Wednesday, November 08, 2006

As Republicans Begin Our Years in the Wilderness

Well, that would be that.

As I write this, Republicans have lost 26 seats in the House of Representatives, and thus the majority. Four seats in the Senate were lost as well, and the remaining two Senate seats are too close to call, but leaning Democrat at the moment, and both will likely go to recounts. I expect both seats to fall to the Democrats, because they're simply better at making recounts mean what they want to mean than we are, the 2000 election notwithstanding.

Some want to call this election a referendum on the Global War on Terror as it's being prosecuted in Iraq. The White House, evidently believing such reports, has sacked Donald Rumsfeld. I disagree violently with the Iraq explanation, as well as any explanation that paints this election as any repudiation of conservatism, or any blessing of liberalism. Libs had to hide their agendas at every turn to avoid defeating themselves, but in the end that worked fairly well.

Republicans lost this election because we lost our way, turning our backs on the conservatism that won us our positions back in 1994. We allowed ourselves to be led, if the term applies, by milquetoasts like Denny Hastert and Bill Frist, by allowing spending and governmental expansion at a level that elevates drunken sailors, and by getting issues like illegal immigration and prescription drug benefits so wrong that we were beaten like red-headed stepchildren last night.

Lincoln Chaffee I won't miss. Rick Santorum I will. I hear, today, that Hastert won't be trying to stay on as minority leader, while Pence, Shadegg and other strong conservatives are running for minority leader and whip. All good moves, in my opinion. If we can accelerate these sorts of trends for 2008, then perhaps we can retake the House and Senate, and field a Reaganesque candidate or two for president against the likes of Hillary, Pelosi, Kerry and Obama.

No, I don't want McCain. See above re: conservatism. Lord, I wish that Tony Snow could be convinced to run...

In the meantime I'll try not to think about the damage that can be done by a Democrat Congress: trumped-up impeachment proceedings in a time of war, rolling back of tax cuts, defunding of Iraq, public rape of judicial appointees, the list goes on and on...


PS. To amplify, after a note from the lovely and acute Amy, President Bush is doing himself and the GWoT no favors by throwing Rumsfeld under the bus. Appeasement has never been a workable strategy when dealing with one's enemies, and I do consider the Democrat caucus enemies when it comes to the war and Iraq. This seems to me to be the first step of Bush's presidency into lasting ignominy. Thanks for doing it right to start with, Mr. President, but continuing in this vein will consign records of your second term to the category of embarrassing footnote beside those of whomever finally finishes this conflict.

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