The Loyal Opposition
As a conservative, what is the approach that we should take following the US election in which liberal Democrats picked up more seats in the US House and US Senate? And what is the conservative response to our newly elected US President, Barack Obama? We are the loyal opposition: Loyal to our country, our republic and the US Constitution. We are supporting the peaceful (and gold standard) process of the transition of power in American, following our national elections. America is unique in the world in how we elect our leaders and how the change in power occurs peacefully. The pundits, politicians and press are now debating the demise of conservative principles and the weakened Republican Party. While that is a debate worth having, as a member of the loyal opposition, I both support the newly elected President Obama, but I also oppose many of his ideas and policies that have been proposed in the campaign. Unlike my liberal friends who bashed President Bush (and the office of the President), I will not engage in that disloyal behavior. Sure, I had some tough words and pointed criticism of Senator Obama as a presidential candidate. But he is the President Elect now, and that electoral victory and historic accomplishment is to be admired and respected. This is American. A country in which a presidential candidate from a diverse background can be elected to the Office of the President with the support of the minority and majority citizens of the United States. That is the dream of every American.
But I will respectfully disagree with our newly minted President, when he proposes more Federal government spending, not less; when the security of the United States is compromised in the interest of getting along with our enemies or if the hand of the US government becomes heavy through taxes, regulations or limits to personal freedom. In this case, as a member of the loyal opposition, I’ll express my contrary views. Fortunately, the days of Bush bashing are fading away, into the dusty Texas sunset. (Although Bush bashing is still lingering the MSM and in left leaning blogs) Let our former President George W. quietly retire to his Crawford Ranch. As for President Elect Obama, he has my loyal support and respect. He was elected by a majority of the States, with a plurality of the vote of our fellow citizens. However, his vision for American is still yet to be unfolded in the policy details of 2009. The Obama campaign platitudes sounded pretty good, but as a member of the loyal opposition, I was suspect as to what will really happen in Washington DC under President Obama and the Democratic Congress.
Meanwhile, I’m looking at the conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats in Congress http://www.house.gov/ross/BlueDogs/ as a member of the loyal opposition. These are self selected Democrats that have a moderate to conservative view on budget and fiscal issues that come before the US House of Representatives. In the 2006 House elections, there were 47 “Blue Dog Democrats”. Since 1996, 27 Blue Dog Democrats have been elected to the US House, replacing incumbent or retiring Republicans. In the 2008 election, 20 new Democrats were elected to the Congress, with a likely number of these new Democrats willing to join the Blue Dog coalition as fiscal conservatives. The question will be: Are the Blue Dog Democrats willing to stand up to President Obama and the liberal Democratic House leadership on overspending and increased government programs that run up the US deficit? We’ll see in January 2009. As a member of the loyal opposition, I’m counting on Blue Dog Democrats in the House and the GOP members of the US Senate to provide some fiscal restraint and balance to Presidential initiatives from the Obama administration.
© 2008, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media, www.jasperwelch.org