Tough talk indeed, but unlike most things in this town, that talk is cheap unless it can be backed up. It's easy to stake principled ground when you lack the authority and power to act on those principles. But what happens when Republicans are suddenly thrust again onto the leadership stage?
In his last term in office, President George W. Bush increased discretionary spending — spending that has nothing to do with national defense — by almost half. The so-called party of fiscal conservatives outspent President Bill Clinton across the board, only reinforcing the old adage that every politician who campaigns on fiscal conservatism quickly abandons that rhetoric as soon as he or she comes to power. Did the Republicans think we wouldn't notice?
This is a unique time in this country's political history. America's independent voters — that vast middle of the country who fled from Republicans earlier this decade — are now returning, yet with severe trepidation. If the Republicans are to capture the hearts and minds of this broad cross section of the voting populace, they must do more than run an endless loop of "We're not as bad as they are." Binary politics got us in this mess, and tearing down your opponent doesn't make you a more capable leader.
Let's hope this rousing point is not lost on the Republican Party, or a great opportunity will slip through its fingers.
Williams can be heard nightly on Sirius/XM Power 169 from 9 to 10 p.m. EST.
Visit www.armstrongwilliams.com .