When I was a young Captain at Ft. Riley in the 1st Infantry Division, the famed Big Red One, our Division Commander was a stellar New Englander, a Norwich University graduate named Gordon Sullivan. General Sullivan went on to become the Chief of Staff of the United States Army and has been the leader of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) for quite a few years. He is a legendary leader.
General Sullivan had a saying I will never forget and have often used – in fact he even wrote a book with same title, Hope is Not a Method. I first heard him say it at a Unit Status Report (USR) brief when a Brigade Commander made the mistake of saying,”General, I hope…”, at which point he was verbally kneecapped.
I believe the GOP leadership needs a seminar with General Sullivan so he can explain that simple maxim — and it seems the National Review agrees. In a piece entitled Republicans, Make your Case, the editors write, “Republicans continue to lack any strategy for winning the November elections beyond avoiding mistakes and hoping that President Obama’s unpopularity, especially in key states, delivers control of the Senate to them. It must be said that the party has executed this passive count-on-a-wave strategy fairly well, selecting presentable and sometimes admirable candidates. The strategy could even work. But it will not maximize the Republican opportunity, because it does nothing to dispel the public’s justifiable doubts about whether Republican rule [governance] would be good for the country.”
In comparison to the progressive socialists, a collection of giraffes could do a better job — but that’s not the point. I’ve been disturbed and appalled at the lack of any GOP leadership over the past five weeks speaking out on a variety of issues facing our nation. Where is House Speaker John Boehner or House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy? Where is the messaging that’s supposed to emanate from Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers?
If there’s one thing for which I commend the progressive socialists of the Democrat party, it’s the fact that they all echo the same talking points. It’s as if every day, members of the Democrat party awaken and have a chip implanted by central command so they all speak from the same script. And when you go off script — in other words reject your implanted message chip — you will be excommunicated. Just ask Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar or even Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel — as we saw the recent reversal on his ISIS assessment — he got the call from central command, kinda like Big Brother in Orwell’s tale, 1984.
But where is the unity in message for the GOP? When it comes to offering a simple free market solution for healthcare in America, the House GOP Doctors Caucus submitted the American Healthcare Reform Act (AHCRA), but most Americans have never heard of it. I wrote about it here last year.Where are the GOP voices such as the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee addressing the troubling reductions to our military at a critical time when Islamic terrorism and jihadism is on the rise? Just now, we heard our president say we’re going to destroy ISIS, then later he says he’s just going disrupt it. Well, if something is destroyed you don’t need to disrupt it, do you? Lastly, he said we have to manage the problem. Huh?
Who from the GOP will challenge the president on his Iraq incrementalism? He’s sending another 350 troops, for what? And I thought we didn’t have a SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) with Iraq? Who has a foreign policy vision that offers solutions in the Middle East from a conservative perspective? Look at what is happening in Libya– it’s a mess, but who is speaking up on it from the GOP? I have some ideas.Americans are about to suck down $761 million to allow illegal alien children to enter our schools. Why? This shouldn’t be the burden for struggling American families — it was caused by Obama. And don’t give me the “comprehensive immigration reform” line — that just means amnesty and we all know it. What about securing our border at this critical time? What about the problem with Islamic militancy and jihadist recruiting in Minneapolis? And why allow the community organizer to parade around and tout a $15 minimum wage? Rally together the small business owners and make a stand against what will be an economic death blow to them.
So where is the direction from the GOP? “Hope is not a method,” and that’s what the National Review article points out. Too many Republicans are running on the promise that they will “check” the president in some unspecified way. They say they dislike Obamacare, but have no plans to replace or alter it. Republicans are asking for trust, but trust is earned, and it is earned by working hard to demonstrate your better vision. Take Ronald Reagan for example. He made a clear delineation of his vision and policy agenda for America and in his election against Jimmy Carter he won 44 states. In his reelection against Walter Mondale he won 49 states! That is the result of earning trust.
The National Review concludes, “The [Republican] party is not going to do any of this corporately, so individual candidates should step up. They don’t have to be merely the object of trends in the polls, hostage to events in D.C. and abroad that they cannot affect, coasting along like flotsam on a wave. They can be the captains of their own fate, and tell voters they can as well.”
The Democrat party method is to make people believe that Republicans suck — all the while never mentioning that they suck far more. If the Republicans never address the issues and policies from a simple perspective that connects with the American people, then Americans will continue to fall for the propaganda and gimmicks of the Democrats.
I reiterate this simple message to the GOP leadership; Boehner, McCarthy, Scalise, McMorris-Rodgers, McConnell, and Cornyn: “Hope is not a method.”