The Corner

David v. Goliath

My New York Post column today takes a look at the Republican field of potential Davids going up against the billion-dollar Goliath army being assembled by Barack Obama. While it’s true that you can’t beat somebody with nobody, I argue that the real nobody is the Potemkin President, and that if the GOP can attach a name and a face to its principles, the battle may be easier than it looks right now:

No candidate yet feels like a winner to the party’s base — combative conservatives. And no one’s likely to, as long as the GOP establishment is trying to appeal to the quasi-mythical milquetoast independent voters who pull up their petticoats and flee at the slightest sounds of conflict.

The party needs a leader who can clearly and passionately make its case: No milquetoasts need apply. He (or she) will need to calmly cut through the media fog: Obama is protected by a journalistic phalanx too heavily invested to see him rejected at the polls.

Certainly not over trivial things like a $14 trillion national debt, soaring deficits, bankrupt entitlements like Medicare and Social Security and an increasingly arrogant and out-of-touch president who would rather party with Queen Elizabeth in London than cut short yet another glorified vacation and tend to Joplin, Mo., and other devastated cities of the Midwest.

It’s true the Democrat-Media Complex has the power to cloud men’s minds about Obama, but with a little clarity of articulation and philosophical cogency the Republicans have a very winnable hand. Which of course doesn’t mean they’re not capable of blowing it.

The election’s not for 18 months, but it’s time to get real. On Tuesday, the GOP lost a “safe” seat in a special election in upstate New York. The Republican candidate apparently thought she could waltz into Washington instead of taking the fight to her conservative Democrat opponent, who was busy demagoguing the Paul Ryan plan for Medicare reform. Lesson learned?

In the upcoming battle for the country’s future, the Republicans actually hold most of the cards. All they need is somebody to play them — smartly, effectively, confidently and unapologetically.

As David knew, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. All he needed was his slingshot — and courage.

Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.


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