By DICK ARMEY And MATT KIBBERepublicans seem particularly prone to doing the same thing again and again, expecting a different result. While grass-roots Americans seem more committed than ever to taking their country back from an entrenched political class, particularly those occupying the White House and the U.S. Senate, GOP cognoscenti seem reluctant to offer voters a clear choice in 2012.
President Obama's re-election campaign is doubling down on the failed economic policies of tax, spend, borrow and print. It's leaving little doubt in voters' minds where the aggressively progressive Democratic Party stands.
But what do Republicans believe in? The party's "experts" are retrenching to the defeatist view that a commitment to economic freedom and constitutionally limited government, particularly among the foot soldiers of the tea party, is a political liability. Indiana's Sen. Richard Lugar even claims that "Republicans lost the seats [in 2010] in Nevada and New Jersey and Colorado where there were people who were claiming they wanted somebody who was more of their tea party aspect—but they killed off the Republican majority."
The 36-year incumbent presumably meant to say Delaware, not New Jersey. But what Senate majority was killed off?
Before a resurgent commitment to principle from the bottom up, and the emergence of a new generation of fiscally conservative candidates turned things around, the party brass was trimming its sails. In the spring of 2010, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), seemed resigned to the prospect of a 60-vote Democratic supermajority. "We've not only got to play defense," he said, "we've got to claw our way back in 2010. It'll be a huge challenge."