Wednesday, November 15, 2006

again...pat...right on the money...

November 10, 2006

PJB: Are More ‘Thumpings’ Needed?
posted by Linda

by Patrick J. Buchanan

While the losses were not large for the sixth year of a sitting president – a net of six Senate seats and 30-odd House seats – the significance of Nov. 7 is huge and the consequences will be historic. But it is crucial to sift out what the nation was saying and what it was not saying. Nov. 7 was a referendum on George Bush, the Iraq war and the Republican Party, and, undeniably, a repudiation of all three. Tuesday’s rout is what happens to a hubristic party that leads a nation into an unnecessary and unwise war, and presents that nation with a congressional face of self-indulgence and corruption….

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Are More ‘Thumpings’ Needed?
by Patrick J. Buchanan - November 10, 2006

While the losses were not large for the sixth year of a sitting president – a net of six Senate seats and 30-odd House seats – the significance of Nov. 7 is huge and the consequences will be historic.

But it is crucial to sift out what the nation was saying and what it was not saying. Nov. 7 was a referendum on George Bush, the Iraq war and the Republican Party, and, undeniably, a repudiation of all three. Tuesday’s rout is what happens to a hubristic party that leads a nation into an unnecessary and unwise war, and presents that nation with a congressional face of self-indulgence and corruption.

But the nation that rejected Bush and the Republicans did not reject conservatism. To the contrary, it seemed to want to punish the prodigal sons for abandoning the faith of their fathers.

What did America vote against?

It voted against Bush’s war of democratic imperialism and the mismanagement of that war. It voted against Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham and Mark Foley. It voted against a party that postures as conservative while indulging in a six-year pig-out on the taxpayers’ tab, the altarpiece of which was a $250 million “bridge to nowhere.”

What did America not vote against? It did not vote against tax cuts or conservative judges or a security fence. How do we know? Because no Democrat in a hotly contested race said he would raise taxes, reject Supreme Court nominees like John Roberts and Samuel Alito or grant amnesty for illegal aliens.

The principal beneficiary of the election may be Nancy Pelosi, but this election was no mandate for an ultraliberal feminist who spent much of the campaign in protective custody so America would not see what they would be getting when they dumped Denny Hastert.

But if this was no mandate for a new “progressive era,” as the media are trying to portray it, what was it a mandate for?

The answers are apparent.

The nation agrees with the Democratic Party that the minimum wage should be raised and a cost-benefit analysis done on Bush trade deals that leave Wal-Mart cluttered with cheap Chinese goods, while hollowing out American manufacturing and converting company towns into ghost towns.

The open-borders crowd is chortling that Randy Graf and J.D. Hayworth went down to defeat, but deliberately ignores the far more relevant fact that Arizonans voted even tougher restrictions on state benefits for illegal aliens.

In Michigan, the GOP establishment deserted Ward Connerly’s principled battle to end reverse discrimination. But while the GOP went down to defeat, the Connerly ballot initiative, rooted in the idea of equal justice under law for all races, swept to a 58-42 victory. When Republicans desert Reagan Democrats, Reagan Democrats desert the GOP. Which is as it should be.

On social issues, our national division that dates to the cultural wars of the ’60s, endures. Embryonic stem cell research lost a huge lead to win a slim victory in Missouri, while the toughest anti-abortion law in America went down to narrow defeat in South Dakota. But gay marriage was routed in every state where it was on the ballot, and pot for medicinal purposes was rejected in libertarian Nevada.

Yet the effect of the Republican defeat on Bush appears to have been almost destabilizing. Within 48 hours, all the campaign bluster was gone and Bush was moving to accommodate his critics.

He fired and humiliated his loyal deputy Donald Rumsfeld, told the new Mexican president he would fight for “comprehensive” reform of U.S. immigration law – i.e., amnesty and open borders – and had Nancy Pelosi down to the Oval Office, where she was treated as a queen, despite having portrayed the president as an incompetent ignoramus.

Coupled with what appears to be the outsourcing of Iraq policy to James Baker, Bush family consigliore, the questions arise, one after the other. Is there any real core to George W. Bush? Is there any real constancy of character and purpose?

And do we have another broken presidency on our hands?

For conservatives, the lessons of 2006 seem clear. They failed in their duty to hold the Republican Party to account when it departed from principle and political ethics, and thus failed to rescue it from the rout it has now received. The Right failed in the basic responsibility of true camaraderie: Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.

