Personnel is policy so the GOP’s personnel matters

I had the opportunity to attend my Kane County Republican Convention last Wednesday as an elected Precinct Committeeman. What I experienced there was no doubt what a lot of supporters of reform experienced throughout the state: there are still not enough of us on the battlefield. Until that changes, don’t expect to see policy changes at the local, state, or federal government level.

Sarah Palin recently told Fox News host Sean Hannity that the TEA partiers should “take over the Republican Party.” For some time I’ve been calling on the TEA partiers to consider two tracks: one organizing outside of the GOP, one inside as well. That’s been our suggestion since the TEA parties started.

Some of us realized that the energy shown by so many good people last year had to be channeled into the organization with a ballot line. Democracy isn’t complicated but it is labor intensive, and for too long most of the people laboring have been doing so because they have a financial rather than a reform motivation.

The reason government spending is out of control at all levels is because, as Abraham Lincoln eloquently explained, at times there are “too many pigs for the tits.” When political or governmental service in both parties is seen mostly as way to profit, the spending of tax dollars will necessarily skyrocket.

One local political activist recently sent me a note after seeing this headline:

Sen. Harry Reid: 36,000 Lost Jobs in February ‘Really Good’

He asked, “How do we keep losing to these idiots?” A cynic might say it’s because our idiots are bigger idiots. Most can agree, however, that at minimum it’s a personnel problem on our side.

In Mark Steyn’s recent column “It’s About Government, Not Health Care,” he writes:

I’ve been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible.

In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally “conservative” parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect (let’s not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a “conservative”). The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless.

Steyn says that “Republicans seem to have difficulty grasping this basic dynamic.”

Once the state swells to a certain size, the people available to fill the ever expanding number of government jobs will be statists – sometimes hard-core Marxist statists, sometimes social-engineering multiculti statists, sometimes fluffily “compassionate” statists, but always statists.

Steyn’s point applies to every governmental body from the local school board, to the counties, to the state on up to Washington, D.C.

Republicans are good at keeping the seat warm. A bigtime GOP consultant was on TV crowing that Republicans wanted the Dems to pass Obamacare because it’s so unpopular it will guarantee a GOP sweep in November. Okay, then what? You’ll roll it back – like you’ve rolled back all those other unsustainable entitlements premised on cobwebbed actuarial tables from 80 years ago?

Like you’ve undone the federal Department of Education and of Energy and all the other nickel ‘n’ dime novelties of even a universally reviled one-term loser like Jimmy Carter? Andrew McCarthy concluded a shrewd analysis of the political realities thus: “Health care is a loser for the Left only if the Right has the steel to undo it. The Left is banking on an absence of steel. Why is that a bad bet?”

Here in Illinois the county conventions might be over, the primary might be over, but there’s no time like the present for those on the sidelines to step onto the political field and fight for the future of their country. We need you – now more than ever.

©2010 John Francis Biver