Theodore's World: "How Republicans Can Build a Big-Tent Party" ~Senator Jim DeMint

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May 04, 2009

"How Republicans Can Build a Big-Tent Party" ~Senator Jim DeMint

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) speaks on the U.S. Senate floor as he speaks about the Tea Parties and the need for FREEDOM to increase not Government.

This was an excellent speech.

How Republicans Can Build a Big-Tent Party

It's the Democrats who won't tolerate a diversity of views

The Wall Street Journal

Sen. Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic Party this week is no reason for Republicans to cheer. But his reason for leaving -- he faced an unwinnable primary election next year -- is no cause for soul searching. There is a question Republicans do need to ask: What is it that binds our party together?

In the wake of two successive electoral defeats and the likelihood of a 60-vote Democrat majority in the Senate, what does it even mean to be a Republican today? Moderate Republicans are right to remind conservatives that they cannot build a center-right coalition without the center part. And conservatives are right to remind moderates that Republicans only succeed when we rally around clear principles.

The real mistake is that Republicans became more concerned with staying in D.C. than reforming it.

Despite notable successes at both ends of Pennsylvania Ave., it seems to me that Republicans in Congress and in the Bush administration forgot a simple truth. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, if you aim for principled reform, you win elections in the bargain; if you just aim for elections, you get neither.

No Child Left Behind didn't win us "soccer moms," but it did cost us our credibility on locally controlled education. Medicare prescription drugs didn't win us a "permanent majority," but it cost us our credibility on entitlement reform. Every year, another Republican quality was tainted: managerial competence, fiscal discipline and personal ethics.

To win back the trust of the American people, we must be a "big tent" party. But big tents need strong poles, and the strongest pole of our party -- the organizing principle and the crucial alternative to the Democrats -- must be freedom. The federal government is too big, takes too much of our money, and makes too many of our decisions. If Republicans can't agree on that, elections are the least of our problems.

If the American people want a European-style social democracy, the Democratic Party will give it to them. We can't win a bidding war with Democrats.

Freedom will mean different things to different Republicans, but it can tether a diverse coalition to inalienable principles. Republicans can welcome a vigorous debate about legalized abortion or same-sex marriage; but we should be able to agree that social policies should be set through a democratic process, not by unelected judges. Our party benefits from national-security debates; but Republicans can start from the premise that the U.S. is an exceptional nation and force for good in history. We can argue about how to rein in the federal Leviathan; but we should agree that centralized government infringes on individual liberty and that problems are best solved by the people or the government closest to them.

Moderate and liberal Republicans who think a South Carolina conservative like me has too much influence are right!

I don't want to make decisions for them. That's why I'm working to reduce Washington's grip on our lives and devolve power to the states, communities and individuals, so that Northeastern Republicans, Western Republicans, Southern Republicans, and Midwestern Republicans can define their own brands of Republicanism. It's the Democrats who want to impose a rigid, uniform agenda on all Americans. Freedom Republicanism is about choice -- in education, health care, energy and more. It's OK if those choices look different in South Carolina, Maine and California.

A Republican recommitment to freedom and limited government will foster an agenda that will strengthen and invigorate our party. Freedom has worked for our party and our country before. It will again, if we let it.


Wild Thing's comment........

talking about "the big tent," he is clearly talking about returning to Reagan's vision of a big tent where everyone supports core conservative principles and that less government will solve the other issues. He is NOT talking about a big tent of appeasing the liberals or accepting the false Democrat premise that Republicans need to be like them in order to win. The term big tent has been corrupted by the Left and all DeMint is redefining it. .

Sen. Jim DeMint is one of the conservatives to keep watching.

He spoke out against The Flaws of the National Service Act.
He voted against Bush's Bailout.
He was one of the Senate GOP heroes who helped drive a stake through the Bush-Kennedy shamnesty bill.

A few things below regarding DeMint:

In one corner is Sen. Jim DeMint, perhaps the most conservative member of the upper chamber. In a speech to party activists last fall, DeMint became the first Republican to publicly blast John McCain after he lost the presidential election, accusing the Arizona senator of betraying core GOP principles in his quest for the White House.

Appearing on CNN Tuesday, DeMint, a hero of the conservative grassroots, denied that his party has tilted too far to the right.

"I would rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who really believe in principles of limited government, free markets, free people, than to have 60 that don't have a set of beliefs." -- Jim Demint

DeMint is less willing to compromise with Democrats than many in his party, and some Senate Republicans doubt his fiery tactics can lead their party out of the political wilderness when the public is seeking an end to legislative gridlock.

“A political party cannot be all things to all people. It cannot compromise its fundamental beliefs for political expediency.” – Ronald Reagan


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at May 4, 2009 04:47 AM