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The Republican Party in Opposition


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republican-party-opposition_696368.html?nopager=1The Weekly Standard:



Jan 28, 2013


In March 1975, with the United States in post-Watergate disarray at home, stunned by repeated diplomatic defeats at the United Nations, and about to suffer the humiliation of seeing an ally at whose side we had fought for many years be overrun by the North Vietnamese Communist Army, Daniel Patrick Moynihan asked: “What then does the United States do?”


His answer, in an article in Commentary magazine:



Today it is the Republican party that is in opposition. Not entirely, of course. There are 30 Republican governors, many of them governing successfully. And Republicans maintain control of the House of Representatives. On the other hand, a Democratic president has just been reelected with a majority of the popular vote for the first time in almost 70 years. Republicans lost 25 of 33 Senate races. And Democrats received more popular votes in House contests nationwide than did Republicans. So opposition it is.


But opposition, as Moynihan pointed out, can be liberating. It allows for the spirited defense of principle, as Moynihan would show when he became ambassador to the United Nations a few months after the Commentary article. And it allows for a major rethinking of policy, as Ronald Reagan would demonstrate the following year in his first presidential bid.



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