When the Democrats come forward, as they surely will, with another tax hike this year — like the $15 billion they tried to skim off the top of domestic energy companies last year — Republicans should do more than just fight it off (though they should do that, of course). They should in addition propose sweeping legislation to scrap the current tax code and the odious Internal Revenue Service and enact a flat, fair and fundamentally reformed system.
As Democrats cook up dozens of new and unnecessary things for government to do, Republicans should counter with specific plans to make the government finally do the things it’s supposed to do. When Democrats inevitably try to turn the president’s stimulus package into a spending bill for their special interests, conservatives should come back with a stronger plan that highlights our economic principles. If you can’t pass bills, you might as well do what worked in our 12 years in the majority — start the debate on these bills from the far right, making it more difficult for Democrats to argue on their limited principles and alter the practice.
Other agenda items that bring our constitutional principles to the forefront are in desperate need of legislative debate. To remind Americans of the sweeping consequences of the next election, the judicial junta running much of the country now should be brought to the fore, and brought to heel. Republicans could develop and promote — both externally and internally via discharge petitions — legislation to break up the out-of-control 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, to strip courts of their jurisdiction over political issues like homosexual marriage and publicize federal judges who unconstitutionally base their decisions on foreign law. The battlefield of the so-called culture war is always shifting, and conservatives need leaders on every front.
Leaders aren’t afraid of their ideas. Congressional Democrats, on the other hand, are. They refuse to offer a unified agenda on anything. Think fast: What’s the congressional Democrats’ position on the war on terror, immigration, taxes and the economy, the culture wars, or government reform? They don’t have one because (a) they don’t think their constituents deserve to hear one from them and (b) they know their real values are diametrically opposed to the American people’s.
To win, Democrats feel they have to hide. Republicans should harbor no such fears; their path to victory is relatively simple: Let the Party of Principles rely on them once more.
Tom DeLay is the former House Majority Leader, the second ranking leader in the United States House of Representatives, and co-author of No Retreat, No Surrender: One American's Fight.