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Republicans need to lose

This will probably piss off some of my Republican readers, but I hope that principled conservatives will understand why I'm writing this, even if they don't agree. I'm hoping the Republicans lose at least one house in Congress this November. It might not happen, of course, but this is a wish, not a prediction.

Let's be honest. The Republicans have become too comfortable and too entrenched in the culture of power and corruption that permeates the capital. I've reluctantly concluded that the only hope of snapping them out of it is to hand them an electoral defeat. Look at the exploding federal budget and ask yourself what good they're doing. I've long been a fan of divided government, and I believe a few years of such a setup could be quite healthy (although Bush would have to learn how to use his veto pen.)

By all rights, it should have happened years ago, but the Democratic Party was too inept and too incompetent to administer the spanking the Republicans deserved. The GOP got a reprieve, but its leadership coasted along on borrowed time and never did anything to address the party's fundamental weaknesses.

But that's okay. November, I believe, will be ideal timing to shake Republican out of their complacency. Democrats can take over the Capitol and open the floodgates on six years of pent-up rage and anti-Bush histrionics. We'll be treated to censure debates, impeachment hearings, the whole bit.

Then, after they've spent their furor in a two-year Bush-bashing orgy, the very man whom the Democrats have allowed to define their identity will be gone. With a new Republican presidential candidate on the stage (McCain or Giuliani, with any luck) the Democrats will need to craft a message that goes beyond mindless, knee-jerk opposition to everything Bush says or does.

They will have to run on their record of the previous two years. If that record is one of genuine accomplishment (lower deficits, more modest budgets) then we might as well leave them in place for as long as that remains the case. If, on the other hand, their record is one of pathologically obsessive attempts to punish and humiliate a lame duck president on his way out the door (as I suspect it will), then the voters will likely remember why they turned these guys out in the first place.

It's been 12 years already. A reminder is overdue.


You are certainly right.

I'm a big fan of divided government. I think the Republican congress did an admirable job of reigning in Clinton's worst instincts and Clinton kept the Reps from descending into the kind of fiscal lunacy we have witnessed over the last six years.

A friend of mine inside the 2004 Bush campaign told me that the biggest surprise of the first term was the Democrats failure to retake the House in '02 (apparently there was some empirical reason they weren't expecting to lose the Senate). According to my friend, the administrations economic plan for the rest of the first term, and second term if it happened, was to engage a Democratic house in fiscal battle which would result in stymied spending, while allowing the President to look like he was fighting to hold the line.

Believe me, I'm not endorsing political posturing as an alternative to fiscal plan, but I think this speaks volumes about the politics of one-party rule as well as divided government.

Yes, the Republicans DO need to lose, Barry. Of course, in my case, I’d like to see more of the “Moderate” or “Rockefeller Republicans” lose and more Gingrich/Buchanan Conservatives win. I’d even take more Libertarian Republicans, like Ron Paul by a wide margin over any of the so-called “Moderates.”

The problem is that BOTH Parties are out of step with the vast majority of voters. Even though a recent “nationwide survey by pollsters Penn, Schoen, and Berland - who represent Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, among other clients - found that self-described liberals make up only 16 percent of the population, compared with 36 percent who call themselves conservatives and 47 percent who say they are moderates,”


considering that those self-proclaimed “Moderates” probably break down along similar lines, the disparity between Left & Right in this country, is huge. Hell, even if the “Moderates” broke evenly among “tend to be more Conservative” and “tend to be more Liberal”, we’d still wind up with a 60/40 split in favor of Conservatives. It’s more likely 68/32, better than 2 to 1.

Still, both Parties seem to ACT AS though there were some sort of large Liberal “silent majority.” In doing that, BOTH major political Parties have abandoned the vast majority of Americans.

I’d certainly like to see the Republicans be forced into becoming the Conservative Party they were supposed to be, but even more than that, I’d like to see the Democrats marginalize their Left-wing - THESE GUYS


and become a viable alternative to the GOP.

