Republicans' tired old mantra
I have to take issue with Mr. Hall’s observations about the 2012 election results (Dec. 3 letter).
Regardless of how he chooses to use winner/loser lingo, Barack Obama “won” the presidential race. And if the Republicans “lost” the election because of RNC leadership, why is the party preparing to elect the same RNC chairman and senior RNC officials?
Yes, Obama has a mandate. He won the election with over 50 percent of the vote and actually received a higher percentage of the vote than George W. Bush did in 2004 when Bush declared that he had a mandate and the Republican Party backed him up.
The reason Republicans maintained control of the House of Representatives is because House members are elected locally, and many of the Republicans were elected in sparsely populated voting districts. In fact, the combined national vote for Democrats elected to the House was much higher than for Republicans. Regarding the Senate, Republicans fully expected to win control, and they didn’t — because they unwisely selected candidates in several states that were clearly out of step with the overall electorate in the state — just like they nominated a presidential candidate equally out of step with the American people. Think of some of the comments those candidates made publicly — and privately when they didn’t think many people were listening.
The reason the president is traveling across the country is to appeal directly to the people to put pressure on Congress — something that many modern presidents have done. He knows he can’t count on the Republican-controlled House to compromise on issues pertaining to the budgetary needs of the country without pressure. Ronald Reagan, a Republican hero, compromised many times and raised taxes 11 times while in office.
This country is not on a “socialist, European-style” path with respect to the economy. Socialism is when the national government owns and controls key businesses. That is not the case in the United States. We are very privately owned and very profit-driven. Just five decades ago (when Republican Dwight Eisenhower left office), we had government control and price setting of oil, natural gas, gasoline, coal, electricity and phone usage. It was even illegal to own a phone — you had to rent one from the phone company, which was a monopoly regulated by the government. All this socialism talk is mere fear mongering.
And speaking of Democrats being on a spending spree — where was the money in the George W. Bush budgets to pay for two wars and the prescription drug plan? It didn’t exist. Republicans, who profess to be budget hawks, got us in the budgetary mess we are in today. Bush was in hiding during the 2012 campaign and didn’t make a single public appearance for his party.
The Republican Party needs a major reckoning and overhaul, which some wise Republicans have already come to recognize. Just continuing to recite the tired party mantra, as Mr. Hall does, will not position the party to win future presidential elections.