Thursday, July 15, 2010

McConnell: GOP's Got its Groove Back

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is addressing the Young Republican Leadership Conference today. Here's the text of his prepared remarks. Note that the line about the debt towards the end is one Rand Paul coined:

“Let Let me start by asking you to cast your minds back to January 2009. President Obama was being sworn in as President. Democrats were flying high. And the American people were eager to see their plan for addressing the nation’s problems. Hope was famously in the air. Meanwhile, Republicans were portrayed as beaten down, demoralized, and despondent. We were more likely to be a late night punch line than a relevant part of Obama’s Washington. I'm sure you all remember it well. But something happened on the way to the political graveyard. The Democrats actually had to govern.

Along the way, pundits in Washington were stunned to find out that ordinary Americans, like you in this room, were rising up all over the country. And those Republicans in Washington — the ones who were supposed to be beaten down, demoralized, and despondent — well, we were listening. We shared your frustration. And we girded for the fight, confident that we had supporters behind us. We broke out of the Washington echo chamber and fought the government-driven solutions that Democrats were proposing. We got our groove back.

The cracks in the Democrats’ foundation continued to spread. And today, just a year and a half after Democrats took over, confident that Washington bureaucrats had the answers to our problems, virtually every survey you look at shows that Americans have lost faith in the Democrat leadership and in government period. As it turns out, when your entire pitch to the American people is that government will solve your problems, people get upset when government can’t deliver. That’s one reason Democrats are so unpopular right now. It’s why Republicans are on a comeback. And we got there by listening, rather than talking.

But this isn’t about a political horse race. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that Americans don’t particularly care about who’s up and who’s down, as long as the people they elect put the interests of their constituents and the interests of the country first. So this isn’t about who’s on top. It’s about following through on the kinds of changes Americans want to see. It’s about reversing the damage Democrats have done. It’s about solving the crises in front of us. And those crises should be plain enough for anybody to see.

It’s not that the Democrats haven’t been busy. They’ve been busier than ever. But rather than being busy addressing the crises in front of them, they’ve all adopted Rahm Emanuel’s 7-word manifesto for governance: Never let a crisis go to waste.

For nearly three months, we’ve needed to fix a broken pipe at the bottom of the Gulf. And what we got instead was a proposal from the President for another plank in the far-left agenda — a radical, far-reaching scheme to impose a new national energy tax on every American.

On issue after issue, the administration’s solutions to our problems have only made our problems worse. And yet they still crave more power, more of your tax dollars, more responsibility. Well, Americans are tired of politicians who promise one thing and deliver another. Let’s start with competence.

What Republicans are offering the American people is a pledge, a pledge to do everything in our power to restore government to a size and scope that leads to some semblance of competency. We’re not going to tell you that if you vote Republican you’re going to wake-up in your dream home with a brand new Corvette outside ready to take you to the best job in the world. You know why? Because government can’t deliver that promise.”

The politics of personal destruction is always the last gasp of a politician on the ropes. That’s why you can’t pick up a newspaper these days without reading about some Democrat trying to convince people that their opponent is a crazy person. We’re not crazy — a $13 trillion debt is crazy.”

Have confidence. Hold your heads high. Work your tails off. Speak up. And when it is all said and done I promise you, we’ll be listening.”

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