Another election has come and gone and once again the GOP has demonstrated their uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
As I watched the vote totals updating in the battleground states, it became apparent very quickly that the GOP establishment template of “Democrat Lite”, would once again fail to prevail. When will they ever learn?
I thought back to a column I wrote in 2005 and realized it is just as relevant (if not more so) now as it was then. What follows is the original article:
I recently returned from the Colorado Rockies after an invigorating vacation. The tranquility of those majestic mountains, added to the fact that for several days I was removed from the news, the internet and indeed the toils of life allowed me a chance to step back from it all.
After returning, and witnessing the daily political games and one-upmanship in our nation’s capitol, I had to ask myself just exactly why we the public put up with such nonsense from our elected leaders. Sometimes in the course of the daily grind of deadlines, obligations and plain old force of habit, we fall into the trap of seeing things from a position that is entirely too close to the situation. It can make us all a bit myopic – the inability to see the forest for the trees cliché becomes more than just a cliché.
Stepping back caused me to ask myself a question – just exactly what the hell has happened to the GOP, and even to the conservative movement in general? It isn’t that I haven’t asked myself those questions before, it’s just that I don’t think I realized how far removed from true conservatism the current Administration and Congress have become.
A classic line from the old comic strip Pogo, once declared that, “we have met the enemy, and he is us!” That unfortunately seems to be the case today. What about the Dems you ask? Well, what about them? We all know what liberal Dems do – they want to tell us where we can live, what we can build on our property, take away our guns, tell us who we can hire, regulate our healthcare, take away our SUV’s and add layer upon layer of big government that will require more and more of our hard earned dollars. That’s because they know what’s best for us and can spend our money more wisely than we can. That’s what liberals do. We all know that, so aren’t they the enemy? Well yes, but they aren’t really the problem. The problem is that those who are supposed to keep them from doing all of this, are actually doing it themselves, and more effectively than any liberal could.
When George W. Bush was elected in 2000, it gave the Republicans control of the White House, and both branches of congress. I recall hearing a smattering of conservatives saying this was not a good situation, because it would give one party too much control. I shared some of those concerns, but was cautiously optimistic, believing that the party of Reagan, given a chance to cut the size of government, might actually do so. Instead, we have seen the greatest increase in federal spending since the days of the Johnson Administration. “Compassionate” conservatism has led to all manner of increased spending on unconstitutional programs. The President has apparently not been able to locate his veto pen despite five years of searching (where’s Leonard Nimoy when you need him?), and I’m no longer convinced he has any desire to find it.
The President, and indeed too many congressional Republicans have also chosen to permanently ignore the outcry from their constituents over the illegal immigration issue, preferring instead to try to offset the Democrats’ advantage with black voters by pandering to Hispanic ones.
I recall that the primary reason I voted for Mr. Bush was that he would most likely have an opportunity to select some Supreme Court justices, and he had promised the conservative base that he would appoint strict constructionists – the type of justice who would apply the US Constitution as written and intended by our founders. John Roberts may be a perfectly qualified nominee, but he is not a strict constructionist. What we needed was another Antonin Scalia – what we have with Roberts is at best another Anthony Kennedy. We can only pray that Mr. Roberts isn’t another David Souter.
The final realization came with Hurricane Katrina. I absolutely don’t blame Bush for the so-called poor federal reaction – anyone who has a basic understanding of how the law works should know that the primary responsibility for handling such emergencies lies at the state and local level. The problem is how the President and the GOP chose to react to the sharp criticism from the dolts in the mainstream media, and the even bigger liberal dolts in congress. A dangerous precedent has been set with the huge amount of federal relief going to New Orleans. By caving to criticism and promising a bailout/rebuild of the region to the tune of some $100,000 per displaced household, we now find ourselves in a situation where we the taxpayers could be ponying up tons of money every time a disaster of some sort hits anywhere. We now have Hurricane Tina to add to the list, and the potential exists for federal bailouts for earthquakes, avalanches, floods, fires and so forth. Before it’s over, pile-ups on the interstate might qualify for federal dollars.
Spending money rather than cutting spending, increasing the size of government rather than rolling it back, creating new bureaucracies and regulations rather than paring them down have all become the standard mode of operation. You would expect that from liberal Democrats – it’s what they do. It is also apparently, what too many so-called conservative Republicans do as well.
What many decried in the 90’s, I find myself longing and nostalgic for:
Not much has changed in the last seven years – Justice Roberts ruled on the side of Obamacare, bailouts reached new absurdities in their scope, government has gotten bigger and bigger, our freedoms and personal liberties are being eroded, unconstitutional wars continue to pile up American military deaths along with costing the taxpayers billions of dollars, our enforcement of immigration laws is becoming increasingly lax, and a GOP house majority has done little if anything to stop the tsunami of government growth. Finally, the Republican Party gave us two RINO’s in the last two presidential elections – McCain and Romney – neither of whom has any real allegiance to bedrock constitutional principles. Coincidentally, neither of them won.
Political pundit J.D. Longstreet - a life-long Republican – just penned a new column in which he took the GOP to task and announced that from now on, he would be an independent, and pointing out the need for a viable third party:
“Now, every time anyone brings up the idea of a separate political party, a conservative political party, a “third” party - all hell breaks loose and I/we are barraged with every excuse in the world as to why a “third” party won’t work.
Let’s be clear here. I’m not talking about a “centrist” third party. We already have that. It’s called the Republican Party. What I’m interested in is a “CONSERVATIVE” party — a political party of the right, conservative to the core, and unapologetic as hell about it, too.”
I agree with Longstreet. We have been our own enemies for too long. The Republican Party pretty much replaced the Whig Party in the 1800’s – it is now time that they too were replaced.
Chip McLean is the editor/publisher for Capitol Hill Coffee House and Capitol Hill Outsider. Chip is a former broadcaster. His interest in politics began at the age of eight, when his parents took him to a Barry Goldwater rally during the 1964 presidential election. In addition to his work at CHCH Publishing, Chip’s columns have appeared in a number of online conservative publications.