Saturday, November 11, 2006

great take!!

Republicans Forgot Reagan's Message
by Marc RottermanPosted Nov 10, 2006
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Gate's Old Enemy
Election Observations
A Turnout Effort is Not a Message
Republicans Lost Because They Lost Their Way
As I write this column, three days after the midterm elections, the Democrats have taken over the House of Representatives and, with the concession of Sen. George Allen (R.-Va.), have captured the Senate as well.Make no mistake about it—this is Republican loss and not a conservative loss.Republicans lost because the Bush Administration and the Republican leadership too often cavalierly abandoned the populist conservative message and policies of President Ronald Reagan.For far too long the American people have come to view the conservative movement and the Republican Party as one and the same. Indeed, they are not. Conservatives need to re-establish their identity and independence from Republicanism. The Bush Administration has been hijacked by neo-conservatives who believe in “big government conservatism.” The very phase is an oxymoron—designed to give cover for big government intervention in both the domestic and foreign policy arenas.The neo-conservatives support open borders, expansion of the education bureaucracy and promoting democracy in the Mideast through military intervention.Republicans paid a heavy price at the ballot box for their failure over the last few years to live up to the ideals and standards which the American people believed they represented when they took the House of Representatives from the Democrats a decade ago and when Bush won the presidency in 2000.This election turned out to be just what many conservatives had feared—a referendum on the performance of the Bush White House and the Republican Congress, rather than a contest between the two competing party’s visions for America.Republicans lost touch with almost every element of their base.Economic conservatives could not understand it when the Bush White House teamed up with Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D.-Mass.) on “big government” legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the Medicare prescription drug bill. And they could not understand why “conservative” leaders such as former Rep. Tom DeLay (R.-Tex.) carried the water for the President on behalf of this massive expansion of government.Conservatives were perhaps most dismayed with the administration’s failure to secure our borders and to deal with illegal immigration. And many conservatives such as Bill Buckley, Brent Scowcroft and Pat Buchanan were skeptical early on about the war with Iraq which they viewed as unnecessary and not a part of the War on Terror.To further complicate matters, Republicans—who were elected by promising the highest standards of integrity—were involved in one scandal after another involving members of Congress, Republicans lobbyists and some members of the Bush Administration.Exit polls indicated that the American electorate had become more than skeptical regarding the war in Iraq, concerned about the war on terrorism and the scandals in Washington.One final nail in the coffin of the GOP was the failure “at all levels of government” in responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. (One note: In my opinion this emphatically excludes the leadership by Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi in efforts exhibited in rebuilding his state.)In short—the mid term elections can be summed as crisis of confidence in the GOP controlled Congress and the Bush White House.Sadly, it seems that the “Party of Reagan” has been hijacked by the neo-cons, the big government crowd and the pragmatists.The debate for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and the conservative movement has begun. Let’s hope we are up to the job. The question is this: Do we want do the stay the course or do we want to want to return to the “Party of Reagan?”
Mr. Rotterman is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation and a GOP consultant.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

republicans suck!....for the most part

they have no one to blame but themselves.......

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Political Hay
Renewing the Contract
By Philip Klein
Published 11/8/2006 12:09:29 AM

Those conservatives who are waking up dispirited about the Democratic Party's takeover of the House and its gains in the Senate would be wise to think back to a Wednesday two years ago.

On the morning of November 3, 2004, conservatives were euphoric as President Bush was re-elected comfortably and the GOP gained seats in the House and Senate -- knocking off Tom Daschle in the process. Republicans began to talk in terms of being a permanent majority. The Democrats, meanwhile, were demoralized -- seemingly destined for political irrelevance.

A lot has changed in two years, and a lot will change between now and November 4, 2008 -- when Americans go to the polls to elect President Bush's successor. Rather than seeing Tuesday's defeat as a crisis, Republicans should look at it as an opportunity to rehabilitate the party in time for that crucial election.

In assessing last night's results it is important to note that it was not a defeat for conservatism; it was a defeat for Republicanism, or at least, what Republicanism has come to represent. In the past 12 years, Republicans went from the party that promised "the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money" to the party of the Bridge to Nowhere; it took control of Congress on a pledge to "end its cycle of scandal and disgrace" and went down in defeat as the party of Tom DeLay and Mark Foley.

Having abandoned its core principles, the Republican Party had nothing to run on this year, so its campaign strategy centered on attacking Nancy Pelosi -- a questionable tactic given that, according to some polls, more than half of the country had never even heard of her.

Republican strategists who projected optimism over the past few months cited as reasons for their confidence: fundraising, incumbency advantage, gerrymandering and new innovations such as "microtargeting." But as this election made perfectly clear, none of this can bail out a party that is bereft of ideas.

We will hear a lot of reasons for why Republicans lost this year. We will hear that they lost because of an unpopular war, an unpopular president, a culture of corruption, a traditional anti-incumbent six-year itch and a dispirited base. But one thing is for sure. Republicans did not lose on a platform of limiting the size and scope of government.

