removing the "mis" from information

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

GOP Loses - Should Conservatives Celebrate?

I think our chances improved overnight. Even with "our" party controlling all three branches of government, our agenda never made it to the table, except as the subject of an occasional and reluctant symbolic (never substantial) tip of the hat. We got two SCOTUS judges out of the entire six years; while I'm thankful for those two, that they are the entire accomplishment of this government in all that time is incredibly shameful.

In the post-WW2 era, there have been three core reasons to vote GOP:

1) Smaller government/lower taxes
2) Protection of liberty and repeal of restrictions/regulations on it
3) Strong national defense

The outgoing GOP government made a travesty of the first, a mockery of the second, and a farce of the third:

- Spending through the roof. No secret. First act: $1.2 trillion dollar prescription drug program the excesses of which would make LBJ blush.
- One small tax cut five years ago with an expiration date attached is not much of a claim to tax-cutting, not when more and more people are affected by the AMT, something that got no attention under 6 years of GOP governance.
- Demands for sacrifice of personal liberty from citizens, but illegal aliens subject to fewer and fewer restrictions. Did they think people didn't notice?
- Controlling the borders and the passage of human beings across them should have become an immediate national priority before noon on 9/11. This is common sense. Five years later we have a proposal for a fence that may not be a real fence and only covers a third of one of two very long borders anyway... and whether it is funded or not, and whether the funds will be spent on actually building it, those questions are still awaiting answers.
- Iraq. There are a lot of people who completely agree that Saddam needed to be taken out but were never convinced that "nation-building" was a necessary or proper step... and even among those who wanted some measure of nation-building, how many envisioned this?
- Strategically, the best reason to go into Iraq was to use it as a base from which to deal with Syria and Iran; indeed, this was a clinching argument in placing Iraq into the overall framework of the War on Terror. But instead of pressuring those nations, we allow them to pressure us instead, without consequence. We are no longer setting the terms of the conflict according to our needs.
- Who supports the soldier? Is it the one who uses him for political ends, allowing jihadis to take potshots at him from safe havens in Syria, in Iran, and in Iraq itself? Or the one that wants to empower him to get the job done and come home to his family?

Of course the Democrats are evil. They are not ashamed at all and will pretty much tell you so. But this is not an argument to support a GOP that is morphing into a second Democrat party - rather it is an argument to clean house, because we can only get our agenda on the table if we control the GOP. If we support a GOP we don't control, we are simply pushing further into the future the day when we have a representative of and advocate for our views at the national table. First, the GOP must be what we want it to be; only then can it be used as a tool to defeat the Democrats. Without first controlling the GOP there is no gain from defeating the Democrats; a lefty-controlled GOP is just as bad as lefty-controlled Dems (a redundant phrase), and worse in some cases. It is because the Democrats are beyond hope that we cannot allow the GOP to be the same.

So yeah, we got two good SCOTUS judges. But I'll tell you something, and that is that the simple willingness of the legislature to assert its Constitutional prerogative on oversight of the judiciary and the Presidency would have been a hundred times as powerful. The lack of will to do that or to otherwise put themselves out for the people who put them into office translated directly into a lack of will of the people to keep them in office.


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