Sunday, August 29, 2004

The New York Times > Magazine > How to Reinvent the G.O.P.: "As you look out at the delegates to this year's G.O.P. gathering, remember that these folks have fallen down a chute, and they have no idea where it lets out. When they nominated George Bush in 2000, they had no idea that Mr. Small Acts of Compassion was going to be transformed into Mr. Epic War Against Evil. They had no idea they were nominating a guy who was going to embark on a generational challenge to transform the Middle East.

They had no idea they were nominating a guy who would create a huge new cabinet department for homeland security, who would not try to cut even a single government agency, who would be the first president in a generation to create a new entitlement program, the prescription drug benefit, projected to cost $534 billion over the next 10 years.

They had no idea that a Republican-led government would spend federal dollars with an alacrity that Clinton never dreamed of, would create large deficits, would significantly increase the federal role in education, would increase farm subsidies, would pass campaign-finance reform and would temporarily impose tariffs on steel. ..

(What is needed is a new GOP philosophy)

"This sort of conservatism measures its success not by how big or small government is but by the habits it encourages in its citizens. Does it encourage dependence or self-reliance? Does it sap individual initiative or give it new forums to exert itself? As Jonathan Rauch wrote in The National Journal: 'Conservatives have been obsessed with reducing the supply of government when instead they should reduce the demand for it; and the way to do that is by repudiating the Washington-knows-best legacy of the New Deal. Republicans will empower people, and the people will empower Republicans.' "

Pres. Bush and our other current GOP leaders have a chance to articulate this "conservatism of the common caucus" at the convention this week.

Conservatism of the common caucus, empowering people, the grassroots, the common person, is what many of us here in Colorado have been talking about since our 60/40 defeat of Amendment 29. This week will determine what we here in Colorado (and specifically me here in District 5--The Heart of Colorado) need to do between now and November to advance the cause of the common man. John Wren

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