No More Mr. Nice Guy: Republicans Get Tough!

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom

No More Mr. Nice Guy:
Republicans Get Tough!

by Tom Adkins, December 16, 2000

A GOP with spine -- could it be possible? Adkins granted The Colorado Freedom Report permission to reprint his recent article, also available at

As a cynical friend of mine once observed, "Politics is a bar fight. When the chairs start flying, Democrats smash a beer bottle, jump on the table and snarl. Republicans respond 'Rook to Queen four, please'..."

It's hard to believe, but after getting sand kicked in our faces by Democrat bullies for 50 years, Republicans finally put up their dukes. They fought a mean, nasty hard-nosed battle against Democrat bullies. And won. Well, whaddaya know! No more Mr. Nice Guy!

After two recounts didn't produce a Gore victory, Democrats maneuvered to hijack the election via the razor-thin edge in Florida. But a funny thing happened. Republicans didn't back down. Instead, they got tough. Real tough. The Bush team put together a smart legal strategy and stuck with it, ignoring Democrat recount traps. Meanwhile, James Baker magnificently deflected the Gore team's smoke-and-mirror attacks and fired back with verbal howitzers. Bush communications director Karen Hughes muzzled her candidate as Gore spun his wheels deeper into the mud. Republican pundits across the country attacked over air, land and cable. Even Internet chat rooms were filled with snappy answers to liberal soundbytes.

The typically docile everyday Republicans across the country became inspired, marched down to the local protest and gleefully screamed at outnumbered Gore protesters. The RNC even borrowed a time-tested page from the Democrat play book, flying staffers into Florida to boisterously protest Dade County's attempt to secretly "count" ballots. It was pure joy watching the indignant Bill Press (CNN) get flustered when counterpart Tucker Carlson exclaimed "This is great! I'm so proud of them!"

Even the US Supremes got into the act. In an arena where liberals have weaseled all too many concessions from conservative appointees, the latest Democrat shenanigans stirred up angry moderate blood. The overrated David Boise was amazingly tongue-tied as he discovered the shtick that worked wonders with the home team Florida Supreme outlaws ignited the usually reserved Sandra Day O'Connor, who turned him into her personal punching bag. In the end, the Florida Supremes got swatted down three times for getting frisky and rewriting election laws. Throughout the hearings, every Democrat thrust was thwarted by a brilliant Republican parry. And in a display of pure trash-talking insult, the Republican Florida House voted in a slate of GOP electors before the Supremes rendered their final judgment.

In the face of Democrat pressure, Republicans never blinked. Everyone stayed on message, spinning risky political stances into winning arguments in the courtroom, over the airwaves, on the street, and into victory.

I weep with pride.

Liberal defector David Horowitz stated in his book, The Art Of Political War, "As the party of bankrupt principles, discredited policies, and two faced political arguments, the Democrats have dramatically demonstrated how effective the art of political war can be in the hands of a party that understands its principles." You got that right, Dave. There are still Democrats looking to finagle the election for Gore. The annoying Bob Wexler threatened to upset the electoral confirmation process. Slimy Bob Beckel is trying to blackmail Bush electors. But in the aftermath of the Florida fiasco, GW looks shrewd. His staff of old bulls from GOP history, Dick Cheney, James Baker and Colin Powell know how to fight and win these wars. They played butt-kicking offense, and the Democrat bullies were reeling and squealing with every hard punch. And look who won?

Upper-crust Republicans should pay attention. People aren't motivated by smoking jacket wearing potbellies lounging at the country club, sniffing brandy and muttering under their breath. They want blood. Guts. Principle. Action. Above all, they want victory. That means bare-knuckles political brawling. The new-breed Republicans instinctively know this. Chuck Muth, just elected National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus states flatly, "The Kumbaya wing of the GOP won't find a sympathetic ear as long as I'm chairman. We're in a dead serious war of ideas. I'm in this to win, not split the difference. The RLC will march toward the sound of cannons, not retreat from them. Democrats and others who would shred the constitution need to be wiped off the electoral map." Yow! Them's fightin' words, folks! Maybe that spirit finally percolated up to the rest of Republican leadership. Cause it sure looks like the skinny Republican kid pumped iron and took boxing lessons. And got an attitude to boot. You want summa dis? No more Mr. Nice guy.

It's about time.

The Colorado Freedom