If you read nothing else today, make it Clark S. Judge's superb oped in today's edition of The Wall Street Journal. Judge is a former Reagan speech writer who in the years since has overseen the Washington Writers Group.
In his piece this morning, which is entitled "The Debt Battle is Good for the GOP," Judge makes the case for the proposition that "the Tea Party is Reaganism updated" and offers this crucial observation:
"A contest has been fought over and over in Washington since Republicans embraced cutting tax rates and nondefense spending under Ronald Reagan in the early '80s.
"When Republicans have united behind these priorities, they have won elections. Nervous Republicans should bear that in mind when they begin to go wobbly on something as basic as reining in spending and refusing to raise taxes. And achieving that unity has always been difficult."
The problem is that too often Republicans aren't united and project fuzzy messages about their beliefs to voters. The current chasm between Establishment GOPers in the Senate and most members of the freshman class of 2010 in the House is a typical illustration.
The result is that for most of the past five decades, federal spending and debt have continued to grow, with only momentary interruptions when the GOP occasionally united, as described by Judge. This inability to sustain consistent and principled opposition to the bankrupting of America is not the only reason for the present crisis but it is certainly a leading factor.
More important, the good news is that even now, the Republicans could pull victory out of the jaws of defeat on the debt ceiling. See today's Examiner editorial on how to do that. You can read the complete Judge oped here.