Friday, November 11, 2005

Self-Inflicted Wounds

Powerline's John Hinderaker wonders why the Republicans are reeling.

Almost exactly one year ago, President Bush was re-elected with more votes than had ever been cast for a Presidential candidate, breaking Ronald Reagan's 1984 record. Not only did Bush sweep to victory by a three million vote margin, the Republicans increased their majorities in both the House and the Senate, the first time this trifecta had been accomplished since 1964.

Since that triumphant moment, what has sent the party into a tailspin? Has the economy collapsed? Not at all; it is humming along as strongly as ever, steadily putting more distance between America's prosperity and that of Europe and Japan. Have the terrorists attacked successfully, exposing a weakness in our domestic security? No. Astonishingly, we have now gone more than four years without a successful attack on American soil, even though newspaper headlines reveal, on an almost daily basis, how bloodthirsty our enemies are. This is an extraordinary record, of which all Republicans should be proud. Have there been setbacks in foreign policy that could explain how a party that was triumphant just twelve months ago should now be in full retreat? Not at all. We continue to make excellent progress in both Iraq and Afghanistan. On a number of fronts, liberty has made progress in the vital Middle East. And no foreign power even imagines that it could rival the United States in influence.

So what has happened in the past twelve months to terrify so many of our Republican office-holders? Two hurricanes struck, and some observers accused a federal agency of responding too slowly to one of them. Tom DeLay was indicted, in what was basically a bad joke, by an absurdly partisan and utterly discredited Texas Democrat DA. An aide to the Vice President has been accused of lying to a grand jury about telling the truth to the press about a mountebank Democrat's lies about the administration. And the President's poll ratings more or less irrelevant, given that he can't run for office --have dropped into a range occupied, at one time or another, by every President from Lyndon Johnson to the present.

These are pathetic reasons for our representatives in Congress to be in a Chicken Little mode. The Republicans are rapidly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and it's hard to say who is more to blame--the Congressional Republicans, some of whom are afraid of their own shadows, or the White House, which, in studiously refraining from responding to the most outrageously unfair and blatantly partisan attacks launched against an American administration in 145 years, seems intent on a weird kind of martyrdom.
Ok Republicans really need to pull it together becauseif they let this go to far they won't be able to recover from it.

I think another problem that Republicans in congress have is that when they aren't campaigning they tend to get a little passive. Meanwhile they mainstream media of this country never stops campaigning against them. Even the most ridiculous criticism from a Democrat gets instant credance from the press and the onus is on the Republican to refute it.

So what can be done? How can we get things back on track? A few things need to happen:

1.There needs to be a meeting of Republican leadership in congress so to get everyone on the same page and to reign in the RINO's. They all need to be reminded that limited government, national security, and conservative principles are the reasons they were elected and if they don't get back to those then they won't be reelected.

2.The President needs to find a better way to communicate directly with the American people. As the President he has the easiest time circumventing the press filter. He needs to use this more, despite the fact that he's not running for reelection, he needs to let the people of this country know that he still stands for the things they elected him for.

3. The President needs to stop pulling punches. He's not running for reelection so he needs to stop trying to get along with everyone. He needs to go on the offensive when Harry Reid makes outrageous claims about his administration. He needs to show some righteous indignation and take back the inititive. In the past it has seemed that the critisicsm of the Democrats has not bothered him. And at the time it was a good thing, it infuriated the liberals and the press. Well now it needs to bother him and he needs to come out swinging. There is so much ammo he could use, the Democrat hypocrisy is everywhere you look, it would be a cinch to start using it against them.

I think those basic things could turn the tide. Now the chances of them happening are debatable. Now it's easy for me to sit here and type this. I'm sure it is much harder to actually do these things. The political machine will not change overnight. But there's no reason it can't. I actually think that the reason the Republicans have such low poll numbers is because they are the most visible politicians, and in general people don't like politicians. The reason that Newt Gingrich's Contract With America worked so well was because it seemed so anti-politician. We need to get back to that kind of government. Here's hoping the Republicans figure it out before it's too late.

Update: Apparently Bush today will come out swinging against the Democratic's on Iraq. At least acording to the Washington Post. I can't tell you how excited it made me to see that link. I hope he does a good job. I will report back after I read the speech.