Only if Republicans hold firm in standing for the principles of fiscal responsiblity which helped us win elections in 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1994, principles with which Barack Obama made a rhetorical end run around the GOP in 2008, racking up the highest popular vote percentage of any non-incumbent Democat in 75 years.
Let me remind you once again that in the third debate, then-candidate Obama said “what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.“Â Instead, he’s given us the exact opposite.
No wonder when Democrats talk to the media, they remind us of the congressional Republicans sorry spending record over the past decade.Â They seek to compromise the credibility of Republicans so as to reduce the impact of their criticism of their own spending spree.Â But, just because Republicans overspent in the first few years of this century doesn’t excuse Democrats from their current profligacy.
Especially given the presidential campaign of the nation’s leading Democrat.
The contrast between Obama’s campaign rhetoric and his budget, now approved in slightly amendedd form by the Democratic Congress, has made it a lot easier for Republicans.Â Jennifer Rubin think it’s “given Republicans plenty of running room” and quotes Bill Kristol’s explanation:
And the Republican Party is united in a principled way. I don’t think people can look at it â€” independent voters can’t look at the Republicans now and say they’re just being opportunistic or, you know, knee-jerk anti-Obama.
They object in principle to this massive expansion of government’s role in the economy, taking over the health care system, et cetera. And I think it allows â€” I think he’s allowed the Republican Party to recover more quickly than one would have expected and conservatives, actually, to recover more quickly than one might have expected after the 2008 elections.
In the Senate vote on the President’s budget, even the recent Republican renegades (Collins, Snowe, Specter) returned to the fold, keeping the caucus united.
By overreaching on spending, the President has made it easier for Republicans to regroup and recover. The longer Republicans remain united against the president’s spendthrift policies, the more ready our party will show that they’ve learned the lesson of the last two elections, the more quickly our party will restore its good name.
Obama who, in his campaign, recognized that Republicans were vulnerable on the spending issue hasn’t learn the lesson from his own electoral success.Â Which might make it quite difficult for him to repeat it.