We're up to the challenge
By Carol Devine-Molin
To paraphrase the often beleaguered Star War's character Han Solo, I had a bad feeling about this (the election outcome). Let's get real: What does it tell you when the Democrat takeover of Congress is roundly cheered by our enemies, the radical Islamists? Americans can choose to ignore the words of our enemies, but they do so at their peril. The political tsunami that swept away GOP Congressional leadership and installed the Democrats has been highly praised by the Iranian Islamo-fascist regime and al-Qaida terrorists. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claims that the election results are a victory for Iran. Moreover, al-Qaida in Iraq not only endorses the ascendancy of the Democrats, it gloats over Donald Rumsfeld's departure, and boasts that it will blow up the White House. Nice guys over at al-Qaida.
And if all this hasn't been enough of a wake-up call for Americans to look askance on Democrats, while identifying Republicans as the authentic terror warriors, maybe they better focus in on the fact that the Leftist hippie anti-war crowd of the sixties and seventies has come home to roost: Former Senator George McGovern, who was an icon of the anti-Vietnam War movement and catapulted the Democrat Party on its Far-Left trajectory with his 1972 presidential run, is poised to meet with 62 Democrat members of Congress to discuss how to implement anti-war strategies on Iraq. Yep, Iraq is the new Vietnam when viewed through their limited prism. Old Leftist, such as McGovern, are frozen-in-time and continue to re-live their glory days while embracing their standard templates of "Vietnam" and "Watergate". If we weren't living in such dire times, it would be downright laughable. It's time for me to start wearing my "Hippies Smell" T-shirt.
That being said, not all Republicans are shell-shocked by the shellacking inflicted upon the GOP. Some of us were well-braced, in view of: a) historical patterns of the "six year itch" midterm elections, b) the alacrity with which the partisan mainstream media (MSM) heaped distain upon the GOP, President Bush and his signature issue, the struggle for Iraq, c) Congressional Republicans that often strayed from basic conservative values of fiscal discipline and limited government, d) GOP Senate leadership that failed to properly cooperate with the House on border security, and, e) GOP scandals and misbehaviors hyped by the liberal media, while simultaneously giving short-shrift to comparable Democrat dirty linen. For instance, how come there's very little in the Left-leaning MSM about Senator Harry Reid's shady real estate deal? Is it because he's about to become the pride and joy of liberals as Senate Majority Leader? Other recent Democrat scandals include Rep. William Jefferson's bribery case with the FBI discovering monies hidden in his freezer, and the suspension of one of Rep. Jane Harmon's staffers who is under investigation for classified leaks. The Democrats have a history of leaking classified documents to their buddies in the media.
Current GOP losses of six Senate and 28 House seats are nothing unusual. As Deputy Chief of Staff and presidential advisor Karl Rove notes in the most recent issue of Time magazine, "In all sixth-year midterms since World War II, the loss was an average of 31 House and 6 Senate seats. And in all wartime midterms since 1860, the average loss was 32 House and 5 Senate seat." Even though Congressional Republicans have consistently proven themselves to be stalwarts on issues of national security and tax cutting, they've been less-than-adequate at communicating these and other positive GOP accomplishments to the public. In contrast, the Democrats, led by Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, successfully exploited the weaknesses of Congressional Republicans through a scorched-earth policy of profound negativity. And, of course, the MSM – their huge propaganda machine – was immeasurably helpful to Democrat efforts. The political Left effectively worked the dark side of the force, so to speak, in keeping with Star War's lingo.
Moreover, the Democrats energized their liberal base, marginally depressed Republican turnout, and persuaded independents to vote for them. Democrats carefully chose a number of "blue dog" candidates that would ostensibly govern as moderates. Frankly, this is just another example of the Leftist Democrat Party obfuscating who they really are, while pandering to an American electorate that they know is Center-Right in nature. In reality, Democrat Congressional members will wind up marching-in-lockstep to the tune of their very liberal leadership. Reportedly, Nancy Pelosi – who will soon be Speaker of the House – demands, and obtains, discipline in the ranks.
Under Democrat leadership, our national security will undoubtedly suffer. The vast majority of House Democrats voted against counterterrorism efforts such as the NSA's terrorist surveillance program and the terrorist interrogation bill. As Rep.John Boehner, Republican Majority Leader, underscored, "Not only do Democrats not have any national security plan to confront the threat of terrorism and keep America safe, but they've worked relentlessly to weaken American national security on other fronts. Whether it is bringing terrorists to justice, authorizing the President's terrorist surveillance program, or funding the intelligence community, Democrats have worked against America's national security interests and refused to give President Bush the tools he needs to effectively wage and win the war on terror." Republicans will now have to fight even harder to prevail against small-minded Leftists that will continue to thwart our ability to remain safe.
Unfortunately, things have now changed and life gets a little more complicated. Let's face it – the Congressional Republicans got fat and lazy and let the grassroots down. They better get their act together in pronto fashion and return to the conservative fundamentals of limited government and fiscal responsibility. That, of course, will galvanize both the Republican base and the Independents, ensuring our victory at the polls. It's terrific that the GOP demonstrates considerable efforts on the issues of national security and tax cuts, but that's not sufficient. Clearly, we have to make strides across the board, as we implement our entire Reaganesque agenda. That being said, there's plenty of blame to go around regarding last week's disastrous election outcome. During this past election cycle, we, as Republicans on all levels, failed to effectively disseminate our vital message and respond to the attacks of the political Left in a compelling manner. Simply put, we must be more pro-active in getting our message out to the public. During the campaign, I heard little about our robust economy or working toward more conservative judges, and that's a pity.
Furthermore, we absolutely require more outlets of varying kinds for our message. We're up against the MSM leviathan, and it's time that we broaden our reach. At this juncture, talk radio, conservative websites, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Washington Times are all well and good, but not adequate for the task at hand. Through creativity and technology, it's essential that we develop other venues, other networks of communication that will help us circumvent the MSM, and talk unfiltered to the American people. We've been successful in the past, and we've always been up to the challenge as both conservatives and Republicans.
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.