safe for people to be Americans.

Here’s the sad part, even if you do this or come up with something even better…it still may not work. We may have lost too much ground, too many basic assumptions about liberty and personal responsibility. You’re message may fall on deaf ears. It doesn’t matter. You have to try. You know it.

To achieve greatness, you have to be willing to fail in total. It’s an immutable law of life. If you succeed, you may save America. If you fail, then at least you will have tried. Either is honorable. Where there is no honor is deciding to ride the wave of decline, picking up small scraps of a failing America to hand out for one more term in an ever declining D.C.

You got a peek of the future this last year and last night. I think it scared you. I hope it did.

Dare to be great, you might just wind up being great. And I might even read your letters again.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:42 AM

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