Monday, March 09, 2009

Truth and Consequences

Hugh Hewitt's favorite anonymous ad exec suggests that Republicans need a new watchword: "Truth".
The Truth is powerful on its own. It can be spoken in short sentences.

The Truth is simple. The Truth is pure. The Truth trumps opinion. And although "Free" is frequently considered the more powerful marketing word, the truth is, the Truth wins head to head. Irrefutable Truth eventually ends every argument. Emotional Truth eventually wins every heart and mind. There is, right this very moment, a massive opportunity for the Right to not only embrace, but to -- in a marketing sense -- "own" the concept of, and the very word: Truth.

The Democrats have gone too far down the road, now, of a faux concept of "Free," and made too many missteps along that road, to be able to own them both. It's ours for the taking, and the American people are showing every sign of hunger for exactly that: The Truth.

To pull it off, though, we must live as we speak. We can't call out their pork, and ignore or brush off ours. We can't talk around our own mistakes -- we have to own up. Living up to the Truth is difficult, in the best of times. But even in times like these, it's never impossible.
Charles Krauthammer, in a widely published op-ed, lists the evidence that our new President is willfully deceiving the American public to achieve his policy goals:
[F]ew undertake the kind of brazen deception at the heart of Obama's radically transformative economic plan, a rhetorical sleight of hand so smoothly offered that few noticed.

[...] The markets' recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions -- the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic -- for enacting his "Big Bang" agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.

Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime.

The consequences of the stimulus bill and the Administration's budget plans are to reward failure, encourage dependency on the government, and punish the successful. Congressman John Campbell (R-CA) is hearing from his constituents who contemplate "Going Galt":

Last week, I spoke to Dave Weigel from the Washington Independent about the applicability of the fabled Ayn Rand novel, Atlas Shrugged, and it has generated some considerable buzz among liberal and conservative blogs and activists alike.

If you are unfamiliar with the book, this is the synopsis the Washington Independent provided:

Creative people (the “Atlases” of the title) are hounded and punished for their labor by an oppressive, socialistic state. In response, they retreat from society to a hidden enclave where they watch civilization’s slow collapse.

I spent the last few weeks recovering from surgery, and I’ve had a lot of time to talk with business owners in my district, and to be perfectly blunt, I am hearing more and more of those owners thinking of “Going Galt” in response to President Obama’s spending spree. After all, someone is going to have to pay for this massive expansion of government.

This is troubling because small business supplies a substantial number of jobs in America, and now they are beginning to see that they are being force-fed a de facto punishment for their ambitions and success.

Rep. Campbell is not the only one hearing this theme. Here's a letter to the editor from today's Wall Street Journal (not a permalink to the letter):

Deep Potholes on the Republican Road to Recovery

Rep. Paul Ryan's comments in "A Republican Road to Economic Recovery" (op-ed, March 2) point to the vast philosophical and practical divide between the Obama administration and the real world. Would someone, anyone, please point to one item in the stimulus package that makes it more likely that I, as a small businessman, will hire additional employees or make further capital investments in equipment? The recurrent ill-conceived antibusiness, anti-investment statements and policies of the current administration keep the stock market so depressed that none of us with large portions of our savings in the market can afford to retire. As far as I can see, that is the only thing that the Obama administration is doing to preserve jobs.

James N. Domingue
Lafayette, La.

Grim consequences indeed if this becomes a prevalent viewpoint among business owners.

Here are a couple more of today's op-eds worth a read (H/T Real Clear Politics):
Speaking truth to power, indeed!