Mr. Kristol is right:
So, for the next three years, at home and abroad, we, the loyal opposition, have our work cut out for us….Congress and public opinion can push Middle East policy in a better direction and mitigate the damage Obama can do. Congress can also begin to undo the damage Obamacare threatens to cause. And then, in 2012, we can nominate a candidate who campaigns on a platform of solvency and liberty at home, and seriousness and greatness abroad.
This Republican nominee will need to appeal to the best traditions of both parties. In his 1980 acceptance speech, Ronald Reagan went out of his way to quote a couple of sentences from Franklin Roosevelt’s 1932 remarks accepting the Democratic nomination for president.
Similarly, Reagan’s heir can also quote from FDR’s 1932 convention speech:
I congratulate this convention for having had the courage fearlessly to write into its declaration of principles what an overwhelming majority here assembled really thinks. . . . This convention wants repeal. Your candidate wants repeal. And I am confident that the United States of America wants repeal.
(FDR was speaking about Prohibition; the GOP nominee will be speaking about Obamacare.)
As for foreign policy, the 2012 GOP nominee can quote John Kennedy in 1960:
Abroad, the balance of power is shifting. There are new and more terrible weapons. . . . Friends have slipped into neutrality—and neutrals into hostility. . . . Courage . . . is our need today—leadership, not salesmanship. . . . Our ends will not be won by rhetoric and we can have faith in the future only if we have faith in ourselves. . . . That is the choice our nation must make—a choice . . . between national greatness and national decline.
FDR in 1932, JFK in 1960, Reagan in 1980—all appealed to the virtue of courage. It will take courage to persevere over the next two and a half years to check Obama as president and then to defeat him. But the prize is worth the effort.
And I can think of the right guy…