The problem they now face is that there is NO viable Liberal alternative to Conservativism, hell there’s no viable Liberal alternative to the current form of Republicanism.

I don't ever hope that repub's lose any seat but in the case you mentioned it would be true. The Dumbocrats are already planning the impeachment's and censures and all the investigations so get ready for 2 more years of extreme Bush Bashing.

There's no question that THIS would probably be an especially bad time for a Republican loss due, to the radical Left agenda of the so-called "mainstream Dems," Robert.

The problem right now is that the GOP can and often does take Conservatives for granted as much as do the Democrats take the Black vote for granted.

The Gingrich-styled "Smaller Government Movement" has all but been abandoned.

The sole reason the GOP can do that is because they know Conservatives have virtually nowhere else to go.

More than anything else, America needs a viable two Party system and that would require a return of the Democratic party to its Kennedy-Reagan roots - BOTH were mainstream Democrats in the 1960s, when mainstream democrats were hardcore anti-Communists (like RFK, Roy Cohn, etc) and equally hardocre Supply-Siders (JFK slashed taxes as boldly in the early 1960s as Ronald reagan did throughout the 1980s) and held to pro-American, traditional values.

Mainstram Democrats of that day are the Zell Miller Democrats of today.

We need the Democrats to return to the Party that brought them support from America's working class, even more than we need the GOP to reclaim its Gingrich-styled Conservativism.

My fear is that nothing much will change this Election and maybe not even by 2008. All indications are that the Left-wing of the Democratic Party (the Moore-Franken-Sheehan wing) will hold sway awhile longer and THAT, as much as anything, may keep the GOP from getting spanked the way they deserve to be, at this point.

This is an opening for the Libertarians. They need to set the drug legalization issue aside, (too hot)and step into the gap the Dem's are leaving. If the Dem's do take the House this year, it will be their last hurrah.
I thought I set you straight about that McCain fella earlier. Have the Keating five screw up and Campaign Finance Reform slipped into the memory hole?

The Libertarians have a great opportunity, Paul?

Will they take it?

They've shot themselves in the foot so many times with groups like PONY (for the legalization of prostitution), HEMP and the old "Al Goldstein" pornographers wing of the LP taking center stage.

I can see where the likes of Walter E Williams and James Buchanan might despair, when that is the face presented to the voting public.

Libertarianism is a lot more than that collection of special interests and they need to make their case for the advantages of more Liberty and less government to the people.

If they can't convince the average voter that that's the better path (I KNOW they can, if they'd just try), they'll always be marginalized and to the detriment of us all.

Paul, I'd like to see the LP do well next year. I always vote for Libertarian candidates in down-ticket races, and even for the White House about half the time. I agree that if they moderate their message somewhat, it could really resonate with the average voter.

And look, there's plenty about McCain that I disagree with, his CFR bill foremost among them. But he was a bit player in the Keating Five, and was really just there for window dressing for the media to claim it as a "bipartisan" scandal.

But he's been stalwart on the WoT, stalwart on pork (how many Republicans can you say *that* about?) and it's not nothing that he has broad popularity across the political center, and would likely romp in the general election.

I'd be with you, Barry, if that didn't mean that the current crew of Democrats would hold office.

Oooops! "The Libertarians have a great opportunity, Paul," was supposed to have been a declarative sentence, not an interrogative.

Anyway, I too would like to see the Libertarians do better. In fact, I'd like to see the two Parties reflect the only actual ideological debate of the day. Our choices aren't between Corporatism/Republicanism or Socialism/Liberalism, or even "Capitalism" or Socialism.

The only choice we have today, given that Socialism has NEVER worked and CAN NEVER work, is between Corporatism/Republicanism or Libertarianism/Free Markets.

The Libertarians have a great opportunity.

The only question is, can they, or will they seize it?

I think there is a better chance of the moderates in each party breaking off and forming something new than the Libertarians gaining a foothold.

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