Prairieson: The Morning After
The Morning After
A wise man told me long ago that sometimes what looks like bad luck is actually good luck in disguise. What happened last night could very well be some good luck that we've needed but just didn't know it.
One outcome will be some soul-searching in the GOP. What are we and what do we stand for? What is our message and are we getting it to the right people? What did our winning opponents do more effectively? Can we learn something from their campaign strategies? The GOP won in 2000, 2002 and 2004. What made the difference in 2006? We need to be careful in analyzing that and make sure we have properly identified the true reasons for the setbacks.
To say "it was Iraq" is an easy out -- most Americans support the war on terror because they do not want 9/11, or something worse, to happen again. But they got fed up with the Iraq War? Why?
Politicians ultimately must answer to the voting booth and a significant number of Americans last night voted not just against the Republicans but against how the Republicans are handling the war in Iraq. We can blame the MSM on this but that's not the ultimate cause. Because it raises another more troubling question: if the Republicans are so smart, why can't they deal with a biased MSM more effectively?
Conservative bloggers are all over the web and there are other sources for making sure the GOP message gets out. If our opponents have an unfair advantage in the media then we need to find out why and fix what can be fixed in that regard. These and many other things need to be considered.
It is clear to me that Americans are NOT going liberal on us -- many conservative referendums passed last night even as the Republicans were getting the boot out of office and some cherished liberal referendums (especially in California) appear to be headed for defeat. We must conclude that somehow there has been a disconnect between the GOP and the majority of voters. Our task now is to determine why and how it came about.
Conservatives are not going anywhere. We have to lick our wounds and use our heads to find that path to future victory. But we are going to have to make some tough decisions in the process.
For whatever reason, we are not going to get a complete ban on abortion. You can't even get most Republicans to agree on this hot button issue. We may be able to get some added restrictions on abortion but until we get someone charismatic enough to convert the majority of the population we will have to accept the fact that some conservative stands are not going to sell at the national level.
As I've said before, our form of democracy cannot work unless there is some compromise. We have to be dedicated enough to try and get as much of our political wishlist fulfilled as possible but we must also be mature enough to realize we will fail on some of those.
We did not lose the war in Iraq. We were just and right to do what we did in Iraq and our military performed outstandingly. We can be assured that when we need to squash some tinpot dictator our military can and will rise to the challenge, kicking butt and taking names all the way to the capital.
But we are not good at securing the peace and maybe we need to study why we are not. Improvements can be made and our leaders have to be aware that Americans grow tired after months and months of bloody skirmishes in some backwater we've already squashed. We either have to get far tougher in our occupation or remove American soldiers from being target practice.
It is clear Americans do not like the fact the Iraq debacle has continued this long. I understand why it has to be this way but we have to be realists and be prepared to "win" the hearts and minds, continuously if need be, when we find ourselves in a protracted struggle. Iraq is only the opening salvo of what will probably be a series of "wars" as we slowly crush the Islamofascists so it is something the GOP must tackle.
The vast majority of Americans want the border with Mexico sealed and illegal immigration stopped. Period. I'm not sure even Ronald Reagan could change most people's mind on that score. But Bush and Frist and McCain dropped the ball on that one and in the worst possible way. Our leaders in the GOP must come to grips with that or they are going to lead the rest of us to defeat after defeat.
Legal immigration is fine with Americans -- illegal immigration is not. If the Mexican government cannot adequately control the situation in its own country, that's tough. Our politicians must get the message loud and clear that they serve American interests, not Mexican interests. There are a few Republicans who will be looking for work in January who forgot that simple fact.
And, finally, fiscal discipline; it may be unfair but I think -- and I could be wrong here -- that most Americans expect tax-and-spend from Democrats. They expect the exact opposite from the GOP. The economy is booming right now and taxes are low -- at one time, that conferred majority status all by itself. But then the "earmark" controversy hit front page and the Republicans were caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
What's the point of voting for someone who claims to be a fiscal conservative but then raids the treasury the first chance they get? The reckless spending lost the libertarian vote for the GOP this time. I was glad when a Republican took John Edwards' seat here in North Carolina -- until I read this man's comments about bringing home the bacon. He was another Democrat who ran as a Republican because he could not get elected otherwise -- but if it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck and looks like a duck -- it can call itself "swan" all day long but it's still a duck.
So, here we are -- sad at our losses but certain in our vision. We will now pick ourselves up, roll up our sleeves and march into the future confident that we do have a winning stand.
Thanks to Prairieson for this very excellent political analysis! Visit his blog at: http://tarheelredneck.blogspot.com/