I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Can The Republican Party Save Themselves?

The general election in November is forecasted to be a landslide victory for the Democrats in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. Some predictions show the Democrats with a 70-seat majority in the House and a 12-seat majority in the Senate. The significance of those types of majorities in both chambers is that the Republicans would be powerless to stop any part of the ultra liberal agenda that Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are likely to push upon the American public. The argument will be that the American people voted for change in Washington and that change is clearly very liberal.

The Democratic Party has good reason to be optimistic about their impending victories in November. It started in March with the Republican loss of former Speaker Hastert’s seat in Illinois, and continued with another Republican loss in Louisiana in early May. Both of these seats were Republican strongholds for several decades. Nancy Pelosi commented that it is a clear indication that the American people want the change that the Democratic Party is promising.

Of all election years, this one was primed for the congressional Republicans to take advantage of the historic negative approval ratings of the Democratic Party controlled Congress. According to a Gallup poll, a mere 18% of Americans approve of the job that Congress is doing. That number matches a poll from 1992 when that Democratic Party controlled Congress had similar poor marks. That Congress went on to lose control of both Houses in 1994. The Republicans by all accounts should be heading for huge victories in November, but instead they appear to be determined to run head on into a massive defeat.

The Democrats, to their credit, are energized and focused on their election theme of change and hope. The Republicans seem to be still struggling to find a voice, any voice. What I find amazing about the contest in Louisiana in early May was that the Democratic candidate campaigned on his conservative stance on abortion and other social issues. Yet the Republican Party is running away from their conservative positions. They are determined to run as liberals in Republicans clothes. How do they expect to win any election by running away from their conservative base? They simply will not win if their conservative base is not energized behind them. The Democrats won control of both Houses in 2006 in large part to southern Democrats campaigning as conservatives, but yet the Republican leadership appears to believe that conservatism is dead.

Conservative talk radio host Sean Hannity has proposed a 10-point plan for the Republicans to campaign on conservative issues. Will the Republican Party wake up to the very real reality of their downfall? If they continue their march towards the left, I believe that that will suffer a horrendous defeat in November and then blame conservatives for their demise. The conservative base is screaming for some leadership to stand up for fiscal responsibility and lower taxes; for a ban on earmarks; and for sensible solutions to social security, Medicare, and healthcare. We need leadership that believes that the government is not the solution but on obstacle to the American people solving the problems of today. It is not the Government’s job or responsibility to hold the hand of every American and take away all of our fears and problems. Life is full of problems and fear; it is up to the individual how to handle their own lives, not the government. We don’t need a nanny, we need leadership.

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