Tony Blankley

"... President Obama gathered his economic team in the West Wing's Roosevelt Room to review themes for his State of the Union address. ... The ideas presented to him...seemed familiar and uninspired. 'You know, guys,' he said, according to someone in the room, "I've told you before, I want you to come to me with ideas that excite me.' Nothing he was hearing excited him."

Well, excitement is nice. But, other than the absence of correct, free-market policies, more than any factor, what is holding back the American economy is the uncertainty of economic, legislative and regulatory policies being driven by the current administration.

One could say of the current United States government that which Winston Churchill once said of the 1930s British government for their inconstancy, when he charged on the floor of the House of Commons: "So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent."

What can the GOP and conservative voters across the country do about an administration that ranges between wrongheadedness and inconstancy? We need to be a polestar of right-headedness and constancy.

Regarding the vastly damaging economic (and deeply annoying personal) effect of excessive regulation, we need to take advantage of this momentary diversion of the administration toward at least rhetorical common sense. At the congressional level (as has been promised by new GOP committee chairmen such as Fred Upton at the key House Energy and Commerce Committee) we must identify, publicize and de-enact as many oppressive regulations as possible.

This will require the Appropriations Committee to explicitly defund the enforcement of such regulations. And yes, unless the president genuinely follows through with his asserted intentions to rein in regulations, this will mean confrontation between the Republican House and the administration. But the GOP Congress must stand firm.

And to help them, the conservative media and think tanks need to bring much more focus on such abusive regulations. The administration and liberals generally are delighted to let the continuing re-regulation of America continue under the radar.

What we need on our side for fighting regulations is something like Brent Bozell's Media Research Center (that acts as both a research center and clearinghouse that effectively monitors and publicizes liberal media excesses).

Many conservative think tanks do a good job of studying government regulation. But we desperately need big private funding to gather all that research and focus it upon the media.

With the right resources and attention, 2011 could be a banner year for the deregulation of American life.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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