Election aftermath: Picking up the pieces
By Christopher Adamo
web posted November 20, 2006
In the tumultuous aftermath of the 2006 mid-term elections, virtually every known political subgroup is attempting to "interpret" the election results as proof that the side it represents is winning the day.
It is undeniable that many complex circumstances converged last Tuesday to yield the current results. However, the public is being deluged with disingenuous and factually inconsistent "analyses" of the elections. For the most part, the self-serving motives of those engaged in such fraud are readily apparent.
To begin with, it must be conceded that the shift in Washington's political landscape cannot be explained away as merely a result of standard mid-term electoral shifts. While that dynamic played a role, by itself, it simply would not have been sufficient to overshadow other concerns among the electorate.
But neither can the left honestly contend that the public was making a decisive statement against the prosecution of the terror war. Those who reflexively oppose the war were already firmly lodged in the liberal/Democrat camp. And while they provide the party with a sizable and reliable liberal "base," their numbers could not have prevailed against a motivated and inspired conservative voting block.
Ultimately, it was the absence of such inspiration and motivation on the right that once again allowed the left to assume dominance. As has been the case for over four decades, Republican electoral fortunes can be directly correlated to the Party's willingness to firmly embrace and courageously advance the conservative agenda. The GOP, partly in deference to its current president, abandoned this course during the past few years, and is now paying the price.
Despite bogus liberal claims that the country wants "moderates" and leftists to set its future course, both the campaign tactics and a thorough analysis of election results attest strongly to the contrary. Moreover, the fraudulent manner in which Democrat leaders are "interpreting" those election results proves that they are still about the same business as has consumed them over the years, which is the acquisition of power at any cost, with an intent to hold onto it by every available means.
Consider some of the key races on which Democrat fortunes rested. Incumbent Republican Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania lost by a considerable margin to Democrat Bob Casey. But while Santorum has indeed been a stalwart conservative, Casey's claim to fame is that of being the son of former Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey, a hero of the pro-life movement and advocate of traditional values.
Even in this bluest of blue states, the Democrat had to ride the coattails of a venerated conservative father in order to establish credibility with the voters. Elsewhere in the country, the pattern is repeated.
In an apparent repudiation of his strong advocacy of border security, Arizona Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth lost to Democrat Harry Mitchell. Yet concurrently in Arizona, strong anti-illegal ballot measures passed handily, flatly refuting media spin that Hayworth suffered as a result of his opposition to open borders.
Furthermore, it turns out that Mitchell spent the last few weeks of the election cycle copycatting Hayworth's well-known advocacy of tighter border controls. So, once again, liberal Democrats cannot win in such situations unless they pretend not to be liberal Democrats.
Meanwhile, with each passing day, Democrat leaders become more emboldened and are now construing the election as a license to institute their visions of liberal utopia, comprised of such disreputable actions as the "cut and run" capitulation to the terrorists in Iraq, coupled with a renewed expansion of "nanny state" social policy here at home. Even the specter of "Hillary care" is once again ominously raising its ugly head.
Worse yet, the abhorrent tendency of the "me too" Republicans, ever willing to follow the Democrat lead, portends a possibility that the liberal agenda may be implemented with GOP collaboration. Thus have the Democrats all-too-often defined and dominated the political landscape, even while a political minority.
Among Republican mouthpieces, reaction to the election spans the entire political spectrum. Some, such as former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, advocate a complete retreat from social conservatism. By such words Armey and his ideological cohorts display their total lack of comprehension as to why the GOP lost this round, as well as being totally clueless as to how it ever won in the past.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich advocates the dangerous establishment of alliances with so-called "conservative Democrats," as if those who were elected by engaging in such deception actually have the slightest intention of remaining true to their pre-election posturing.
In the midst of this turmoil, a growing number of Republicans are embracing the strategy of returning to "Reagan Conservatism" (The term is now as popular among Republicans as it was with the "red state Democrats" prior to Election Day). Some, such as Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, are sounding more conservative than they ever have in the past.
Not to be outdone, the "Great Pretender," John McCain, who trashed the First Amendment and betrayed those in his party who sought to return the nation's courts to their Constitutional role, now professes to be the patron saint of conservatism. But "leadership through treachery" is hardly a believable substitute.
Clearly, they recognize the futility of governing as nothing more than watered-down replicas of the Democrats and instead seek to contrast themselves in a positive light against the political philosophies of the American left. Whether or not these Republicans are sincere in their beliefs remains to be seen.
The GOP has barely a year to learn the right lessons, identify its unprincipled opportunists, sift out the "fair weather conservatives" from its midst, and get back on message. The 2008 Presidential election cycle will start early.
Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer and staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He lives in southeastern Wyoming with his wife and sons. He has been active in local and state politics for many years.
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