This isn’t a slap at you or your comments, Steve. But I’m moving this discussion back up top rather than burying it in the comments of my last post. I’m bothered that some Republicans are resting well thinking, like the House and Senate GOP leadership, that the GOP has done a great job over the past few years. So, let’s examine the record –
No Child Left Behind: This unfunded mandate was well-intentioned. It hoped to achieve results that could have been achieved by school vouchers. When vouchers were radically opposed by the NEA and Dems, the GOP in Congress gave in and let Bush and Ted Kennedy railroad this through Congress. Nevermind that the federal government has no role in education, Bush and Kennedy expanded the federal role in education with taxpayer dollars. Congress, with the support of many GOP members, allowed this to happen.
Medicare: President Bush, with the support of the GOP Congress, basically created a new entitlement with his Medicare prescription plan. The cost? Hundreds of billions over the next decade. Rather than shrinking the scope of government, Republicans in Congress allowed the President to burden the American taxpayer with this crap. Thanks GOP.
Immigration: Fortunately, the “comprehensive” plan to address the issue of illegal immigration never passed through Congress. That is despite the fact that numerous Republicans (mainly the Senate) voted to allow this legislation. This legislation would have provided amnesty to illegals despite the lessons we learned under Reagan. Nevertheless, many GOPers in Congress were willing to support such a move. Dems quietly supported the measure and were content to allow the GOP expose its divisions over this volatile issue. It wouldn’t have been much of an issue except for the fact that so many Republicans in the Senate were willing to support the measure.
Earmarks: How do you justify 13,000+ earmarks under a GOP controlled Congress in 2005? Those numbers dwarf Dem numbers when they controlled Congress. The “bridge to nowhere?” That was sponsored by a Republican. The number earmarks increased exponentially in Congress under Republican control.
McCain-Feingold: This tragic usurpation of political free speech was passed on the watch of a GOP Congress and a GOP president. This measure limited the ability of citizens to support the candidate of their choice and enabled the liberal groups who quickly found ways to skirt the new regulations. Again – this was a well-intentioned act. It was an attempt to take the money factor out of politics. Instead, the support of Republicans in Congress and the signature of Bush allowed liberal groups to seize the upper hand in elections. Despite the protestations of many true conservatives in Congress, there were enough moderate and liberal Republicans to steamroll this populist, unconstitutional measure through.
And now Republicans in Congress are starting to coalesce around absurd issues like global warming! And these are folks with a big ole R by their name. It doesn’t matter if a majority of Republicans oppose these lib policies. The fact that a “good number” of these Repubs are enabling the Democrats and their agenda is enough to send the conservative base screaming.
So – No. Republicans in Congress are not on the right track. Congratulations. The Republican revolution of 1994 managed to enshrine some of their ideology. But then they took a step back. The Republicans tasted power. They spent money like drunken sailors. They based policy on opinion polls. They threw us under the bus and did whatever was politically expedient.
Sorry folks. If you think that there is nothing wrong with Republicans in Congress, then you have had a taste of the kool-aid. The conservative base is not so naive. And they are pissed. Things won’t get better til the GOP in Congress repents and takes the intitative.
If folks want to keep apologizing for the Republicans – fine. 2008 will be a banner year – for the Democrats. I’m alarmed by the lack of a sense of urgency. I’m annoyed that so many conservatives are serving as apologists for RINOs and “sometimes conservatives.” Yeah – there are some hardcore conservatives left in Congress. Yes – the GOP revolution brought about some positive, lasting changes (for now). But if we sit on our asses and assume that everything is hunky-dory, then we are kidding ourselves.
And I still haven’t heard a plausible explanation for how we lost 3 seats in special election House races this year – IN SOLID GOP DISTRICTS. Tell me how that happens. Tell me why I shouldn’t worry.