Lessons for the GOP in EU elections

Mark Twain's overused cliche about reports of my death being greatly exaggerated fits perfectly when applied to the right in Europe.

Anne Applebaum writing in the Washington Post looks in wonder at last weekend's EU elections for parliament and the unexpected results:

In France, Germany, Italy and Poland -- four of Europe's six largest countries -- center-right governments got unexpectedly enthusiastic endorsements. In the two other large countries, Britain and Spain, left-wing ruling parties got hammered, as did socialists in Hungary, Austria and elsewhere. In some places the results were stark indeed: In London last weekend, I could hardly walk down the street without being assaulted by screaming newspaper headlines, all declaring the Labor government of Gordon Brown weak, corrupt, tired, arrogant and, yes, very unpopular. In some constituencies, European candidates of the ruling Labor Party finished behind fringe parties that normally don't get noticed at all. So rapidly are British ministers resigning from the cabinet that it's hard to keep track of them (four in the past week -- I think).

But how is it possible that the European right is doing so well -- and so much better than its American counterparts -- during what is widely described as a crisis of global capitalism? At least in part, the Europeans are winning because their leaders have the courage of their economic convictions.

The surge in support for free markets and individual freedom in Europe is no accident. The first real elections to judge the statist, intervention tactics of EU governments (and the US) shows socialism being soundly rejected. What lessons can the GOP gain from this?

Jennifer Rubin writing in PJ Media:

So what would a winning formula aimed at Washington's power grabs look like?

For starters, as Hoyer suggests, any convincing anti-Washington agenda must begin with fulfilling Nancy Pelosi's promise to "drain the swamp." Republicans and savvy Democrats would do well to insist that those under investigation in the metastasizing PMA Group scandal, including Murtha and Rep. James Moran, be alleviated of their committee posts and be subject to a swift House ethics probe. And that goes for Sen. Chris Dodd and House Ways and Means Chair Charlie Rangel, who retain their own prominent committee chairmanships while beating back ethics investigations. Likewise, anti-Washington agitators  should push for the ouster of Roland Burris, who, it seems, lied to the Senate about his contacts with Blago prior to getting the Senate appointment.

Second, the anti-Washington agenda should put a primacy on personal choice when it comes to health care. The Democrats are offering a health-care plan crafted and directed by the government, with only the "best" procedures reimbursed by the government-approved insurance plan. That's a far cry from the consumer-friendly, customized service world which voters, especially young voters, have become used to. Smart Republicans should make clear they favor competition, choice, and individually-purchased insurance, not government-run, homogenized health care (which inevitably will be rationed, as has been the case in other industrialized nations which have gone down this road).

Thirdly, Rubin points to the tea parties and the effort to make fiscal discipline a bedrock campaign issue. And doing away with the bail out culture while promoting the fine conservative principle of individual responsibility would also be a part of a new GOP agenda.

Rubin calls this "Running against the Center" echoing the advice given in a column written by Michael Barone. The "Center" being Washington D.C. and the establishment - both Democrats and Republicans - who have abandoned reason and common sense in this mania to spend the taxpayer's money.

Is the GOP smart enough to adopt the same issues that their ideological compatriots did in Europe? If they do, it will certainly be the beginning of the road back for the party and a good opportunity to gain ground in 2010.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



Mark Twain's overused cliche about reports of my death being greatly exaggerated fits perfectly when applied to the right in Europe.

Anne Applebaum writing in the Washington Post looks in wonder at last weekend's EU elections for parliament and the unexpected results:

In France, Germany, Italy and Poland -- four of Europe's six largest countries -- center-right governments got unexpectedly enthusiastic endorsements. In the two other large countries, Britain and Spain, left-wing ruling parties got hammered, as did socialists in Hungary, Austria and elsewhere. In some places the results were stark indeed: In London last weekend, I could hardly walk down the street without being assaulted by screaming newspaper headlines, all declaring the Labor government of Gordon Brown weak, corrupt, tired, arrogant and, yes, very unpopular. In some constituencies, European candidates of the ruling Labor Party finished behind fringe parties that normally don't get noticed at all. So rapidly are British ministers resigning from the cabinet that it's hard to keep track of them (four in the past week -- I think).

But how is it possible that the European right is doing so well -- and so much better than its American counterparts -- during what is widely described as a crisis of global capitalism? At least in part, the Europeans are winning because their leaders have the courage of their economic convictions.

The surge in support for free markets and individual freedom in Europe is no accident. The first real elections to judge the statist, intervention tactics of EU governments (and the US) shows socialism being soundly rejected. What lessons can the GOP gain from this?

Jennifer Rubin writing in PJ Media:

So what would a winning formula aimed at Washington's power grabs look like?

For starters, as Hoyer suggests, any convincing anti-Washington agenda must begin with fulfilling Nancy Pelosi's promise to "drain the swamp." Republicans and savvy Democrats would do well to insist that those under investigation in the metastasizing PMA Group scandal, including Murtha and Rep. James Moran, be alleviated of their committee posts and be subject to a swift House ethics probe. And that goes for Sen. Chris Dodd and House Ways and Means Chair Charlie Rangel, who retain their own prominent committee chairmanships while beating back ethics investigations. Likewise, anti-Washington agitators  should push for the ouster of Roland Burris, who, it seems, lied to the Senate about his contacts with Blago prior to getting the Senate appointment.

Second, the anti-Washington agenda should put a primacy on personal choice when it comes to health care. The Democrats are offering a health-care plan crafted and directed by the government, with only the "best" procedures reimbursed by the government-approved insurance plan. That's a far cry from the consumer-friendly, customized service world which voters, especially young voters, have become used to. Smart Republicans should make clear they favor competition, choice, and individually-purchased insurance, not government-run, homogenized health care (which inevitably will be rationed, as has been the case in other industrialized nations which have gone down this road).

Thirdly, Rubin points to the tea parties and the effort to make fiscal discipline a bedrock campaign issue. And doing away with the bail out culture while promoting the fine conservative principle of individual responsibility would also be a part of a new GOP agenda.

Rubin calls this "Running against the Center" echoing the advice given in a column written by Michael Barone. The "Center" being Washington D.C. and the establishment - both Democrats and Republicans - who have abandoned reason and common sense in this mania to spend the taxpayer's money.

Is the GOP smart enough to adopt the same issues that their ideological compatriots did in Europe? If they do, it will certainly be the beginning of the road back for the party and a good opportunity to gain ground in 2010.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky