Opinion

MICHAEL GOODWIN: Party of 'No' Has the Right Answer

At the 2008 Democratic convention, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick issued a warning to his surging party. "Democrats don't deserve to win just because Republicans deserve to lose," he said.

It was my favorite line of the campaign, and we now know it was prophetic. Dems clearly didn't deserve to win all the power in Washington, as they prove almost every day.

Their failure to govern in a responsible and responsive way is wrecking the nation's finances and costing them the trust of Americans. They have sparked fear and loathing toward government institutions unprecedented in modern times.

So the temptation arises, as we get ready to go to the polls again, to issue the same challenge to the GOP. Just because Democrats deserve to lose, do Republicans deserve to win?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. By default, but not just default.

The 2010 midterms are not the flip side of 2008. This is an emergency election, as vital as any in memory.

Forget what the parties deserve. The nation deserves a major change in the balance of power.

President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have presided over an outrageous plundering of national wealth and power.

They jammed their hard-left partisan agenda down America's throat, as though majority opposition to their pet projects was only a hurdle to be overcome. They squandered their limited mandate and even now, facing political payback, remain determined to work their will as often as possible before the clock strikes midnight.

Already the damage is historic. From the unlimited growth of government to ruinous levels of unemployment, taxes, and dependency, to the rising tide of Islamic extremism, America is diminished and frightened.

Western civilization is under assault, militarily and economically. Our rivals are emboldened, our friends confused, our enemies gleeful. All smell weakness from the world's lone superpower.

Our leaders respond by apologizing for our history and achievement and waging class warfare. They cook up non-sequitur answers to urgent problems, reading from a playbook concocted in the elite faculty lounge and the salons of union lobbyists.

They have been revealed as incompetent and arrogant, expert only at pointing the finger of blame at others when their cockeyed theories run off the rails.

If they are not stopped now, the damage could be irreversible.

In fairness, they inherited a bad situation. In truth, they made it worse in nearly every major respect.

The country is broke and divided, with the exposed fault lines multiplying. The president who pledged to heal the nation instead brought a gas can to the fire.

He has exacerbated an us-against-them culture, routinely demonizing any who stand in his way. His use of personal invectives diminishes the Oval Office.

He is a bully at home, but weak and uncertain abroad. Iran is two years closer to a nuclear weapon, yet America's resolve is in doubt.

Our troops fighting and dying in Afghanistan are being undermined, our Marine commandant says, by the president's public determination to begin exiting next year. And still the president persists in his timetable.

Republicans began his term defeated and demoralized. Only because Democrats overreached so egregiously did they find common purpose with legions of independent voters.

For their trouble, they are derided as obstructionists and the party of no. But no, as it turns out, is the absolute right answer. No more Obamaism is the best medicine.

If the polls are right, November will bring a power shift, with swing voters swinging right. The institutional checks and balances, effectively nullified by one-party rule, will be invigorated if even one chamber goes Republican.

Gridlock will be an improvement, but not enough to get America back on track. That will take real vision and leadership, made all the more difficult by public disgust with Washington.

In the short term, however, no will be enough. It is the first step in the long road back from a national nightmare.

Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist  and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.

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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.