We’re going to have a brave new world on Nov. 3.
If candidates who said they’d repeal and replace the government take-over of health care and stop government overspending win, as expected, then we must face the next hurdle: follow-through.
Politicians come to Washington on a wing and a promise, and then catch Potomac Fever, becoming seduced by the city and the perks of office. They forget why they came here. Hint: It wasn’t supposed to be to get a private jet with bottled water and high-end alcohol paid for by the taxpayer.
There are two pieces in today’s Wall Street Journal that, in a way, address this issue.
One is on New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie:
In one long year, Mr. Christie, the governor of New Jersey, has gone from little-known prosecutor to GOP rock star. The Newark native won last November on a blunt promise to fix a “failed state.” He’d stop the “madness” of tax hikes and chronic overspending. He’d demand New Jersey “live within its means,” tackling the rich public-employee benefits driving the state off the cliff. He’d be straight-up with voters.
The promises won him election; it’s the follow-through that’s won him acclaim. Democrats were appalled when he impounded $2.2 billion in spending; taxpayers cheered. The liberal class gasped when he vetoed a “millionaire’s tax”; business owners hurrahed. He’s demanding government unions help close $46 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. He’s tough-talking but common-sense, and his approval rating keeps going up.
The piece, by the Journal’s Kimberley Strassal, is about how candidates now running claim Christie as a role model. Let’s hope this will hold true if they come to DC.
The other piece that sort of addresses this issue is Peggy Noonan’s column this morning. It’s about the tea party and how it has breathed life into the Republican Party:
In a broad sense, the tea party rescued it from being the fat, unhappy, querulous creature it had become, a party that didn’t remember anymore why it existed, or what its historical purpose was. The tea party, with its energy and earnestness, restored the GOP to itself.
Noonan has witnessed first hand the effects of Potomac Fever:
I know and respect some of the [GOP] establishmentarians, but after dinner, on the third glass of wine, when they get misty-eyed about Reagan and the old days, they are not, I think, weeping for him and what he did but for themselves and who they were. Back when they were new and believed in something.