Time for Another Look at the GOP Bench
At the outset of the Civil War, President Lincoln said of the Union armies that "there are many single Regiments whose members possess full practical knowledge of all the arts and sciences, professions, and whatever else, whether useful or elegant, is known in the world; and there is scarcely one, from which there could not be selected a President, a Cabinet, a Congress, and perhaps a Court abundantly competent to administer the government itself."
He said this was true not only of the Union regiments, but also, amazingly, of the Confederate regiments. What an awe-inspiring statement. Can this high calling inspire us today? I hope so.
I have expressed in these pages my hopes that Sen. Marco Rubio would consent to run for president. He apparently has concluded he that cannot, must not. In any other time, this would be commendable modesty, admirable restraint. But now, when so much is at stake, it is to be much regretted.
So we must search the regiments. The rise and fall of various contenders in the GOP field prove how much the party grassroots wants someone who is not Romney. This aversion is real and could prove fatal next November if the party bosses persist in giving us yet another nominee whom we do not want. Charles Krauthammer, that brilliant mind, has never worked a precinct. He says voter intensity doesn't matter. All votes count the same in the voting booth.
True enough. But voter intensity determines how many people and which ones ever enter those booths. Voter intensity is what staffs phone banks, what propels people to get up before dawn and hold signs for their man (or woman) on a cold, wet November morning. Napoleon understood this better than Krauthammer when he said the morale of an army is ten times as important as their supplies.
So, searching the regiments, I find that our leading figures have either taken themselves out or been sidelined. In any battle, command then devolves on the next rank. Governors and senators are the norm. But we have in Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's attorney general, a most able character. He won statewide with 58% of the vote. He has carried the legal battle into the courts against ObamaCare. He's a passionate and convincing advocate for liberty. He has the character, intellect, and experience to lead the government.
Most important, he can lead us to victory. If President Obama is re-elected, Iran gets the bomb, ObamaCare stays, the debt crisis forces us to strip our defenses, and Obama replaces Ginsburg and possibly Scalia and Kennedy on the Court.
Once again, I advance the idea of pairing the presidential nominee with a running mate -- early. We cannot afford a media blitz against the vice presidential nominee. They swarmed against Quayle and Palin, sensing that this was the way to knock out the presidential contender. It nearly worked with Bush; it certainly helped take down McCain.
The mere act of choosing a vice presidential candidate will command attention and respect. I propose Sen. Jon Kyl, although there are others. In an unprecedented act of modesty and nobility, Kyl has said that he will leave the Senate unless tapped for vice president.
Cuccinelli as the new face could answer any question about his maturity and experience by saying: I chose Jon Kyl. Mr. Obama chose Joe Biden. The world now knows what we who have followed Biden since 1973 have long known: he is an ass.
Could Ken Cuccinelli raise the money in time? All you need today is a website and a compelling message. Try this compelling message.
Do we want to be citizens or subjects? Cuccinelli understands what's at stake.
"Cuccinelli and Kyl" could refocus this campaign on repealing ObamaCare, rescuing the economy, and hammering Iran.
We have been letting our nominee be chosen by John King ("Deep dish or thin crust?"), Brian Williams, and Scott Pelley. These men have never voted for a Republican and never will. Why do we allow them to set the terms of "debate"? Why do we let them prod our candidates into destroying each other? They frame every question in ways designed to harm GOP unity and to provide ammo for liberal press assaults.
My experienced friends are telling me that the current field is all there is to this circus, that we must choose from among those already announced. Be practical, they tell me.
I am being practical, I reply. None of these folks can win!
Or, if one of them does manage to eke out a win, it will be another Blue State/Red State nail-biter that results in continuing gridlock on Capitol Hill. And that can be fatal.
We need a Reaganesque sweep. We need forty states and a stampede of elephants in the Electoral College. We really need another "Virginia Dynasty" of four to six terms to correct forty years of liberal malfeasance.
We can now communicate with one another via the internet. Why do we need CBS News? We can still pull this thing out. President Lincoln also told Congress: "As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country."
Chet Arthur, a pen name, was a state delegate for Ronald Reagan and served in his administration.