“S” is for schools which are in many places failing and in others beset by massive cutbacks brought about because of high unemployment and a stagnant economy. The schools are burdened by the entrenched interests of the teachers’ unions which dictate much of the Democratic agenda on schools and which block the obvious reforms. GOP candidates need to read the two key books on education reform –Jay Mathews’ Work Hard. Be Nice and Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion. Every Republican on the stump should be able to talk passionately and knowingly about what works and what doesn’t and why he or she will support movements like KIPP and teachers like Lemov while battling entrenched unions that are paralyzing crucially needed reforms that can rescue a generation of urban youth.
The “2” in ODDS of 2 to 1 are the two international crises that every candidate should be ready to call the president to account on.
First, President Obama must stop bullying and blaming Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East and a democracy beset by fascist enemies intent not on achieving peace with the Jewish State but with its destruction.
Second, the president must stop “reaching out” to Iran and its fanatical leaders. Enough of the initiatives and the New Year’s messages. Support the Democracy Movement and prepare to stand with the Free World to stop the Iranian government’s nuclear ambitions.
Finally, every Republican ought to have one response to the hundreds of questions that will come –especially from Democrats seeking to divide the opposition arrayed against them—on the topic of immigration. That one response is that nothing can be debated and no solutions advanced until and unless the border fence is completed. It was begun too late by President Bush and abandoned quickly by President Obama and his Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, but the fence is the obvious and urgently needed first step in protected the American people from the violence and chaos surging through Mexico. The Arizona law being debated this week underscores the massive failure of the Congressional Democrats to take border security seriously. Republican candidates need to be smart about the fence, its effectiveness, and how far it has to go to be finished and effective.
“ODDS of 2 to 1” is just a device to keep priorities in focus and campaigns on message. Everything else is a diversion, and the president and his colleagues on the Hill facing electoral doom will do whatever they can to change the subjects from those above. Only an ill-prepared nominee will allow them to do that.