"What we could do, what we could be, if the federal government would go back to its limited role."
That should be the mantra for GOP candidates for the House and the Senate, incumbents and challengers, in 2014. A year from now, if the center-right sticks to this mantra, to this summary of everything the Obama-Reid-Pelosi troika has inflicted on the country, then we will see a sea change in the makeup of Congress.
The "we" is of course the entire American people, exhausted by five years of utter incompetence and overreach, willing as they have never been before to understand that while the GOP is not a perfect party nor conservatism an answer to all that ails the West, it is the least dangerous choice when it comes to the country's future.
It is the party of free markets, free enterprise, free choice and freedom, period.
Obamacare -- what is left of the grandiose plan, the partially-burnt-out shell of promises and hubris -- is of course the first item on the list of Obama-Pelosi-Reid era woes, but the list is long and getting longer.
Abroad it is a shrinking military, an expanding set of dangerous pushbacks by China, by Russia and of course by Iran.
It is a Syrian fiasco and a resurgent al Qaeda in places far from the tribal regions along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
It is a collapsed Status of Forces agreement in Iraq, a SOF on life support in Kabul, and deep hostility to America from all sides in Egypt.
At home, Harry Reid has broken the institutional core of the Senate, and Reid, Pelosi and the president led a chilling descent into the lowest levels of political rhetoric during the shutdown. Not MSNBC crazies, or marginal small-market radios screamers, but the president and his colleagues.
What we could do, what we could be, with a political conversation worthy of the American experience.
The nothing where the Keystone Pipeline should be is a testament to all of the energy production that isn't underway, an underscoring that the oil and natural gas production that has kept our economy from flatlining is the credit of state governors and their legislatures; not the imperial regulators of the Praetorian Guard of Obama's domestic regulatory army, the EPA and IRS.
What we could do, what we could be with that energy, win the jobs it would produce to extract, the jobs it would create to use.
What we could do, what we could be with education reform that was from the ground up and not from Arne Duncan down, with his sneering contempt for the "white suburban moms" and their nonwhite colleagues in the PTAs and booster clubs of the country.
What we could do and what we could be with real health insurance reform. The reform and deregulation of the insurance markets reeling under Obamacare mandates, the freeing of energy and education sectors from stifling D.C. central command and control, the return of the vision of the awesome economic potential of the country if only the numbers of the bureaucratic class were slashed and their budgets halved or cut even deeper.
The president and his wizards are trying exactly the opposite of the marketplace when it come to health care, and the serial pratfalls following the serial proclamations of omnipotence have seared themselves into the public's consciousness. They know we could do better, much better.
They know what we could do. They know what we could be. If only if the voters exile the troika from D.C.HUGH HEWITT, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio show host who blogs daily at HughHewitt.com.