Just as this election wasn't a defeat for conservatism, it wasn't a victory for liberalism. Democrats intentionally avoided a publicized "Contract With America"-style platform advancing a progressive agenda in favor of making the campaign a referendum on President Bush. The closest thing they had to a platform, "A New Direction for America," was not a sweeping ideological document, but a laundry list of initiatives such as making college tuition tax-deductible, raising the minimum wage, and negotiating drug prices. Though a Democratic majority will likely roll back President Bush's tax cuts, they didn't advertise that in the "fiscal discipline" section of their platform. (It is a testament to how enamored Republicans became with big government that they enabled Democrats to run as the party of fiscal discipline.)

After controlling the House of Representatives for the last 12 years and the White House for the last six, a lot of pent up anger developed toward Republicans. If the GOP had to lose an election as a result of this sentiment, better this year than in 2008, when Americans will choose who will lead the War on Terror into the next decade.

The Democratic Party will take power in January. Either they'll demonstrate to Americans that they have no governing philosophy, or they'll play to their anti-war base by pushing for a premature withdrawal from Iraq and go overboard with investigations of President Bush.

While the exposure of the Democratic Party during the next two years will help Republicans, the GOP should not head into the next election thinking that running against Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton will ensure victory. Instead, the Republicans need to differentiate themselves by returning to their small government roots and once again becoming the party of ideas.

In 1994, Republicans swept into power by signing a contract with America. That contract has been breached, and unless they want to lose the big prize in 2008, it's time for that pact to be renewed.

Philip Klein is a reporter for The American Spectator.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

another one for anne.............

November 1, 2006

John Kerry is the "botched joke" of American politics. For those of you keeping score at home, John Kerry has now called members of the U.S. military (a) stupid, (b) crazy, (c) murderers, (d) rapists, (e) terrorizers of Iraqi women and children. I wonder what he'll call them tomorrow. Whatever Karl Rove is paying John Kerry to say stupid things, it's worth every penny.

Now, back to the midterm elections ...

Analysts place the average midterm loss for the party in the White House at around 15 to 44 seats, depending on which elections are counted — only elected presidents, midterm elections since the Civil War, midterm elections since World War II, comparable-sized congresses, first and second midterm elections and so on.

The average first midterm election loss for every elected president since 1914 is 27 House seats and three Senate seats. The average sixth-year midterm election, like this year, is much worse for the president's party, which typically loses 34 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate.

This makes the average loss in two midterm elections for the party in the White House: 30 House seats and four or five Senate seats in each midterm election.

In his first midterm election, George W. Bush picked up six House seats and two Senate seats — making him, according to The New York Times, "the first Republican president to gain House seats in an off-year election" and only the third president of either party to pick up House seats in a midterm election since the Civil War.

This means that for Democrats simply to match the historical average gain for the party out of the White House during the first and second midterm, they would have to pick up 67 seats in the House and 11 seats in the Senate. They're about 30 Mark Foleys short of having that happen.

It at least seems clear that Democrat gains this year are going to fall far short of the historical average. No poll has the Democrats winning even half of their rightful midterm gains.

Despite the precedent of big wins in midterm elections for the party out of power — especially in a sixth-year midterm election — something is depressing the Democrats' popularity with Americans this year. I suspect it's the perception that many of them are Democrats.

But instead of recognizing that the Democratic Party is a dying party, falling far short of its due historical gains, any gain by the Democrats will be hailed as a crowning mandate for the party that wants to lose the Iraq war, shut down Guantanamo and stop spying on Islamic terrorists on U.S. soil.

Even a dying party has death throes. If Democrats win a slight majority in the House or Senate, Americans will get shrill, insane leadership of the nation in time of war.

Democrats can't not be crazy. They will instantly set to work enacting a national gay marriage law, impeachment hearings, slavery reparations and a series of new federal felonies for abortion clinic protesters. The only way to get Democrats to focus on terrorists would be to convince them that the terrorists are interfering with a woman's right to choose or that commercial jetliners exploding in midair are a threat to America's wetlands.

The probable new House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is in a catfight with Rep. Jane Harman for not being insane enough. Pelosi has indicated she will deny Harman the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee, instead giving it to Rep. Alcee Hastings, whom Pelosi voted to impeach from his federal judgeship in 1988 for conspiring to extract a $150,000 bribe from convicted criminals in return for lowering their sentences.

An O.J. jury had acquitted Hastings on the bribery charge in a criminal proceeding, though his alleged co-conspirator, attorney William Borders, was convicted.

But the evidence of Hastings' bribery plot was so overwhelming that a Democratic House voted to impeach Hastings 413-3 on 17 separate counts — including falsifying evidence to win his acquittal in the criminal case, and a majority Democratic Senate voted to convict Hastings on the very first count by 69-26, enough to remove him from office.

Rep. John Conyers Jr. — another finalist for the coveted "craziest Democrat in congress" title — led the charge for Hastings' impeachment, saying the judge had "betrayed his office."

In addition to having a history of soliciting bribes from criminals before his court, Hastings wants to shut down Guantanamo, and he adamantly opposes the U.S. government listening to phone calls from al-Qaida phones to anyone in America (especially federal judges negotiating bribery deals by telephone).

As millions of lunatic Muslims plot to murder Americans, some Americans — we call them "Soccer Moms" — will cast a vote to save Michael J. Fox this year. In the process, they will put all Americans at risk by voting for a frivolous, dying party.