Ross Mackenzie

Stabilize the dollar. End earmarks (don't just talk about it -- do it). Also end the regulatory spoils system that undermines the free-market system.

And some personal preferences: Re-up the manned space program (yes, go back to the Moon and beyond). Seal the border. Establish universal civilian service for all the nation's young between 18 and 25, with a front-end military component. Lay off Israel. Lay it on in Afghanistan. And tell the Iranians to vacate the premises of their nuclear facilities because -- in the name of peace -- our jets are on their way.

DO ALL that?

At least try to. At least get the ball rolling. Oh, and repeal ObamaCare.

The Republicans can't just go and repeal it. It's too late. Obama will veto any repeal measure reaching his desk.

But the voters emphatically oppose ObamaCare, and the Teapartiers -- particularly -- want it dead and buried. So the Republicans can deny funding for key agencies tasked with implementing it. They can refuse to approve enabling legislation. And then, with a Republican successor to Obama, they can move on to actual repeal.

You seem to have it all figured out.

Hardly. Still, the elections have lessons to teach and suggest the way forward for the Republicans if they know what's good for them. The elections suggest the shape of things to come.

AND what is that "shape"?

The Teapartiers may be a startlingly sudden political phenomenon, but they are emphatically mainstream. Through them, via the classic concept of popular sovereignty, a majority silent too long has spoken at last. From its federal representatives, that majority wants -- perhaps above all -- candor. It embraces the time-tested concepts of....

In with The Truth and ethical behavior. Out with cynicism and I'll-get-mine. In with "inalienable rights." Out with the haughty satrapies of unlimited government. In with the notion that pols and bureaucrats work for the people, and out with the contrary notion that the people work for them. In with the Constitution and the Founding. Out with Harry Hopkins' deprecating dictum, "The people are too damned dumb to understand."

The people are not dumb --

Not at all. They're far smarter than the smug, sanctimonious elites who think the people are hopelessly extreme and just too yahoo -- and so disdain and ignore them. Early in the campaign season, the smugs' most detested feminist -- Sarah Palin -- gave us one of the year's most incisive insights. She rhetorically asked, "So how's that hopey, changey thing workin' out for ya?"

Now we know.

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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