Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for November 8th, 2006

Pelosi Already Speaking

Posted by Mike on November 8, 2006

Prior to yesterday’s poll closings, the mainstream media treated now Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi as she who must not be named. After all, drawing as little attention as possible to their leader was an essential element of the Democrats’ campaign strategy. Congrats to them for pulling it off.

With the next election more than two years away, Pelosi now feels comfortable with living up to her new title. On tonight’s episode of Special Report, Pelosi referred to the Iraq war, a major front in the war on terror and the major issue which propelled her to victory, as “not a war to be won but a situation to be solved.”

Oh . . . OK . . . I’d stick with the silence strategy Nan.

Good catch by Mona Charen.

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Now we have two Democrats in PA

Posted by Sal on November 8, 2006

Arlen Specter is a fool. He has totally misunderstood the meaning of this election, and wants to drive the Republicans into further electoral irrelevance by having the party move to the left. From an AP story today:

Sen. Arlen Specter, the moderate conscience of Pennsylvania Republicans, on Wednesday urged the party to re-evaluate its priorities in the wake of nationwide election losses and called for a more progressive agenda that changes the strategy in Iraq and puts more emphasis on education and health care at home.

In addition to the war, which he called a key factor in the losses of fellow Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum and others, Specter said his party will have to become “a lot more progressive and a lot less ideological.”

This is just what we need to do. Become clones of the Democrats. That’ll differentiate us in the 2008 election.

The wrong Senator from Pennsylvania was defeated last night.

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So long, Mr. President

Posted by Sal on November 8, 2006

I have been an ardent supporter of President George W. Bush throughout his presidency. I have supported him on the war, on taxes, and have overlooked some of his deficiencies (i.e. on Campaign Finance, Education, and Perscription Drugs). Granted, I thought they were wrong at the time and said so, but it did not affect my support of the President as a whole. In the last 12 months, three things have contributed to change my opinion.

Harriet Miers: The most ill-advised Supreme Court nominee possible, it is only due to the Conservative base that she withdrew and the name of Sam Alito was submitted in her stead. On one of the two most important issues of our time, Bush botched this one big time and was saved by his base.

“Comprehensive” (sic) Immigration Reform: This one takes the cake. I could be persuaded to potentially go for a guest worker program, but the President’s support for the McCain/Kennedy bill left me steaming.

Today’s Press Conference: The final nail in the coffin. Bush’s first post-election press conference sounded like a surrendur cry. Instead of standing up to the Democrats and realizing that his base didn’t turn out, he’s trying to appeal to the liberals and take his party down in the process. His calls of working together on Democrat issues made me want to lose my lunch. His knee-jerk reaction to firing Rummy following the loss was also ill-advised. The Bush administration is now catering to the left-wing of the Democratic party. This is a recipie for disaster for the party and for 2008.

The Republican’s chance in ’08 now hinges on leadership change in the house. Mike Pence has announced his candidacy for minority leader, and made some very good observations on the role of a minority party:

Our mission has now changed. Our mission in the Majority was to pass legislation reflecting Republican principles. The duty of the Republican Minority in the 110th Congress is to defeat the liberal agenda of the Democrat Party and become the majority in Congress again. We will only defeat the Democrat agenda by presenting a positive, conservative message in vivid contrast to the big government liberalism of the new Majority.

This is in stark contrast to George W. Bush. Pence’s vision is the way to go. George W. Bush’s is the way to complete annihilation of the party. At this point unless he demonstrates behavior contrary to today’s press conference, other than the war on terror, I think we need to look at Bush as a liability to the Conservative Movement. We need a full frontal assault on liberal ideas and policies, and offer conservative alternatives for the next two years. I have a sneaking suspician that the Republican candidate in 2008 will have to run both against the Democratic nominee/party as well as against President Bush.

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The Rumsfeld Era Has Ended

Posted by Ryan on November 8, 2006

Donald Rumsfeld resigned his post of Defense Secretary today, a day after Repubhlicans got their butts handed to them in the midterm elections. Politically timed? Perhaps. Rumsfeld has served for six years– years longer than the average Defense Secretary. Robert Gates, former CIA director, was nominated to replace him.

Whereas I could say glowing things about Rumsfeld, as well as some very critical things, I am still in a post-election malaise here, today. So suffice it to say that I believe history will look back to the first decade of the 21st century as one of transition and tough choices that students will argue about in classrooms and people will write books about for decades. Rumsfeld will be a part of that, and as time goes on his part in all of this will be more clear, and probably positive as the dust settles on Iraq in the next few years.

