Speaker John Boehner finally declared this week that President Obama's goal over the next few years is to "annihilate" the GOP. Wow, he finally figured that out. And to reporters about his ticket's defeat in November, Rep. Paul Ryan stated that there was a failure to turn potential Republican voters out -- again, another "ah ha" moment.What is really going on is that the more old-time Republican Establishment is starting to realize that simply playing the same old game against a new, brilliant and Democratic political juggernaut led by their symbol of success, President Obama, will likely yield the same results. To Ryan's credit, he told the same group this week that what Republicans need is more "Jack Kemp." And Ryan is so right. Remember, Kemp was a "conservative opportunity" Republican with an always positive attitude, which he carried with him as secretary of housing and urban development under President George H.W. Bush. Kemp reached his political pinnacle as the vice presidential nominee running with former Sen. Bob Dole in 1996. Kemp was added to the ticket in part because of his long history of advocating tax cuts, in part to advance the concept of supply-side economics. Dole and Kemp had clashed in earlier years, with Dole viewed as the more traditional "Establishment-type" and Kemp the populist conservative who had a strong interest in issues that were typically not part of the GOP agenda, such as the health of cities, moving those in public housing toward ownership and responsibility for their homes, and eliminating weapons and drugs from the hands of the criminals who in urban areas possessed them.
GOP Leaders May Finally Be Catching On
But if Republicans are to start stating the obvious about the president's goals of redistributing wealth and resources through various policies and legislation, they must offer an attractive alternative. That means by its very necessity embracing the needs of the nation's cities, finding a way to provide a path toward some form of legal worker status that requires paying taxes and no shortcut to actual citizenship. And, most importantly, that requires explaining how the Republican policies of lower taxes, less government and defense of personal liberties actually benefit the many voters who in November either chose Obama out of fear, on a coin toss or simply decided not to come out in support of Gov. Romney. Republicans need more plain-speaking leaders who fight for providing opportunity to more people through less government intrusion. In other words, the Republicans truly do need more Jack Kemps.