Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where do we go from here: A call to arms

Put the guns down. It's not a literal call to arms, though the fight we face will be a tough one, to say the least. But that was a question we had to field from a lot of people last night, and after a very long night -- with long, hard thoughts -- I decided to put together some prescient thoughts about the future. See, I know the GOP is demoralized this morning. The election didn't go our way. For some odd reason the people of this nation bought into the empty rhetoric of an inexperienced rookie; rhetoric that will be as empty as his promises as Obama begins to swing this nation towards the grasp of socialism.

"Ok, genius, so what do you think we need to do?"

First, I'll cite this from the editors of National Review because they hit the nail on the head:

The public has, however, clearly rejected the Republican party in its present configuration. It is always difficult for a party to maintain control of the White House after two terms in office. But both President Bush and Senator McCain made the task harder. Bush took too long to change course in Iraq and botched the response to Hurricane Katrina. McCain rarely stuck to one message or strategy. The financial crisis, for which we do not primarily blame either man, sealed the party’s fate.

But Republicans have been so unpopular for so long, and their failure has been so sweeping, that it is a mistake to dwell too long on the flaws of specific men or the consequences of particular events. Neither Bush nor McCain nor congressional Republicans gave much sign that they understood the frustrations that average Americans have felt over the last few years toward the economy and Washington, let alone that they had solutions. The exit polls demonstrate this failure again and again: in the questions about which party and candidates voters consider the most sympathetic to regular people; in the questions about who would do best for the economy; in the breakdown of the vote by income.

I think we can agree on two things. First, President Bush showed resolve in the face of a bloodthirsty enemy intent on destroying the West. Granted, he made mistakes, but his staunch support of the mission, and the troops, was commendable. Second, compassionate conservatism -- Bush's own self-described political ideology -- is over. It's done like dinner. It didn't help our side at all because he demanded bipartisanship in Washington when the Democrat's idea of that is that Republicans cave to them instead of actually meeting halfway. Folks, bipartisanship should be the first thing to go under the bus. If we want a shot at the Congress in 2010 and the White House in 2012 we need to stop making nice with Democrats. Why? Because you can't make nice with a pitbull intent on ripping your throat out.

For far too long the Democrats have been playing the gutter knife fight. What did we bring to the fight? A bouquet of daffodils in one hand, and a bouquet of lilies in the other hand. Appropo I believe because we were already mourning our death. So we need to switch up how we play this game. In 2000, Bush was better than Gore, but he brought this "go along, get along" mentality to a town that is highly polarized. In 2004, there was no way in Hell we were going to change leaders in the middle of a war. In 2002, we made gains in the Congress, same as we did in 2004. But in 2006 the base was firmly divided.

Do we support the party that's ticked us off with their ineffective fecklessness? or do we stay home? The base cut off it's nose to spite it's face, and the slow slide to defeat began then. Do we advocate supporting dirtbags in Congress? To save the majority, yes. We can focus on the key ones to get rid of (as we did in 2006 with Lincoln Chafee), but to play the petulant game -- to throw a tantrum -- so we can thump our chest and claim the high, moral ground was just plain foolish. (Recall the approval rating of Congress right now, and the fact I believed that low number would have helped us close the gap, especially in the House. It helped stave off disaster in the Senate, but it didn't translate to the House, which I find most peculiar.) And I say this for the likes of a couple -- and they know who they are -- that think they did the right thing in 2006. No, you didn't. Thank you very much for enabling the Left to be emboldened.

So, again, what do we do? First things first. We need leaders in Congress that are going to hold the line. We read this morning that Eric Cantor will seek the House Whip position which is a step in the right direction. Boehner is reported to be going for another term as minority leader in the House, which we feel is a mistake. the best person for this position, and we hope he considers it and makes a run for it, is John Shadegg. Boehner was given his chance, and he didn't do the best job. So the House needs a serious reformation within our party. Second, we need to quit playing nice with the Democrats. They're not the go along, get along types. It's time to start playing hardball, especially with the fact that the Democrats have overwhelming control of the House. (Recall the Blue Dogs from 2006? Guess what? They don't have to try and work with our side any longer. Before they did, to protect their seats. Now they don't. Forget the Blue Dogs.) Third, we need to target vulnerable Democrat seats, and weak Republican seats.

How do we do that, and who do we choose? We target them as the next year, or so, goes on. They'll reveal themselves in time, and when they do, we need to strike while the iron is hot. Who do we choose? No offense folks, but I think it's time for the base to get up off of it's collective backside. It's time for us to quit looking around for people. It's time for the people to stand up, pick up the mantle, and make the case themselves. In other words active people within the base need to take the initiative. No, an election won't be easy, but we're not stupid. For crying out loud, almost every night I speak with thirty of the smartest people I know of in a chat room. They say the right things. They have the right ideas. There's certainly more than thirty people in this nation with similar ideas. It's time for new faces and fresh blood in the Congress, and we're that change. THAT is how we do it. Mitt Romney and Michael Steele are assembling PACs right now looking for new, fresh conservative voices for office. Want to make a difference? Get involved with them.

In the Senate we have a fine leader in Mitch McConnell. And thank you to the voters in Kentucky for returning him back to his seat in the Senate. But we need a few new Mitch McConnells to revitalize the party there. Over the next two-to-four years, McConnell and his party had better use the filibuster on the most radical aspects of the Democrat agenda. That means the tax hikes that are coming, Card Check, and the possible return of the Fairness Doctrine. That includes the most extreme and extraordinary jurists that Obama will nominate because we know he's going to do that. (In this particular regard we can take heart in the fact that the one conservative, originalist justice on the high court that could retire due to age -- Justice Antonin Scalia -- won't be retiring under Obama. He knows hew can't let his seat slip to a liberal justice. Despite the fact the high court doesn't necessarily play politics, Scalia isn't a dummy.) So for the Senate, we're in better shape than the House, but we still have work to do there, too.

