Is it time for conservatives to leave the Republican Party?
By Keith D. Cummings
To say that President Bush's appointment of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has upset his conservative base is rather like saying that Jerry Lewis has raised a couple of bucks for Muscular Dystrophy over the years. The Bush pick of a toadying lickspittle to serve on the highest court in the land, when a mere 20 or 30 million more qualified individuals wait has conservatives up in arms.
While Bush apologists like Mary Matlin and Sean Hannity tell us that we need to "trust the President," and the President tells us that he "knows [Miers'] heart," conservatives are asking, "Why have I been supporting you?" We don't want to trust that you know her heart. We want a paper trail, opinions in writing over the course of a career to show us her mind.
In his nearly five years in office, the President has punted on nearly every challenge that came to him. If you doubt that claim, just look at the facts:
The President isn't the only problem the Republicans have. Tom Delay now famously declared the budget devoid of fat. Trent Lott and Bill Frist have both failed to keep the party members faithful. The last true leader (and last true conservative) the Republicans had in Washington was Newt Gingrich. Since he left in 2001, it's been all down hill.
Had Bill Clinton come to the nation with a crony like Bob Bennett or Bill Shrum, we, the conservatives, would have been up in arms, and rightly so. There are thousands of qualified lawyers, on and off the court. There is absolutely no excuse for appointing a confidant to the post. The only thing that would have been worse would have been the President appointing his brother. Instead, we're left with Souter in a skirt, another Bush appointed stealth candidate ready and able to "grow into her position."
Since the days of Ronald Reagan, conservatives have asserted that a principled conservative government could make American stronger at home and abroad. Reagan wouldn't have tolerated the spendthrift policies of the Republican controlled Congress. His veto pen would be out of ink. Bush's veto pen has gone dry from total lack of use.
For years, conservatives have been told, "trust us, it won't all happen at once, but it will happen." After five years of a Republican White House and Republican control of both houses of Congress, it hasn't happened at all. In fact, since George W. Bush took office, America has become worse by every measurable conservative standard.
Many have pointed out that the Democrats take their black constituents for granted. "What have they really done for you?" blacks are asked. Well, conservatives, I'm asking. What have the Republicans done for you? The answer: nothing. Maybe it's time to take our ball and go home.
Keith D. Cummings is the author of Opening Bell, a political / financial thriller. His website is http://www.keith-cummings.com.
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