Are More “Thumpings” Needed?
While the losses were not large for
the sixth year of a sitting president—a net of six
Senate seats and 30-odd House seats—the significance of
Nov. 7 is huge and the consequences will be historic.
But it is crucial to sift out what
the nation was saying and what it was not saying. Nov. 7
was a referendum on George Bush, the
Iraq war and the Republican Party, and, undeniably,
a repudiation of all three. Tuesday`s rout is what
happens to a hubristic party that leads a nation into an
unnecessary and unwise war, and presents that nation
with a congressional face of self-indulgence and
But the nation that rejected Bush
and the Republicans did not reject conservatism. To the
contrary, it seemed to want to punish the prodigal sons
for abandoning the faith of their fathers.
What did America vote against?
It voted against Bush`s war of
democratic imperialism and the mismanagement of that
war. It voted against
Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham and
Mark Foley. It voted against a party that postures
as conservative while indulging in a six-year pig-out on
the taxpayers` tab, the altarpiece of which was a $250
"bridge to nowhere."
What did America not vote against?
It did not vote against tax cuts or conservative judges
or a security fence. How do we know? Because no Democrat
in a hotly contested race said he would raise taxes,
reject Supreme Court nominees like
John Roberts and
Samuel Alito or grant amnesty for illegal aliens.
The principal beneficiary of the
election may be Nancy Pelosi, but this election was no
mandate for an ultraliberal
feminist who spent much of the campaign in
protective custody so America would not see what they
would be getting when they dumped Denny Hastert.
But if this was no mandate for a
"progressive era," as the media are trying to
portray it, what was it a mandate for?
The answers are apparent.
The nation agrees with the
Democratic Party that the
minimum wage should be raised and a cost-benefit
analysis done on Bush trade deals that leave
Wal-Mart cluttered with cheap Chinese goods, while
hollowing out American manufacturing and converting
company towns into ghost towns.
The open-borders crowd is
chortling that Randy Graf and J.D. Hayworth went
down to defeat, but deliberately ignores the far more
relevant fact that Arizonans voted even tougher
restrictions on state benefits for illegal aliens.
In Michigan, the
GOP establishment deserted
Ward Connerly`s principled battle to end reverse
discrimination. But while the GOP went down to defeat,
the Connerly ballot initiative, rooted in the idea of
equal justice under law for all races, swept to a 58-42
victory. When Republicans desert Reagan Democrats,
Reagan Democrats desert the GOP. Which is as it
social issues, our national division that dates to
cultural wars of the `60s, endures. Embryonic stem
cell research lost a huge lead to win a slim victory in
Missouri, while the toughest anti-abortion law in
America went down to narrow defeat in South Dakota. But
gay marriage was routed in every state where it was
on the ballot, and pot for medicinal purposes was
Yet the effect of the Republican
defeat on Bush appears to have been almost
destabilizing. Within 48 hours, all the campaign bluster
was gone and Bush was moving to accommodate his critics.
He fired and humiliated his loyal
deputy Donald Rumsfeld, told the new Mexican president
he would fight for "comprehensive" reform of U.S.
immigration law—i.e., amnesty and open borders—and had
Nancy Pelosi down to the Oval Office, where she was
treated as a queen, despite having portrayed the
president as an incompetent ignoramus.
Coupled with what appears to be the
outsourcing of Iraq policy to James Baker, Bush family
consigliere, the questions arise, one after the
other. Is there any real core to George W. Bush? Is
there any real constancy and constancy of character and
And do we have another broken
presidency on our hands?
For conservatives, the lessons of
2006 seem clear. They failed in their duty to hold the
Republican Party to account when it departed from
principle and political ethics, and thus failed to
rescue it from the rout it has now received. The Right
failed in the basic responsibility of true camaraderie:
Friends don`t let friends drive drunk.
What conservatives should do now is
what they should have been doing for six years. Stand
behind the president when he fights for low taxes and
conservative judges. But when he joins with Pelosi,
Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderon and McCain-Kennedy for open
borders, or with Dick Durbin for
"moderate justices," give him another
"thumping"—like he got from conservatives when he
sought to elevate
Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court and just as he
got from the nation on Nov. 7.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
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