Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A good election, for the GOP

In general, this was a good election. The only way to make it great would be for Republicans to have lost another five seats in the Senate and another twenty in the House. The worse the loss, the quicker and more intensely the GOP searches for its wandering soul.

The party of Reagan is sick and has been for some time. It is not pleasant when the electorate finally recognizes it. And the situation will not improve significantly until the Republican party recognizes its ill health and begins to take corrective measures. The measures are these:

Remember that you once were, and should be again, the party of small government. That some in the GOP think there is such a thing as big government conservatism only shows how ailing it really is. Stick a thermometer in the mouth of the Bush crowd and their friends in the Senate and the House and watch the mercury climb to the letters GOS – short for Grand Old Spending.

· Bush has signed every spending bill that crossed his desk. His veto pen, apparently, was lost or stolen.

· His enormous education bill in 2001 was a loser, the big farm bill in 2002 was atrocious and the enormous Medicare prescription drug bill in 2003 could only cause the last remaining fiscal conservative in the White House to blush. Chalk the latter up as the largest entitlement expansion in the last four decades. For shame.

· As the deficit ballooned, all the President could talk about was cutting it in half. Faint-hearted, that.

· Reagan said, “Government is not the solution, it is the problem.” Our current president has said, "I am running with a compassionate conservative philosophy: that government should help people improve their lives, not try to run their lives."

Unfortunately, “help” has meant much more. And more means the government is running our lives more today than they did yesterday.

Do some real soul-searching, stat. No better time to do so. In the House, culturally and economically moderate Republicans took a serious hit. In the Senate it is a major loss that Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was defeated, but it is a plus that Ohio’s Sen. Mike DeWine and Rhode Island's Sen. Lincoln Chaffee are walking out with him. The latter, always a particularly onerous liberal inclusion into the party, won’t be part of the revival discussions. In other words, there are fewer liberals and moderates today, and a number of good conservatives should ponder what could happen in 2008 if the passionate Contract with America days could be revived. That is, get an economic and culturally conservative plan and execute it.

Find that pen. My hunch is that today Karl Rove and others are beginning to remember where they left that veto pen. Mr. Bush will need it as Democrats try to thrust all manner of deviance, higher taxes, and more spending on the populace. With the Democrats’ big election night over, so is Bush’s ability to assert his will from the Oval Office. But the Dems aren’t going to rule the roost either; hence, gridlock.

Search for and find your morally conservative character. The Judeo-Christian ethic is nothing to be ashamed of in public policy or personal life. When you either act like you are ashamed of it or find yourself, for instance, reluctant to flush out a congressman making passes at pages, well, you should be backpedaling on election day. Run on a higher moral plane, and appreciate that the American people holds you to that standard.

Embrace gridlock. Not a bad word, gridlock. It means things stay pretty much the same and, given the domestic possibilities with liberals running the committees, that is not bad. Heretofore President Bush wasn’t exactly moving the cultural agenda forward. So, nothing has really changed. Also, remember that presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton will be part of a gridlock Senate, and she has had her feminine pedestal stolen from her by the new most-important-woman-on-the-Hill Nancy Pelosi. Hard to successfully run for president as a New York liberal in the first place, but especially difficult from this diminished position.

Clench your teeth and listen, real good. Which means the biggest challenge for the opposition for the next two years is having to listen to the shrill and not infrequently bitter Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Her San Francisco-style gavel nows rule the House. Keep your ears open to Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers, Jr., of Michigan; a Banking Committee (Financial Services) chair, Barney Frank of Massachusetts; the Ways and Means Committee led by Charles B. Rangel of New York; and the Energy and Commerce leadership of John D. Dingell of Michigan.

Tall order, this listening mandate, but nothing should more quickly encourage those on the cultural and economic right to invigorate themselves.

The loss of this election should be good for the GOP. If they change. Really, truly, change.



At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt, unsure if you can fix your blog or not (it's also listed incorrectly in Agape Press), but Sen. Lincoln Chaffee is from Rhode Island...

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Jerome said...

Matt, great post and article at Agape Press. Your analysis is on target. Only time will tell if the republicans realize that the conservative base is screaming at them or if the leaders will try to interrupt what happened Tuesday as an indication that they should move more left.

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Holly said...

Hmm. I agree with your analysis.

p.s....Matt, if you know of any pastor's wives who need encouragement or support, please let them know about my new site...

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Pastor Randy Johnson said...

I read you article and could not disagree more. I am a Reagan Republican and agree that this group of Republicans was not a good one but this is why we have primaries. For you to say that this group of Demarcates is a good thing, means you have not thought this through. We as Americans and especially Christians will truly be hurting for at least the next two years and more. Any Christian who did not vote or voted for this mess in any way failed in their Christian duty and we will all suffer for what you all did. Please forgive me if I do not stand on my bible and sing your praises but I believe you will find out the hard way just how wrong you are.

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Randy, so Christians have to vote Republican? Who in the heck are you to say that Christian who didn't vote for the GOP "failed in their Christian duty"? Get over yourself.

At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Jay said...

Maybe the best thing about this election is that we saw Christian Democrats speaking out for their values and actully acknowledging God and Jesus Christ. They no doubt will "do their Christian duty" as our elected representatives.


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