'Should America Bid Farewell to Exceptional Freedom?'
If the GOP had an ounce of sense, they' make Rep. Paul Ryan the spokesman for the party (and maybe even nominate him for president in 2012?).
In a gangbusters of a speech delivered before the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in Oklahoma City on March 31, Ryan let the president and the Democrats have it with both barrels blazing:
A political realignment is on the way. Democratic leaders are staking their party's future on their ideological agenda. Financial Services Committee Chairman Frank candidly admits that his party "are trying on every front to increase the role of government." Former President Clinton told a Netroots convention last year that "We have entered a new era of progressive politics, which if we do it right could last 30 or 40 years."
The question is, do we realign with the vision of a European-style social welfare state, or do we realign with the American idea?
My party challenges the whole basis of the Progressivist vision of this country's future. We challenge their attack on American exceptionalism. We challenge their claim that bureaucratic centralization is the only way the US can meet the economic and social challenges of our time.
Those leaders have underestimated the good sense of the American people. They broke faith with independents, Republicans, and their own rank-and-file. They walked away from the foundational truths that made America the wonder and the envy of the world. The price of their infidelity will be high.
It's a long read but a dynamite speech. He hits all the high points about the true history of progressivism, how the far left has hijacked the real reformist aspect of early 20th century politicians like Teddy Roosevelt and Wisconsin governor LaFollette and twisted it into a statist ideology. And then there's this gem:
The Constitution and the consent of the people are all that stand between limited and unlimited government power. Zealous ideologues with the best of intentions brush aside the limits on power in order to get whatever they believe is good for the people ... no matter what the people believe. Our system of freedom can survive an assault, but it won't survive if the people are frightened, or angry, or asleep at the switch. A great Democrat, President Andrew Jackson, once said: "eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty." We can thank our current leaders at least for this: they have awakened the nation to the danger of taking self-government for granted.
There is much to chew on in this speech; concepts that we don't hear bandied about very much like natural law and how the Democrats are subverting the notion that power flows from the people to the government and not the other way around. Those who have been following Ryan's career know that he is one of the most thoughtful, and easily one of the most brilliant men in Congress.
This speech gives a good indication of why many feel that way.