For a GOP comeback to have a chance, several things must happen.
First, John McCain must take a page from Harry Truman's 1948 campaign in which he lambasted the Republican "do-nothing Congress." McCain should say what a do-SOMETHING Democratic Congress would do if it retains its current majority and gains a Democratic president: raise taxes, boost regulations, further limit our liberties, haggle with terrorists and advance a social agenda (including unrestricted abortion and same-sex marriage) that is anathema to most Americans.
Second, Republican delegates to the St. Paul convention in September should demand their party's congressional leadership be replaced by Republicans who would renew core party principles: low taxes, smaller, less expensive and more effective government, personal responsibility and accountability, encouragement of individual initiative and programs that help people out of poverty rather than sustaining them in poverty.
Third, Republicans must pledge to limit themselves in office as the Founders intended. If they won't approve term limits, GOP members should pledge to get themselves out of Congress after no more than four terms in the House and two in the Senate, less time in any place where an infectious disease rages diminishes chances of exposure and illness. They also should begin a discussion and debate about the proper role of the federal government. The Founders had that debate. It needs to be renewed in our time. Government is out of control.
Only dramatic and believable actions like these will restore public confidence in Congress and possibly restore Republicans to a majority they will only then deserve.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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