Last night, in offering the Tea Party response to the president, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah observed that if the American Revolution started in Boston, it journeyed to Philadelphia. That is, the stirring of revolt had to be followed by concrete steps to change the government. Yesterday brought a couple of steps on that journey, including one tentative step offered by Sen. Richard Burr of NC.
Conservatives are often lambasted for offering just criticism, not constructive proposals. But Sen. Lee (a speaker at our Conservative Leadership Conference) outlined a broad vision for reform, while our Sen. Burr joined with colleagues to offer a new response to Obamacare.
If you didn’t catch Lee’s response to the State of the Union Address last night, you can see it here.
For one thing, it’s not even 12 minutes long, which is a great improvement over the drone of platitudes in the Obama speech.
Plainly, Lee was offering an outline of reforms. That’s one reason we’re very eager to hear more from him at our Conservative Leadership Conference.
One key point of emphasis Lee has been making: Any successful conservative reform movement must address the real problems of the poor and the middle class.
His approach also tries not to pit one group against another, but instead address all groups. Lee insisted real conservatism doesn’t mean you’re on your own, it means we’re in this together.
He also took the offensive. I like this line: “Obamacare is the Godzilla of inequality.” That’s important: Conservatives must stay on the offensive.
Real reform, however, must include interests sometimes thought to be “on our side.” For instance, he said, “If we’re going to reform welfare, we really should start with corporate welfare.”
And another line is that while making government smaller is vital, it’s just as important to encourage “bigger citizens.” Limiting government will only be possible if we the people step up to do more.
Anyway, check out the whole speech.
And sign up for CLC. We’re really excited about what we’ll see there, and I think you’ll agree.
Meanwhile, Sen. Burr is joining with two colleagues to offer an alternative to Obamacare. Avik Roy, one of the best writers on health issues, said this plan — offered with Sens. Coburn and Hatch — “is a serious, constructive, and pragmatic one.”
He lists important caveats as well, and many conservatives will feel it doesn’t go far enough. Nevertheless, the Coburn-Burr-Hatch proposal, along with others, contributes to the debate.
Roy’s article covers a lot of ground in a short space, so it’s well worth reading.