Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What Last Tuesday Meant

I have been so close over the past week to writing this post, but a range of things, from moving to being swamped at work, have kept me from doing so. I truly hope none of you have read anything into the silence.

At the risk of being a little late in the analysis, I will keep this as brief as possible, for your sake and for mine.

Credit Where Credit is Due. While I disagree vehemently with most of what the liberal Democrat Party has to offer in the way of solutions for America’s problems (both real and perceived), I would nonetheless like to congratulate it for its decisive victory during these midterm elections.

Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) did a very effective job of both staying on-message and making sure that party rank and file remained disciplined during the stretch run, neither of which are easy tasks. Rahm Emmanuel (D-Ill.), as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, brilliantly recruited an incoming class of representatives who appealed to frequently neglected conservative Democrats and pre-empted moderate and conservative Republicans on some of the issues that historically have belonged solely to the latter. (This may not be a long-term positive for Democrats – I’ll get to that in a minute – but for now, it means majority status.)

Republican Loss, Conservative Victory. More than a few commentators have cast this election as proof positive that conservatism is not a viable political force in American politics. If anything, I think what last Tuesday showed us is that conservatism is not only a viable political force, but that it is preferred by the majority of Americans, and feckless politicians abandon conservative principles at their electoral peril. To put it in even starker terms, this week was a victory for conservatism because it kicked out non-conservatives.

What do I mean? One need only scan the list of incumbent Republicans who fell at the hands of Democrats to know that the losers were those who had long since abandoned any pretense at being conservative when it came to governing. Those moderates came crashing down when challenged by Democrats who were even vaguely conservative on even a few issues, and many of those congressional Republicans who lectured conservatives about the need for compromise are looking for employment.

While some Republicans have decried last Tuesday’s results, it actually seems like a positive for the forces of conservatism. The mushy among us have been boiled off, and true conservatives are in a better position to run the show next time around – if we ever have a “next time.”

Democrats, Show Thyselves! Our very own G-Veg is representative of a significant portion of conservative Democrat and moderate Republican voters who think that the new conservative incoming class of Democrat representatives (this does not really apply to the Senate – Casey is an anomaly) will push the Democrat Party to the right and force it to lead from the center. I urge those of you who feel that way to not hold your breath.

The Democrat Party will remain a liberal vehicle for pseudo-socialist policies, notwithstanding the new crop of conservative-leaning members. One need only look at the people who have been tapped for leadership positions. The ultra-liberal Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) will be running the House Ways and Means Committee. Fellow lib John Conyers (D-Mich.) – the very same one who called for President Bush’s impeachment, and, to my knowledge, still has an active, pending piece of legislation with his name on it that calls for the same – will be running the House Judiciary Committee. And not two days ago, Speaker-to-be Pelosi gave her blessing to the anti-war John “ABSCAM” Murtha (D-Okinawa) in the race for House Majority Leader, bypassing Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). (Check out this story, which already shows an early fault line amidst the newly minted Democrat House leadership.)

The new kids will have no voice now, if ever. They will be told to sit in the corner, smile, and tow the party line when told to do so. Assuming that their campaign conservatism was a true and legitimate expression of their innate political beliefs and not just a campaign tactic, they will be frustrated by their inability to get things done. Ironically, the Democrats’ victory at the polls may make it easier for conservatives to push for their ideas and possibly bring legislation to the floor, since an alliance between the remaining conservative Republicans and the new conservative Democrats could force the Democrat leadership to bend in order to retain power. Only time will tell.

The Difference Between Them and Us. While the Republican Party has been on my hit list of late for being so weak and refusing to back conservative principles, I commend those Republicans who lost and lost with grace and decency, which is to say I commend all Republicans who lost. To my knowledge, there has not been a single Republican who has claimed his or her loss was the result of widespread voter fraud or broken machines. They simply heard the results, called their opponents to congratulate them, and conceded their races. This is how the Founding Father envisioned it – a peaceful transfer of power by inherently decent people.

Contrast the above civilized reaction with what happens when Democrats lose: they whine, they bitch, they allege civil rights violations (that are never supported by any factual evidence), they file law suits. In other words, Democrats take their blocks and go home when the results don’t turn out the way they would like. Democrats tend to be (if I may bring back a phrase from the 2000 election) Sore Losermen. I chalk this up to their arrogant assumption that they have a birthright to power, and that anything that interferes with that birthright somehow represents a disruption of the natural order of the universe. There are many reasons I am glad to be a Republican, and this is one more on the pile.

A Weak Bush. Who would have thought that it would be our very own President Bush who would cut and run?

I will admit: I am furious with the president for his weakness of late. After listening to him speak about the importance of this war, and how we need to persist in our mission, and how the war’s execution is independent of domestic political forces, President Bush made a 180-degree turn the day after an election that did not go his way, throwing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld under the bus (as if that somehow accomplishes anything) and embracing defeatist calls for rapid “redeployment” (an Orwellian word that actually means abandoning the Iraqi people). As if that was not bad enough, President Bush is now salivating at the possibility of further frittering away American sovereignty by pursuing an illegal alien amnesty program, as well as caving to Democrats on some of their pet socialist issues in the hopes of staying popular. I feel like I have been experiencing Clinton-era deja vu this past week.

I thought I voted for someone with firm convictions, who didn’t waver, who didn’t let the political winds of the day alter his innermost beliefs. I am sad to say that I was wrong, at least in light of what I have seen of late. I am now looking forward to the next presidential race, not so much because I will enjoy it (although I will), but rather because it will give conservatives a chance to vote for an actual leader.

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