Kongresmedlem John Shadegg (R-AZ) er en af kandidaterne til den ledige post som Republikansk flertalsleder i Repræsentanternes Hus. Han kæmper for sit kandidatur bl.a. med et indlæg i onsdagens Wall Street Journal, hvori han priser Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater m.fl. som idoler for, hvad partiet burde være i dag. Heri hedder det bl.a.:
Ten years ago, the American people put Republicans in control of the House of Representatives for the first time in more than 40 years. It was a historic achievement, made possible because we stood for the principles the American people believed in: smaller government, returning power to the states, lower taxes, greater individual freedom and–above all–reform.
Some Republican leaders in the House seem to have lost sight of those principles, though the American people still believe in them. Meanwhile, Americans are sick of scandals. To fully regain their confidence–and to retain and grow the Republican majority–we need to make a clean break with the past and return to our ideals.
Republicans promised the American people two things in 1994. First, we promised to rein in the size and scope of the federal government. Second, we promised to clean up Washington. In recent years, we have fallen short on both counts. Total federal spending has grown by 33% since 1995, in inflation-adjusted dollars. Worse, we have permitted some of the same backroom practices that flourished in the old Democrat-controlled House. Powerful members of Congress are able to insert provisions giving away millions–even tens of millions–of dollars in the dead of night. The recent scandals involving Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff have highlighted the problem, but this is not just a case of a few bad apples. The system itself needs structural reforms. …
I grew up watching the example of Barry Goldwater, who worked closely with my father. He taught me that “a government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.” That philosophy guided me when I ran for Congress in 1994. I was thrilled to be part of the Revolutionary Class of ’94, and the sense of hope and mission of the early days after the American people elected a Republican majority in the House is still with me. We believed then that we could take back our government, and I believe it today. …
House Republicans differ about policy and tactics, but we stand together in our respect for this institution, our hatred of corruption, and our support for the basic principles of our party. The American people overwhelmingly support the principles we stand for. We cannot allow the current scandals to distract their attention from our substantive agenda. If we do not make a clear, public break with the recent past, there is a good chance we will lose our majority.
I do not need a poll or questionnaire to tell me what Republicans stand for. The party of Ronald Reagan exists not to expand government, but to protect the American people from government’s excesses. President Reagan once said, “If you’re afraid of the future, then get out of the way, stand aside. The people of this country are ready to move again.”
WSJ‘s Brendan Miniter (hvis broder, Rich, har været venlig overfor denne blog) havde tirsdag en artikel netop om Shadegg, Reagan og Goldwater, og Republikanernes problemer p.t.