Welcome Instapundit Readers! While you’re here, you might want to engage in a little thought experiment I set up for Jan Schakowsky (the Illinois Democrat who called the tea parties “despicable” and “shameful.”)
Just days after signing a near-trillion dollar “stimulus” package further increasing a deficit he ran against, President Obama convened a Fiscal Responsibility Summit at the White House. On the day when more than a quarter-million people across the nation protested (among other things) his spending plans, anticipating that he’ll have to raise taxes to pay for them, he promises to simply our “monstrous tax code.”
Even as he proposes doubling if not trebling the national debt, he regularly speaks about being responsible stewards of tax dollars, calling his latest budget, which increases the national debt at a far faster pace than did his predecessor, “A New Era of Responsibility.”
He knows this idea resonates with the American people. Heck, I think he and his campaign team were aware that it resonated particularly well with rank-and-file Republicans (and recently ex-Republicans) unhappy with how Republicans they elected, expecting them to hold the line on federal spending, lost sight of that mandate.
No wonder he regularly decried then-President Bush’s spending habits during his campaign, proposing “throughout” his campaign “a net spending cut.”
Given the high percentage of Ron Paul supporters and other non-Republican libertarians at yesterday’s rallies, there’s clearly a large crowd of people the GOP could reach should it return to its Reaganite roots. We’re not there yet, not nearly so.
But, the President’s record (both in his successful campaign and once in office) as well as the turnout yesterday show that fiscal responsibility resonates. Unless the President acts in accordance with his words (and there’s no sign of that at present), expect this phenomenon to spread.
If the GOP wants to tap into this success, it only need put forward policies which respond to our discontent and which recognize why the President repeatedly references “responsibility” when discussing federal spending.