Thursday, November 30, 2006

OP ED: GOP may be the winner in this eleciton.

Since I think political philosophy is much more important than partisanship, I have come to the conclusion that the defeat of the Bush-led Republican party is a good thing – for the nation and for the conservative cause.

I am pleased that the shift in power was accomplished by a very small shift in voter preference. When the nation is just about equally divided along party lines, it only takes a few votes to cause seismic changes in relative partisan power. Contrary to Democrat claims and desires, this was not a mandate for change, but a mild course adjustment for the public. If the Dems actually believe their own utterances, they are likely to pursue an agenda that will put the elephant party back in the driver’s seat in two years.

Much of the Democrat success was through the recruitment of candidates a lot further to the right than had been the case in the past. Pro-lifers and born again Christians were among the Election Day winners. The upcoming Congress will not likely jump too far to the left. It is very likely that the House and Senate leadership, being more of the strident left tradition, will find rebellion in the ranks if the leadership advances an agenda too liberal for their members – and the American people.

If the Democrat victory is not as scary as it first appeared, the GOP defeat is not quite so tragic. This Republican administration lacked a conservative compass. Elements of the Patriot Act invoke a freedom-stealing nationalism that any legitimate conservative would abhor – and we did. The spend thrift ways of the GOP majority was disheartening to the point of despair.

It was not easy supporting the D.C. Republicans merely because the alternative seems so much more egregious. Now we have the alternative. Now we can plan for a future with a renewed (hopefully) GOP most dedicated to principle.

In addition, the Republican leadership in the House and Senate was uninspired, at best. One would think that any change would be an improvement, but looking at the installation of the junior uninspired leadership to the top posts suggests that the congressional Republicans still don’t get it. It is ironic that Dennis Hastert was at once the longest serving GOP Speaker, and the least effective. Senate leader Bill Frist had the moxie, but lacked the charisma. Their good-old-boy approach was one of the under reported reasons for the collapse of the vaunted GOP political machine.

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