Turn Crisis Into Opportunity

Nancy Pelosi wants to call the House back for an emergency lame-duck session of Congress next week primarily to address the dire situation facing General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

OK. Let’s look at the Big Picture:

The U.S. auto industry is on the verge of bankruptcy for one basic reason: for the second time in 30 years they have missed the market and built gas guzzling SUVs that cannot compete with Toyotas and Hondas and hybrid technology in an era of exploding fuel costs. Sure, labor costs and health care costs are also a big problem, but if we sold cars like the Japanese do, we could handle all the rest

So here is what we, The People, ought to say and do through our Congress: Detroit, if you want our money here is the deal. We will keep you afloat but in return you are going to enter an agreement with the US Government , including the Pentagon and the Department of Energy, and as a joint, war-time temporary partnership you are going to immediately re-tool and start building plug-in hybrids, electric and hydrogen fuel-cell cars. We are going to bring the smartest brains the USG has to work with Detroit’s smartest brains and we are going to leap frog the present internal combustion technology - and once again America is going to be at the forefront of the car industry. Hell, we invented cars - and how to mass produce them. Let us seize this crisis to turn it into a once-in-a-century opportunity to regain our pre-eminence.

Other benefits to this plan are:

• We begin to get off the addiction of imported oil;

• These new technologies are Green and will help the environment;

• National Security mandates that we no longer be dependent on our enemies and adversaries for a vital product (oil);

• We can sell these new technologies world-wide - and thus help rejuvenate our economy and our manufacturing base;

This is indeed going to cost a lot of money. But we seem to be spending hundreds of billions like we used to spend hundreds of thousands.

Let us spend this money wisely - not on manicures and pedicures and ridiculous executive pay packages - but on going forward by going backward to the days of American ingenuity and leadership.

Video of Former Congressmen John LeBoutillier and Bill Hendon on "Imus in the Morning" Discussing the Abandonment of U.S. POWs in Indochina

via YouTube:

Why the GOP Lost

Let us just quickly sum up what happened on Tuesday - and then we will move on to the future - of the nation, of the Republican Party and of the conservative movement:

Barack Obama won on Tuesday precisely because - as Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards said last weekend - he is “the most opposite of the guy we have in there now.”

Indeed, the exit polling confirmed what I have been writing in this space for a long time: G.W. Bush had become a millstone around GOP candidates’ necks. He - more than anything else - is why the GOP got wiped out on Tuesday.

What President Bush represented to a majority of people is a sneering, arrogant, chip-on-his-shoulder, my-way-or-the-highway face of this era’s conservatism; in fact, that also became the face of the United States around the world. And it was that face that voters rejected on Tuesday.

President Reagan was just the opposite: a cheery disposition, a funny laugh and chuckle - and a pleasant demeanor all while trying to convince - not browbeat or threaten - others to change their minds.

If we, as conservatives, are to come back to power we will have to project a totally different face and persona.

The Republican Party will have to become a party of “smart” people who can reach out to the suburbs (where we were completely wiped out) and to educated people. And at the same time we need to keep our base of committed conservatives, too.

In fact, we have to get rid of this exuberant disdain for well-educated people and for education itself. G.W. Bush and Sarah Palin have reveled in their dislike for education, for well-educated people and for reading and for acquiring knowledge.

It used to be in this country that everyone worshiped education and wished to have a great education but somewhere along the way many on the Right have transposed their hatred (well-deserved, by the way) for the Leftism taught in our colleges and universities into hatred of the actual education itself. And that is a tragic mistake. Because only reading the Bible and nothing else isn’t enough to solve this nation’s multitude of problems. In fact, we need to ask God to help us all learn more and know how to learn more in order to keep up with the ongoing and exponentially expanding base of knowledge on all topics.

So we are going to need to change the face of the conservatism; less anger, more brains.

And we need to move on from the Bush Era. Please, no talk of Jebbie in 2012!

Let us first settle on the direction we need to move - and then find new candidates who can sell that message.

For those of you who think the country is doomed, you are wrong. Any time you believe that a majority of your fellow citizens are idiots, you don’t get the majesty of our nation. Obama’s election means something to these people. It is good that they have their chance to run our country. If they do well, we all do well. And if they can’t get a handle on our problems - and if we re-make ourselves into a smart party - then we can and will come back to power.

But first we have to earn our way back.

More on all of this to come in subsequent columns.

Election Day Predictions

This is going to be an ugly election for the GOP and for the conservative movement, which lost its way when it allowed the Bush Family to co-opt it back in 1999.

Frankly stated, we are going to get creamed across the board - White House, Senate and House.

Obama will earn more than 350 Electoral votes - and win 54% of the popular vote.

Tuesday’s election will be a complete and total rebuke of our party and movement - and especially of the Bush Presidency.

John McCain has run a poor campaign and is a weak candidate. He looks old and does not inspire his audiences. His selection of Sarah Palin has backfired as she has become a major distraction and detriment for the GOP ticket.

We are also going to get wiped out - for the second consecutive election (2006 being the first) - in both the House and Senate.

Almost all the Big names like Liddy Dole and Gordon Smith and maybe even Norm Coleman are going down. So, too, will about 30 GOP Congressional seats.

Ted Stevens will lose.

Mitch McConnell and Saxby Chambliss will have to sweat it out on Tuesday night. Don’t be surprised if one of them loses.

This will be the second GOP train wreck in a row.

Thus the Bush Legacy will be one of total, abject failure on every level - not the least of which is to wipe out his party and the philosophical movement which he took over in 2000. Just like his father before him, G.W. Bush has handed the keys to the White House to the Democrats.

The Republican brand is severely damaged. Tuesday’s election will feature a huge anti-Bush and anti-GOP passion - coupled with a less-then enthusiastic effort from the GOP. There will be a disproportionate turnout - more Democrats will vote and fewer Republicans will bother as they can see the handwriting on the wall.

To sum it up: Tuesday is going to be a wipe-out of the Republican Party.

And on Wednesday we begin the process of re-making the party into a smart, effective political party devoted to doing good, not to advancing one family’s political fortunes.


Tune into the Fox Business Channel - check your local cable line-ups for the number - it's #359 on Direct TV - at 8 AM Monday morning morning to watch the Roundtable hosted by Alexis Glick.