The simple lesson to take away from this election is that we have work to do, and it's not going to be easy. We did have some good news last night, but it was overwhelmed by the loss of the White House. (For the record, despite our optimism we knew that the odds were long to keep the White House, so the results weren't surprising. It is so rare for me to be surprised nowadays when it comes to politics.) But that work comes from us. We need new blood -- fresh faces and a return to our base principles -- to bring the nation back to the place it was so long ago.

We're firm believers in Hugh Hewitt's big tent idea. The party is a big tent, and we can take in those who want to join our side. But here's the kicker: Our ideology isn't flexible. We need to send the message that if you're a Democrat, an Independent, or a moderate, you're welcome in the tent, but we're not going to rework our ideology to appeal to you. We have always stood for smaller government -- a less intrusive and confiscatory government. That needs to be the rock we rebuild the conservative coalition on. We have always stood for a strong national defense. It's a dangerous world and we can ill afford to drop the ball now, unless we want to see another 11 September visited upon America. (And if you want to see that, then get the Hell out of our country.) We have always stood up for morals. Conservatism last night won on a host of ballot propositions, including the marriage amendments in Florida, California, and Arizona.

The point being is that it's time for conservatives to come out of the woods; to quit wandering around in darkness. We need to retake the rhetoric away from the moderate, centrists that seem to be sounding off in our name, in our party. Centrism isn't the way to go. It can help to see the middle, but we should be resoundingly conservative in not only nature, but demeanor. For too long we've played the games, let people have their say, and I'm not saying that those people shouldn't have their say. But if we really want to see change, it's time for the moderates to take a backseat for a little while. I know that might offend a few people, and for that I apologize. But remember what the question is.

What do we do now?

Moderation has caused us to go this route. At NRO a symposium was put together that addresses how the GOP got where it is today and their analysis is spot-on. It's time to return to the roots of the party. For that to happen we need to have conservatives challenge the weak-willed, linguine-spined members of Congress that fail in their vow to represent us. For us to retake the White House we need to seek out a leader that can be the voice of the party. Who will that be? Well, let's just say we're going to have to do some hard looking for that person. It's not going to be someone that comes readily to our attention. At the same time, that person needs to start speaking right now. (And no, reading the tea leaves right now isn't going to give us an answer. Like I said, we're going to have to look for that person.)

Another thing that must happen, and I know a lot of people think that I'm beating a dead horse on this point, is that the voices on our side need to form a solid coalition. The center-Left blogosphere is much better organized than our side is, and that needs to change. We need to be on the same page. Yes, we all have different opinions, but our goals should be the same. Those of us that share the conservative principles envisioned and executed by Ronald Reagan need to be the leaders in the 'Sphere. That means a lot of work for us because we're going to have to the the recon teams going out there and promoting the new, fresh blood for Congress.

Whatever you feel, don't let last night get you down. Obama may be the president, but his term in office will be anything but smooth sailing. If nothing else last night has steeled our resolve, and we're determined to bring about the right sort of change for this nation. Granted, with four years of Obama, and at least two years of a Democrat-dominated Congress, changing things when these fools are done won't be easy. But we shouldn't lose heart. The nation isn't in shambles. It's not burning as Washington, DC was burned in 1814 by the British. We're still in one piece. The road ahead for our side is going to have some bumps, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't take that road. The easy path is the one we've taken for the last decade, or so, and it's lead us to this point in the party's history. We're out of power, and we're turning on each other.

No, no, no. We need to stay united. We need to stay diligent. As Thomas Jefferson once opined "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance," and Lord knows we need to do that now. We can't give up now, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. Today is the day that work begins. It's time we quit feeling sorry for ourselves, and moping about. Let's get on with it. The fight ahead isn't for the faint of heart, and it's not one we can afford to lose. The nation depends on us to make sure we don't lose what we have. The Left isn't going to stand up for it. The change they want is completely contrary to the founding principles. Our side stands up for those principles, and if we return to those principles we can take back the party, and take back the nation.

So, let's get started, shall we?

Publius II

4 Comments:

Anonymous Joe Gringo said...

Excellent analysis.

As Republicans, we got the proverbial kick in the 'ol a**, a major wake up call. Look, the team I absolutely refuse to lose to is the Democrats, I'm tasting blood....in a good way. You are right, we need to re-assess where we are at. We've got excellent people to re-focus the conservative Republican party.....Palin, Mitt, Michael Steele, Jindal, Sanford, Santorum, Shadegg, Cantor, Jeb Bush(?) to name a few...no making nice and appeal to moderates, time to re-brand/re-focus.

I am energized.

Now when are we going to get your own radio show? I'm serious.

November 5, 2008 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger road warrior said...

I know, i know. Republican feel like there is no hope and they they are so out numbered that there is no hope. Come on. Did Obama teach us all to have hope! (that was a joke) But serisouly, the liberal illuminati talked this country into jumping on their ship and we did in a major way. But when Obama flops in the next few years everybody will jump off and be looking for another boat. Step in the right, again. Rupublican will have their turn again, i am certain of it.

November 6, 2008 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

brilliant post..ty for the inspiration..needed it!!!!!!!

November 6, 2008 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger knowitall said...

The elitist illuminati that are in control in Congress will continue to overspend and let banks get way out of control. Same song and dance.

November 17, 2008 at 6:14 PM  

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