Vote GOP because...
By Vincent Fiore
While most of us who call ourselves conservatives struggle for an answer to that question, a look back as to why the question is posed at all might be helpful.
In 1994, the electorate sees a motivated and impassioned GOP come out of the political wilderness and take control of the House of Representatives from a thoroughly scandal-scarred and idea-bereft Democratic Party.
What follows is a slow but steady ideal and ethical erosion of policy that may finally have caught up with the Republican Party. In this, the two major parties in Washington claim a distinction, but may fundamentally lack a difference.
Once upon a time, Republicans had a field day pointing out the inability of one President Bill Clinton and by extension the Democratic Party from stumbling into one scandal after another.
Though DeLay was essentially found innocent of any wrong doing in relation to Abramoff, just the association with him was enough to end his political career. But then, the facts never got in the way of a good story when it came to election politics.
Like grass within the cracks of concrete, other political scandals started cropping up. In March of this year, California Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham gets eight-plus years in prison for taking bribes from defense contractors.
Ohio Representative and GOP leader Bob Ney pleads guilty to corruption charges in connection with Jack Abramoff and withdraws from his reelection campaign, and further resigns from the House of Representatives.
Even tenuous circumstances--and outright fabrications--like the troubles that now dog Senator George Allen, (R-Va.) over the supposed use of racial epithet to describe blacks seem to take on a new meaning when lumped together with all else that ails the GOP.
And the record for the GOP to run on? Well, it can't be all terrorism, all the time, can it? If your President Bush, the obvious answer is a resounding "Heck yes, it's all we got!" Four weeks out from Election Day, it certainly seems as much.
Though the economy is the best that it's been since the late nineties, it still remains the most underreported story of the last five years. Low unemployment (4.7%)? Budget deficit lower than expected ($111 billion less)? Non-threatening core inflation rates?
Who cares? We have the GOP congressman possibly engaged in serious "criminal behavior" with minors. Gas prices plunging nationwide (down 17%)? Hah!
Democrats and the media are too busy happily proclaiming that they were right all along last year when the designated the GOP as being wed to a "Culture of Corruption."
And right now, as disgraced Congressman Mark Foley packs up the contents of his House office, who can, with unvarnished conviction, argue with them?
During the last two election cycles, Republicans bucked the odds and added seats to both houses of Congress. Thanks largely to the commitment of President Bush to fight terrorism at home and abroad and keep America safe, the GOP managed to stay out of trouble just long enough to get past those elections.
But what will stop a complete slide into minority-status for the GOP now? Don't count too largely upon Bush, whose popularity and poll numbers resemble college football scores than anything worth shouting about. If the Democrats can manage to actually use these GOP missteps smartly, a change in majority may come to pass next month.
However, that's a very big "if" when one considers just who comprises the Democratic Party. It is the party that has consistently overplayed its hate against the Republican Party. From the theatrics at the Paul Wellstone memorial, the outspokenness of former Presidents Carter and Clinton, to the made-for-TV assassination of President Bush, the party of FDR can't seem to roll a rock downhill.
But in the end, Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. As this campaign season now goes from bad to worse, the GOP might soon be running campaign ads that will basically say:
"Vote GOP, because the alternative is even worse than we are."
Vincent Fiore is a freelance political writer who lives in New York City. His work can be seen throughout the Internet, including the American Conservative Union, GOPUSA, Human Events, and theconservativevoice. Vincent is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance and a contributing writer for NewsBusters.org. He receives e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!