The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. And I'm still conflicted. Despite what others have written and commented about me, I have never, ever counseled not voting or staying home in this or any election. Anyone who does is, well, to be kind, being less than honest. Way less. Since my 21st birthday, I have only missed four elections and not a one of those was a General Election. I consider voting the most sacred and important thing we do in our constitutional republic. I have never taken that duty and privilege lightly. As citizens we are duty and honor bound to be informed on issues and candidates. The opportunity to cast a ballot has been bought with blood and suffering and denial and sacrifice. I have been an election judge for four years. I loathe same day registration. I despise vouching. I hold the vote in such high regard that I believe that people need to prove that they are eligible to vote.That they hold the vote in such high regard and esteem that they will go to extraordinary lengths to vote (I'm reminded of the story of an Iraqi citizen living here in America who drove for eight hours one way to vote in the Iraqi election!). No one decides to move in three days. The sanctity of the vote needs to be fully insured. OK. I've vented. So, my confliction? Republicans.
I wrote to a friend of mine that I'm sick and tired of Hugh Hewitt, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al telling me that if the Repubs lose either or both houses of Congress that it's going to be my fault. Wait a minute pal. Each and every election is a referendum. The voter/electorate are consumers. And we, as the market, decide if we're going to buy what's proposed, or going to keep buying what we been forced to buy for the last two or four years. In 1994 the Repubs made the case that the old lefty product was really bad, that the sellers in Congress had become contemptuous of the voters. Congress had become a lot like the American auto industry in the 1970's when Detroit assumed that Americans would always buy whatever the Big Three put out. And Detroit has been trying to catch the Japanese auto makers for the last three decades. And in 1994 the Repubs put together a great marketing effort with their Contract for America. And the Repubs took 54 seats in the House and 8 seats in the Senate. And then what happened? Well, for a few years things went well. And then "we" became "them". The Repubs became the Dems. Spent more. Much, much more...more in six years with a Repubs controlling both hoses of Congress and a Repub in the White House then when there was a dress staining cigar smoker in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, D.C.Spent much, much more.
Yesterday Dick Armey had a great column outlining the downward spiral of the Repubs since the 1994 Repub Revolution. Seems that the main Repub campaign slogan is "SPEAKER PELOSI !!!!!!!!!!!!" or "Vote for us because it will be worse with those others!" Not exactly what I'd call a strong message. The Repubs rightly refer to tax cuts as working. They always have. And they screech "SPEAKER PELOSI will raise your taxes!" I'm sure she will. Now, that being said, the Repubs being in control of BOTH houses of Congress AND the White House still haven't made the tax cuts permanent. They passed the direct attack on the 1st Amendment with McCain/Feingold. And the equally horrible HAVA (Help America Vote Act [a great column by George Will]...meaning you and I are both way too stupid to know how to vote). And a $1,500,000,000,000 addition to Mediscare via a prescription drug program (Yup. Nothing at all succeeds like a government program. Just look at New Orleans after Katrina!). And of course, the New Jersey Supreme Court decision was a two fold bonus for Repubs: gay marriage and rank, unchecked judicial activism. Couldn't have come at a better time for the Repubs.
And on the other hand, the Repubs are absolutely correct: of course it will be worse with the lefties. They are appeasers, UN dependent internationalists who are more concerned with how people feel and building up support for harsher UN resolutions than resolving any conflict. I'm re-reading "The Art of Political War" and have just finished Horowitz's analysis of Clinton's disastrous foreign policy. More than ample evidence again that lefties can NOT be trusted in any way, shape or form to defend America . And their solution for any and all failed programs? More of it, more money for it or another program that at the very least is just as bad.
And so, if I were alone in my in my confliction, there would definitely not be the concern over the closeness of this election. If I were the only conservative with these doubts, there would be absolutely no talk about "the base" or,"energizing the base" or concerns that "the base will stay home". I haven't heard any reference to the Repubs picking up a net increase, only articles about minimizing the losses, of still keeping the majority but with a smaller number of seats. But, there are those concerns. And the pundits are hitting hard about those concerns. The Repubs are hitting hard about those concerns. My email inbox is getting at least 6-10 emails a day from the Repubs.
As Dick Armey said in his article that I referenced above:
"Republicans -- too busy dreaming up wedge issues to score cheap points against Democrats -- have lost sight of their broad national agenda.
The likely Republican losses in next week's elections will not constitute a repudiation of the conservative legacy that drove the Reagan presidency and created the Contract With America. To the contrary, it would represent a rejection of big government conservatism. When we get back to being the party of limited government, putting a national agenda ahead of parochial short-term politics, we will again be a party that the American voters will trust to deal with the serious challenges facing our nation.
The 2006 midterm elections will be a success for the Democrats. Republicans will have to manage their own disappointment. Fingers will be pointed, and various villains will be fashioned out of recent events. But the plain fact is that Republicans have been setting the stage for this outcome for nearly a decade, running from themselves and their own principles. We will not find ourselves by conforming to the status quo, but by returning to our Reagan roots."
And be sure to vote!