Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is The Republican Party Dead Or On Life Support?

The Republican party has lost three consecutive special elections in “safe” districts. This has led many pundits to question whether the Republican party is dead. I'm not sure if the proper question is whether the Republican party is dead but if conservatism is, and the answer is no.

I believe the country is still right of center. The reality is that a large part of the candidates winning for Democrats this year and last, including the winner in Mississippi, are conservatives (or at least their version of one). This gives voters in these districts easier choices. I believe that if the Democrats had ran typical Democratic candidates, they would not have won Congress.

Republicans appear to have lost their way for now. They are not dealing with immigration, they spend money like drunken sailors, and they have been making a mockery of the family values reputation by chasing prostitutes, male pages, etc.

We have actually had some good things happen in the last 7+ years. No terrorist attacks since 9/11. Good economic numbers and strong stock market until the last few months. Improving conditions in Iraq. More equitable taxes. Prescription drug benefits for seniors.

Do Republicans talk about this? No, they spend too much time apologizing for everything. Every time one of them point out a shortcoming of the Democratic party, the Democrats go on the attack and the liberal media lambastes them. The "offending" Republican then apologizes and backs down. On Iraq the Republicans cave to the media and refuse to publicly acknowledge some of the improvements. It is very possible that if some of the Republican politicians would show some backbone and support the successes in the war on terror we wouldn’t have such strong public opinion against the war.

They would get a lot more of my respect if they would, for once, stand up and say 'that is what I said and dammit, I meant it'. The Republicans were driving me nuts in the 2006 elections. I just wanted them to fight back. One example is the Mark Foley male page scandal. Obviously he was a despicable person. But the GOP let the Democrats completely control the dialogue. The Republicans should have immediately thrown him under the bus (he was a dirt bag) and then when the Democrats began attacking, reply with 'let's talk about Gerry Stubbs'. Gerry Stubbs was a Democratic congressman who had an affair with a male page. He did not resign, as Mark Foley did, he was censured by the Democratic controlled Congress and was allowed to continue serving several more years. I was practically screaming at the TV for the Republicans to fight back. Instead they caved to the media and fell over themselves to make amends.

I realize that voters get turned off by the constant fighting between the parties. I believe though that I am not the only conservative that is tired of the Republicans rolling over and playing dead. There is, and has been for awhile, an incredible lack of leadership in the Republican party. Dennis Hastert was a weak leader in the House. He at least did the honorable thing and fell on his sword and retired. Maybe we need to hand out a few more swords in Congress and get fresh new leadership.
They need to do it fast though, the party is on life support and someone just tripped over the cord.

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