The addition of Governor Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket gives John McCain the chance to reclaim his identity as a maverick and reformer, and to shape a winning message for the fall campaign.
The American people clearly want to see government cleaned up – with curbs on corrupt lobbyists, special interests, wasteful spending, and lavish favors for the rich and powerful. The Democrats are already trying to address this concern and naturally want to tar the GOP as the party of corruption and corporate power.
The Republicans need to respond with clarity and force to emphasize a single proposition: the only way to clean government up is to cut government down. No president can fight corruption without trimming spending and terminating bloated bureaucracies.
The Democrats propose vastly expanded federal programs in health care, education, the environment, energy and dozens of other areas. These programs, as even Barack Obama admits, will cost literally trillions of dollars. When the feds handle more money – more of the people’s money – it’s an obvious invitation for more corruption, more special favors, more targeted winners and losers depending on political influence.
If a swamp is breeding all sorts of insects and infections, you don’t improve the situation by diverting more water into the already fetid pool; the first thing you need to do is drain the swamp.
The Democrats seem to suggest that spending more will mean less waste --- a notion that every American with common sense can readily reject.
The challenge of battling special interests and corruption isn’t a separate issue from cutting federal spending and shrinking the government: they’re the same issue.
In his new book, “The Wrecking Crew” leftist commentator Thomas Frank makes the point that you’ll now find the wealthiest counties in the United States clustered in the D.C. area. That’s surprising, because Washington doesn’t really make anything – not a center of oil production like Houston, or software and aircraft like Seattle, or even movies and entertainment like Los Angeles. Frank rightly points out that the huge explosion of wealth in the nation’s capital relates to the tremendous increase in lobbying activity, with highly paid lawyers and influence peddlers trying to grab every available advantage from the federal behemoth.