Bill Quick reacts with revulsion to the idea of a McCain-Huckabee ticket in 2008. I’m with him on that. McCain’s biggest liability is with conservative voters, and to have to people on the GOP ticket who lack strong conservative bona fides would be to alienate the vast majority of GOP voters. The GOP has to realize that the times when the GOP has been successful are the times it has embraced small-government values. The GOP won in 1980 because Reagan elucidated a vision of smaller government. The GOP won in 1994 on the basis that the Democratic Party had lost touch with America and that the Contract with America presented another vision of smaller more efficient government.
The GOP needs to wake up, and fast. Congress’ approval ratings are barely in double digit territory. People have as dismal a view of government as they have ever had. If the GOP wants to be the part of slightly less big government rather than the party that will restore sanity and accountability to government, then the GOP will lose once again.
What is the vision of the Republican Party? Is it based upon our principles of economic liberty, personal morality and strong national defense? Or is it nothing more than the mere desire to scrape together enough interest groups to win? If it is the latter, then the GOP has learned nothing from their failures in 2006.
In a time of rampant public distrust of government, putting the architect of McCain-Feingold together with a clone of Jimmy Carter is exactly the wrong strategy. If people want more government, they can vote Democratic this November and get all the government they can handle.
Ronald Reagan said it best: the most dangerous line in the world is “I’m here from the government, and I’m here to help.” The Republican candidates keep invoking the name of Ronald Reagan—but only one of them seemed to understand what he stood for, and that guy isn’t running any longer.
To lose those principles is to not only lose the Republican base, but the independent voters that the GOP needs to win. You don’t win elections by being pale imitations of the other side, you win elections by bolding and proudly defending your principles. A McCain-Huckabee ticket would send exactly the wrong message.