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Analyzing the Loss

Posted by Sal on November 8, 2006

Well, my predictions were way off.. At this point, the Democrats have picked up 27 house seats (giving them a 12-seat advantage over the GOP) with 14 seats still undetermined, of which several are bound to add to the Democrat’s win column. Over in the Senate, the unthinkable happened with the Democrats almost clearing the table by winning Missouri, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Montana and Virginia are still too close to call, but the Democrats are leading in both and it is unlikely that either will shift. This brings the Senate into the precarious position of having 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats, giving the Dems 51-49 control of the Senate. So in all likelihood, barring some major shift in Montana or Virginia, we will be seeing both Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi.

The Drive-by Media will try to tell us that this is a sweeping mandate for the Democrats and against the war. They will tell us that the Reagan Revolution / GOP revolution is dead, that Conservatism has failed, and that the Democrats are “back in power.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. Conservatism did not lose last night, the GOP did.

The GOP over the past eight years (really since the resignation of Speaker Gingrich) has become complaisant and addicted to power. They have spent like there is no tomorrow, they have pushed for amnesty for illegal immigrants, corruption is rampant, and conservative principles get deadlocked in the walls of congress. The Democrats won yesterday due to an unpopular war and unpopular president, but they also won because they fielded many Blue-Dog Conservatve or Moderate-Conservative candidates. We may end up seeing another situation as in the 1980s, when the Blue-Dog Democrats joined with Reagan on many issues, defying Tip O’Neill and the hard left. America is still Conservative; exit polls and other data confirm this. This was more a vote against the GOP and their complacency with power, and a struggling war than for the Democrat agenda.

Ever the optimist, I like to look at the silver lining in everything. One of the tenants of Christianity is that God can bring good out of evil. I believe that this election presents the Conservative movement with an opportunity to get back to its roots and come back stronger in the end. The country is still conservative. The GOP needs to convince the country that it is still conservative.

In the next section I’m going to look at some Silver Linings and Damn Shames of this election.

Silver Lining Section

  • RINOs: Two RINOs lost their elections, Mike DeWine and Lincoln Chaffee, proving that bowing to the New York Times and the liberal establishment can’t save you as long as you have an (R) next to your name. The key is to be unabashedly conservative, and live or die on those principles. Their being forced from the Senate this year will make things easier to push Conservatism the next time the GOP takes control of the Legislative Branch.
  • Divided Government: Bush is more likely to veto spending measures, and the Democrats are less likely to get things passed. Bush can effectively battle on the budget the next two years since he doesn’t have to worry about earmarks for his party.
  • Leadership Shake-up: There will be a leadership shake-up in the house. Mike Pence and John Shaddeg, prominent members of the House Study Committee (a conservative caucus in the House) are planning on challenging for the GOP leadership, and one or both of them will likely succeed. This shake-up could be just what the Republicans need to do to get back on message.
  • Pelosi and Reid: They are now the face of the Democratic party, at least until a nominee is chosen for President in early 2008. This is a wonderful opportunity for the GOP to highlight liberalism at its worst.
  • She-who-must-not-be-named: This could make her ascendancy to the Presidency more difficult. Two years of Democrats may give a potential GOP candidate something to run on, and the she will have to defend the record of the Senate.

Damn Shame

  • Santorum and Allen: Two Conservative stalwarts. Santorum a great leader in the House, Allen a potential Presidential nominee, both with careers now ended.
  • John McCain: He was on Fox News last night speaking at how the Republicans need another leader like Reagan to lead them to Victory. Trouble is, McCain fancies himself as another Reagan but is nothing like another Reagan. This unfortunately solidifies his position as GOP front-runner.
  • Investigations / Impeachment: The Dems will begin a long series of drawn-out investigations that could help cripple the Bush Presidency in its remaining two years. The Lieberman factor could play into this however, as he is for the war and could hold a very powerful position in the new Senate.

Overall, we need to look at yesterday’s defeat as an opportunity, not a tragedy. It is an opportunity to cleanse the GOP and bring it back to its Conservative roots. We may have lost the battle last night, but the war is far from over. We as Conservatives need to spend the next two years making sure that we stick to our principles, fight liberalism at every turn, hold ground, and get ready for 2008.

All is not lost. Remember 1992. Everyone thought Conservatism was dead. Clinton was in power, the Democrats had both houses of Congress, an incumbent with former 90% approval ratings had been ousted from the White House. Then Newt came out with his Contract with America, fought a hard campaign, and changed politics forever. The effects of the last 12 years remains even today. It will not be as easy for the Democrats to maintain their majority as it was before 1994. We can and must win back the seats of Government, but on the same Conservative principles that propelled Ronald Reagan to two highly successful victories, and propelled the GOP to take the congress in 1994. This is an opportunity for us to cleanse the party, expose the Democrats as who they really are, and effect real change on this country. We have a long way to go, but we can and must prevail.

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