by Ric Ottaiano 

November 9, 2006

Although I have been taking the optimistic line after Tuesday’s election debacle, it is of course not at all a rosy picture.

The U.S. Supreme Court has just heard arguments on the constitutionality of a ban on “partial-birth abortions. The voters in California have again rejected a parental notification law (not parental consent) for abortions performed on children as young as is biologically possible to become pregnant. The tenure of Ambassador John Bolton may be short-lived once and United Nations-loving Congressional majority convenes in January of next year. Amnesty for illegal aliens and what is tantamount to an open border policy is back on the table, with domestic local enforcement efforts of immigration laws in the cross hairs.

These, and more, are the business of government and the body politic, and are all issues away from which the pendulum of conservatism will swing, at least in the near future. All because the Republicans did not govern as the conservative party but as “Democrat-Lite.” I’m not alone in this assessment, which gives me hope that, over the next two years, we can right this listing left ship and, with the usual and expected Democrat party follies, perhaps retain 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

But there is much blame to go around, and it does not do us any constructive good to avoid placing it where it belongs, and identifying where it does not, if we are to not repeat the same gross misjudgments of the past six years or so.

So where to begin? Well, let’s cross a few off the list. The loss of Congress was not the fault of the MSM. Yes, it is in the hip pocket of liberal Democrats and their causes. Yes, it does its level best to undermine the Republican party. But it has been so for the last thirty years, and will be for the long-term foreseeable future, so to blame the media for being the media is to admit perpetual defeat. Just deal with its biases and agenda-driven journalism more effectively instead of not at all.

The drubbing was also not the the result of being overwhelmed by a superior foe with better talent. This election was not the equivalent of a good, but obviously overmatched, Division II college football team going up against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. The Democrats had only one game plan, and that was to complain incessantly to the officials. You beat that by sticking to your conservative strategy and doing what you do best, not by arguing back.

The blame should be placed squarely on the Bush Administration and the Republican leadership for straying from the game plan so artfully developed by the Gipper…Ronald Reagan. I blame President Bush for losing his conservative base by seeking bipartisanship for its own sake and, dare I say it, caving to certain special interests. You cannot effectively label Democrats as taxers and spenders when federal expenditures increased dramatically on your watch. You cannot effectively accuse Democrats of being unconcerned about national security when your first order of business is to grant amnesty to illegal aliens before you secure our borders and step up enforcement of our laws against illegal immigration. You cannot effectively term Democrats the party of “cut and run” when a war of choice is prolonged by being fought in a politically correct manner.

The Republicans have a brief window of opportunity to learn the lessons of this recent history, or be condemned to repeated minority party status.

[This article can also be found at Release The Hounds!]

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