Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Why We Lost
The simple, short answer is that we stopped being the party of Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich. In 1994, Republicans swept into the House and Senate by nationalizing the election on smaller government, lower taxes, ending corruption, and term limits. They had clearly lost sight of these principles, and it has cost them dearly. Hopefully, though I had hoped this day would not come to pass, the Republicans in Congress will learn a lesson. Compromising your principles does not play well with the people. Over the next two years, we will have to fend off impeachment, completely opened borders (how we will do this, I do not know), higher taxes (likely vetoed by the President), an impression of weakness given to the terrorists, and socialized medicine among other issues. We will no longer get any of our judges through the Senate. Despite what could be called a "typical" 2nd midterm for the President, much will change. The good news? There isn't much, other than that we found out George Allen would not be able to win the presidency before it became a more disastrous situation, and now we have something to "run against" in the Dem majority. Hopefully, the party of not-so-loyal opposition will change their tune and actually show some resolve with regards to the defense of this nation during their stay in power.

One notable item is that conservative bloggers are not crying foul. They are not blaring voter fraud, poll intimidation, or any other conspiracy theories. It seems as though most of the conservative bloggers are turning inward, criticizing the party for what it has done wrong, and offering ideas on how to fix it. This is why we are going to be successful in the future, and need to work on getting our act back together by 2008. Unfortunately, the President offers us a lukewarm champion and spokesman. His betrayal of the base has been stunning, and I hope he can find it within himself to come back and govern in the mold of Reagan.

Dean Barnett has the best article I've seen so far on this. From his post:
In the closing weeks of the campaign season, I felt like I was a lawyer who had a bad client while writing this blog. That client was the Republican Party which had broken its Contract with America from 1994 and had become unmoored from its conservative principles. As its advocate, I couldn’t make a more compelling case for Republicans staying in power than the fact that the Democrats would be worse. I believed in that case, but when that’s all the party gave its advocates to work with, you can honestly conclude that Republicans got this drubbing the old fashioned way – we earned it.
As far as Ohio is concerned, we can directly thank Bob Taft and his ilk. There was little hope from the outset in this state, with much thanks to the Ohio Republican Party for essentially endorsing Petro in the primary, and never really getting excited about the Blackwell candidacy. I reiterate my disappointment that Ken Blackwell had to run this year, hopefully we will see him show up in a future race somewhere in Ohio (maybe as a Voinovich opponent in the next primary). Mike DeWine sealed his own fate by disregarding his constituents and siding with the "Gang of 14" in the Senate. It will be a while before Ohio recovers, we now have a very liberal senator in the mold of Glenn and Metzenbaum for the next 6 years, and a Dick Celeste clone in the Governor's mansion for 4. The disastrous minimum wage increase also passed in my home state, and this means jobs will flee the buckeye state even more quickly than they have been (which is saying something)! At least Jean Schmidt and LaSalle grad Steve Chabot were able to pull out victories.

We now need to regroup, and refocus our message. We need to start acting like conservatives again, or risk not winning elections for some time to come. The polls say people were voting against Bush, not against their respective congressional candidates. Next time, let's give them someone to vote FOR.

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