Commentary: Waking the sleeping conservative giant

In the 1970s war classic "Tora! Tora! Tora!," Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is quoted as saying after the Pearl Harbor attack, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." That same quote might well be used today to describe what the election of Barack Obama has done for the conservative movement.

Liberals, socialists and Democrats (oh, my!) " not to mention some Republicans In Name Only have been doing the Snoopy Dance since last November. They've all but run out of new ways to declare conservatism dead, dead, DEAD.

But the Left has forgotten that politics is like sports " there's always a new season. And last season's losers can always regroup and maybe even win a championship.

The Left should consider the fact that while Obama was a terrific candidate, voters certainly weren't rejecting fiscal conservatism in voting for Obama. After all, one of The Chosen One's main campaign themes was cutting taxes. How conservative can you get?

No, voters didn't reject conservatism; they rejected Republicans who had rejected conservatism.

Congressional Republicans had thrown fiscal responsibility over the side of that bridge to nowhere. They recklessly spent money they didn't have on things we couldn't afford while hiding behind a "war on terrorism" they had no idea how to end. And George W. Bush sat by and watched it happen, apparently having lost his veto pen the day he moved into the White House.

And let us not forget that it was the Bush administration that first contracted and then began spreading Bailout Fever.

But it was Barack Obama who sparked the huge tea parties we just witnessed by misreading the tea leaves from last November. Voter rejection of big-spending, fiscally irresponsible Republicans did not mean voters wanted big-spending, fiscally irresponsible Democrats to start acting like big-spending, fiscally irresponsible Republicans on steroids.

I hope all the big-spending, fiscally irresponsible Nevada legislators of both parties " cloistered in their Carson City offices and surrounded by fawning special interest lobbyists " took a minute to peek out from their offices yesterday to catch a glimpse of what has been reported as the largest Carson grassroots protest seen in decades.

The Left has been laughing since November. But they should remember that he who laughs last, laughs best. And the Right should remember that it was the liberal failure of Jimmy Carter that brought us Ronald Reagan. The sun'll come out, tomorrow ...

- Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy grassroots advocacy organization.


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