What conservatives should do now is what they should have been doing for six years. Stand behind the president when he fights for low taxes and conservative judges. But when he joins with Pelosi, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderon and McCain-Kennedy for open borders, or with Dick Durbin for “moderate justices,” give him another “thumping” – like he got from conservatives when he sought to elevate Harrier Miers to the Supreme Court and just as he got from the nation on Nov. 7.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

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Raising a Banner of Bold Colors: Republicanism Lost, but Conservatism Did Not
by Newt GingrichPosted Nov 13, 2006
When it comes to the lessons of the 2006 elections, it's very important to set the record straight. I traveled throughout the country this election year. I met with Americans in all the key states. And what I now understand is this: Republicans lost, but conservatism didn't.
Many of the Democrats who won this year ran as non-liberals -- in some cases, as outright conservatives. A number of them, including some incumbents, explicitly disavowed liberal Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and San Francisco values. Many repudiated Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry's smear of American troops in Iraq. Remember, he was effectively driven off the campaign trail for the last 10 days by his own party.
The result was that, by Election Day, Democrats were seen as better at controlling government spending and at reducing taxes.
In Two Short Years, Republicans Lost the Advantage of Reform
Republicans, in two short years, gave up the advantages on taxes, balancing the budget and controlling spending that they had spent three generations earning.
On Katrina, controlling the border and Iraq, Republicans gave up the advantage as the party of management that could get things done -- an advantage they had held since the 1950s.
And here's the key: The elite media, liberal Democrats and establishment Republicans will do everything they can to portray this election as a repudiation of conservatism. Their game plan is to panic Republicans into selling out their grassroots base and adopting a series of really bad ideas which will -- in their words -- "salvage" the Bush Administration.
In fact, such a strategy would be an absolute disaster for the Republican Party, guaranteeing a division within the Republican ranks by sparking a revolt by the conservatives.
Reagan at CPAC: 'No Pale Pastels'
The last time Republicans had an electoral disaster (and make no mistake, that is what 2006 was -- in the Senate, the House, the governorships and state legislatures), California Gov. Ronald Reagan had some straightforward advice for the Republican Party. In 1975, he came to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and said:
"Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors, which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?"
Reagan at the 1976 GOP Convention: 'Bold, Unmistakable Colors'
Again and again, Reagan would come back to this theme of bold clarity. In his impromptu speech at the 1976 Republican National Convention, Gov. Reagan again said:
"There are cynics who say that a party platform is something that no one bothers to read and it doesn't very often amount to much.
"Whether it is different this time than it has ever been before, I believe the Republican Party has a platform that is a banner of bold, unmistakable colors, with no pastel shades.
"We have just heard a call to arms based on that platform, and a call to us to really be successful in communicating and reveal to the American people the difference between this platform and the platform of the opposing party, which is nothing but a revamp and a reissue and a running of a late, late show of the thing that we have been hearing from them for the last 40 years."
The Problem Has Not Been With Conservatism or Our Voters
For the next four years, Gov. Reagan would continue to be bold, clear and decisive. In 1980, he won a landslide election for the presidency and brought with him a Republican Senate and a 33-seat increase in House Republican numbers.
Today, some Republican leaders will advocate that we steer a different course. They will insist that we find a way to be appealing to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. They will be wrong.
We should appeal to the Blue Dog Democrats who claim to be conservative. We should appeal to their voters and their supporters back home. Even more, we should appeal to the majority of the American people by returning the Republican Party, once again, to the party of reform, ideas, solutions and common-sense conservatism.
We should rebuild the grassroots conservative movement. From the Reagan Revolution of 1980 through the Contract with America in 1994, it was this movement from outside Washington that carried us to the first center-right majority governing coalition in more than 60 years.
The problem has not been with conservatism or with our voters.
The problem has been with Republican leaders who forgot who elected them and what values their supporters expected to see implemented in Washington.
Over the next few weeks, I will report to you directly and clearly about the proposals that are coming forth and the strategies that are being recommended. I will be your eyes and your ears in this time of profound challenge and opportunity for our movement and, as always, I will not be afraid to speak out. In the meantime, I hope you will let your congressman and your senators know where you stand on these vital concerns.
This was not a realigning election as 1994 was. Voters did not vote "for" the Democrats but "against" Republicans. Now, it will be up to us to see that the results of the 2006 election serve as a temporary but necessary corrective interruption in our goal of getting to a conservative governing majority. Take heart, while there is much to be done, I believe if we are focused, disciplined and we work together, we will Win the Future for America.Your friend, Newt Gingrich
P.S. Just yesterday it was reported that incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is supporting Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) for majority leader. This is a sign that Pelosi, despite all her talk of moving to the center and reaching out to conservatives, will govern from the left. It is a direct assault on the moderate wing of the Democratic Party and a deliberate break with the second-ranking Democrat in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.). The next test for whether Pelosi will govern from the left or the center will be if she appoints Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), the impeached former federal judge, to chair the Intelligence Committee. No national security supporter will be comfortable with Hastings' having oversight of the nation's secrets, but the pressure on Pelosi to appease the Black Caucus is immense. Stay tuned.
Mr. Gingrich is the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and author of "Winning the Future" (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company). Click here to get his free Winning the Future e-mail newsletter.