Dick Armey on 1994 vs. 2010

Former Representative Dick Armey has an op-ed in the Washington Times where he lays out some similarities between Scott Brown's upset win and where the Republicans were in 1994:

Today, like 1994, a new Democrat president is overreaching in an attempt to centralize the nation's health care system in Washington in lockstep with a congressional leadership that is far to the left of the American public.

Tax-and-spend legislative agendas bent on income redistribution may sit well with the academics and the beautiful people, but not regular Americans who gets stuck with the bills.


The main lesson from 1994 is that when Republicans act like Republicans, we win; when we act like Democrats, we lose. If Republicans embrace the energy of the small-government activists showing up at "tea parties," they will be rewarded at the ballot box. These are folks not looking for a new program or entitlement, but holding placards at events saying, "We want less."

Back in the early 1990s, the idea of a Republican majority was remote. Congressional Republicans were for the most part happy and comfortable in the minority, enjoying the perks of being a member of Congress. All and all, it was a friendly place.

Newt Gingrich, Bob Walker, Jim Nussle, John A. Boehner and I didn't come to Washington to relax in a congenial atmosphere. We came to re-create a limited-government legislative majority. We thought that Washington had grown too big and was spending too much, and that if we had a clear policy alternative, good policy would make good politics. That's still the case. We will know in a few months whether today's Republicans can capitalize on that reality.

Can today's GOP come up with a new, credible "Contract with America" that would drive them to victory in November? There are serious, conservative policy alternatives to everything the Democrats have been pushing that wouldn't allow for an increase in taxes, spending, or government control. So not only is a new Contract with America a possibility, it is a necessity. The GOP must give voters a positive reason to vote for them rather than simply advancing the notion that they should vote against the Democrats.

That's how majorities are fashioned and Dick Armey is spot on for saying so.


Hat Tip: Ed Lasky