If the voters say 'No,' why not be the 'Party of No?' 

Whenever the voters -- even in liberal Massachusetts -- reject liberal ideas, liberal pundits take one of two routes. Either they go for the moral high ground by concocting spurious charges of racism against anyone who disagrees with them, or they suggest that the defeat of their own liberal ideas somehow means that Republicans should compromise.

Dana Milbank writes in today's Washington Post that Republicans are ungraceful in victory because they have failed to see it as a sign that they should capitulate to President Obama's agenda -- an agenda that polls show most Americans reject:

What the American people don't hear is any offer by the Republicans to compromise with Democrats on health care, climate-change legislation, fiscal matters or much of anything else.

If anything, Scott Brown's surprise victory in Massachusetts on Tuesday seems to have left Republicans with the belief that their "party of no" strategy is working. After the Republican House leaders pronounced all the things they don't want to do -- "end . . . scrap . . . reject . . . has to be stopped . . . no to this . . . no . . . not to embark . . . isn't working" -- they cut off questioning after a couple of minutes and left.

Tom Toles presents this graphic offering, which suggests that Republicans are "hallucinating" if they believe that when voters show opposition to President Obama, they should follow up by doing the same. 

Here's a question for both: Did the Democrats do anything other than present uniform opposition to all solutions during the equally critical debate over Social Security, the black hole that swallows young workers' dreams and from which they are likely to recover nothing? In the House, at least, didn't they nearly all vote against the Medicare Prescription drug bill that President Bush presented as a (questionable) solution to high medical costs? (Not that I fault them for it, but didn't they?)

Democrats won their Congressional majority by being a "Party of No" for six years. Voters chose them in 2006 and 2008 because they were the alternative to the party that mired us in Iraq and suffered an extraordinary amount of corruption in its ranks. As we've learned in the last three months, in three consecutive statewide elections, Americans did not pick them for the ideas that President Obama is now pushing in Washington.

Under Obama, as under Bush, principled opposition to a bad president and his bad policies is a serious strategy that both parties use for political and policy purposes. Saying "no" to bad policy is a good thing, and saying "no" to unpopular policy is a winner.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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