Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Political Winter for the Republicans

In just two election cycles, 2006 and 2008, the Republicans lost it all. They lost control of the Congress and, now, they lost the Presidency. They had a short run at full control and proved their unworthiness. It was easy for the national news media to take aim and inflict the fatal wounds. The Democrats, too, made it look all too easy.

I now listen to all the retrospective talk about how the GOP is going to regroup and regain control. But, once a bad taste was left in the mouths of the electorate, getting them back to Republican control isn't going to happen quickly. We are truly in a political winter for the Republican party. I really don't know what they could say or do in the short term to regain the confidence of the voters. What has to happen now is what happened to the Democrats in 1994. The voters of America are going to have to get disenchanted with Democratic control before the Republicans are handed another chance. It's just that simple.

Over the next four years, everything that is bad about the Obama Presidency, rightly or wrongly, will be blamed on the prior Republican control and the former policies of the Bush Administration. For the most part, Barack Obama can falter and, short of completely falling on his face, be able to blame the past for any of his then-current problems. It is almost a fail-safe environment that he will find himself in.

I don't think the Republicans can hope to regain control in less than eight years. But, they need to stop the bleeding by thinning out their ranks of those who aren't ethical and committed to conservative causes. Those in the Republican Partly that are the likes of Jack Abramoff, Senator Ted Stevens, Larry Craig, and Duke Cunningham have to be policed-out by the Republicans, themselves, to gain the public's trust. They need to establish their own procedural rules that will show that they are not going to tolerate any appearance of being in bed with lobbyists and special interests. They need to stop their own pork-barreling practices so they get that non-conservative label and practice off their backs. Maybe that means that, to a man and to a woman, they stop putting any Republican pork in any new spending bills. They need to get back to the real philosophies of conservatism. There needs to be a message of reform; just as the message of "change" served the Democrats so well, this year. Lastly, the old leadership and the stigma that went with it has to be shed. They need new, younger leaders in the party so it looks as if they are no longer the Grand Old (and corrupt) Party (GOP) but, instead, the Grand New Party. That also means recruiting more minorities and women into the party, public office and positions of power.

The Republicans won't be able to regain control until America gets disenchanted with the policies and actions of the Democrats. Every political party loses control by overstepping and by being viewed as either inept and/or corrupt. Since 1994, the Republicans and Bush Administration have certainly proved that to be the case on numerous occasions. And, certainly, the left-leaning media in this country has taken every opportunity to exaggerate all of those missteps. Knowing this about the national media means that the Republicans must stay squeaky clean.

I think the Republicans best chance of emerging out of this political winter is in 2014. That will be a term-and-a-half of Barack Obama and at a point when the voters should be fed up with too much liberalism. Up until that point, the voters will give Barack and the Democrats a chance to prove themselves and a chance to take full responsibility for their own management of the country. It will take that long for the blame-Bush tactic to have no more meaning. I think you can count on the fact that the Democrats will over-reach their acceptable boundaries of governance and the voters will, again, decide to "throw the bums out"!

Sadly, during those next 6 years of near-complete Democratic rule, the face of this country may change substantially for the worse. But, the Republicans have only themselves to blame. And, that's just my opinion.

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