William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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RESIST! – AT 11:18 A.M. ET:  Bill Kristol, whom I've always liked, but is too dynamic for the establishment Republicans, gives us our quote of the day.  Kristol is concerned that the get-along mentality in Washington is undercutting the great work Republican governors are doing in the states.  He's right.

In the states, Republicans are governing successfully. At the think tanks, conservatives are arguing intelligently. Around the country, activists are organizing energetically. All well and good. And important. But not enough.

Because in Washington we have a president and an administration, aided and abetted by a Democratic Senate, whose efforts over the next four years, if unchecked, could overwhelm the good deeds of Republican governors, the astute arguments of conservative policy experts, and the hard work of grassroots activists.

That’s why resistance in Washington today has to be central to the agenda for a conservative future tomorrow. If Republicans in Congress lack the nerve to stand up to President Obama, or the moxie to do so effectively, all other admirable efforts could end up being for naught. The federal nanny state could be so expanded, its tentacles could become so much more deeply embedded in the fabric of American life, that it would prove almost impossible for the next administration, however well-intentioned, to extricate us from it. The fiscal and monetary crisis could become so overwhelming that the soundest policies would be too little, too late. The American military could be so weakened, and our credibility abroad so damaged, that the most determined administration taking over four years from now would find it almost impossible to restore peace and advance freedom in a world that has spun out of control.

It may be that resistance is less edifying than reform. It’s perhaps true that resistance is less intellectually stimulating than devising remedies. It could well be the case that resistance is less inspiring than reviving a party or rebuilding a movement. And there may well be occasions where emergencies and the national interest will call us to work with the president. But the chief duty for Republicans over the next four years will be resistance.

Now all this talk of resistance may sound a bit negative, even mean. But as Ralph Waldo Emerson famously wrote, “There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.” This is a moment, as we face Obama, to emphasize the superiority of conservatism’s facts even at the expense of the accusation of meanness. There will be time, in 2016, to leave the meanness behind. But fact-based resistance is needed now.

COMMENT:  Wonderfully said.  Please read the rest.  I, for one, am tired of the business-as-usual attitude of many Republicans in Washington.  What is happening to our foreign and defense policies is a national emergency, but only a small number of our people – John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte, Jim Inhofe, are speaking out vigorously.

Start fighting, every day.  We can win.  Ronald Reagan was laughed at by the establishment when he came on the national scene.  They laugh no more.

February 16, 2013