GOP Must Play the Role of ‘Loyal Opposition’

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The Republican Party must now act as the loyal opposition in both Harrisburg and Washington. Effectively, Republicans have no chance to advance an agenda. Democrats have spent the entire time they were in the minority recklessly opposing all Republican ideas, even to the point where they will not acknowledge that we are near victory in Iraq, and that spending on pet Democrat causes, such as public education and entitlements have ballooned under the Bush administration.

Republicans should not engage in the same types of demagoguery that has been the hallmark of the Democrat party the last fifteen years.
Instead, I believe that Republicans should outline certain legislative priorities that have broad support, and ensure that Democrats do not lead our country down a far-left, socialist path, thereby guaranteeing the types of stagnant economies that have characterized Europe for the past half century.

President-elect Obama, and Congressman Murphy have called for
bi-partisanship. Now Americans can see if they are serious. I call on
all Democrats in Congress and the President-elect to promise to adhere to the following principals, which a super-majority of Americans

1. Freedom of Political Speech is a fundamental right in the Constitution. Please pledge to all Americans that you will allow free public discourse over the public airwaves, free from government monitoring of content. Please pledge to oppose any attempt to institute the wrongly named "Fairness Doctrine". Allow all Americans a chance to voice their opinions on the public airwaves, free from government interference and censorship.

2. Every American has a Right to a Secret Ballot in Elections. When ballots are not secret in the electoral process, individual workers, including the poor and disenfranchised are easily intimidated, and may not vote their conscience. Please join 78% of all Americans and Senator George McGovern in opposing the wrongly named "Employee Free Choice Act" which allows union organizers to intimidate workers into joining a union by checking a card, rather than participating in a secret ballot election monitored by the National Labor Relations Board.

3. America Must Become Free From Dependence on Foreign Energy. While we are developing the technologies for renewable, green energy, we must stop importing our energy for both economic and security reasons. We have tremendous natural resources in terms of oil, coal and shale. We have technology to permit the safe use of nuclear energy.
Oil prices have dropped an amazing 55% since the Presidential and Congressional bans on offshore drilling have expired. Please pledge a) not to reinstitute the offshore drilling ban, b) to promote use of domestic oil shale; c) encourage the production of clean coal plants and new oil refineries and e) construction of nuclear power plants, while we are developing new wind, solar and other renewable sources of energy.

4. America Must Stop Its Deficit Spending. The United States has an estimated $63 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, including a $10 trillion in actual debt. Medicare and Social Security obligations are about to explode. We can not continue to borrow money from foreign countries in order to finance our social programs. Please pledge not to create any new entitlement programs which will require additional spending or tax increases.

If they can not commit to these simple, commonsense principals, Republicans have no incentive to work in a bi-partisan manner on any part of the President-elect’s agenda. Republicans will also know that any discussion of so-called bi-partisanship is nothing but empty words of people seeking office. If these priorities are ignored or rejected, then Republicans should then doggedly educate the public about the superiority of their own proposals.

Bipartisanship does not mean that Republicans give up their core principals. I have a difficult time naming any time between 1995 and
2007 that Democrats in Congress acted in a bipartisan manner to help Republicans accomplish their agenda. Core principals are essential if the Republican Party is to offer a serious counterweight to the massive expansion of government currently being proposed by the President-elect.

Unfortunately, in both Harrisburg and Washington, we are not seeing bi-partisanship, only consolidation of Democratic power. In Harrisburg, Democrats have already passed a set of rules that reduces the minority party’s presence on committees. In Washington, Democrats have returned to the pre-1995 days of unlimited terms for committee chairmen, and have undone all the initiatives that gave the Democrats, when they were in the minority, the right to offer alternative bills from the floor, and to offer amendments to soften the impact of legislation with which they disagreed. As many suspicious Republicans have thought, bi-partisanship seems to be a one way street.

The immediate goal of the Republican Party is not to ensure the failure of an Obama administration. It is to ensure that an Obama administration truly reflects the will of all the people, and will ensure the preservation of freedom, self-reliance, self-respect, economic opportunity and equal justice for all under the law.

Donald Petrille, Jr., Esquire
[email protected]