The Way Ahead
As we look at the conservative landscape, it is hardly the wasteland that the media makes it out to be. On Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh said,
"I feel liberated... I no longer have to carry the water for people who don't deserve it."I couldn't agree more. With some remarkable exceptions, the vast majority of those that lost their seats did so because they simply didn't listen to the people.
So, the landscape that remains is exponentially more conservative (though less populated) than it was last week. Setting aside social issues (because I believe that it was largely irrelevant this election) and national security (because you know where we stand) the most important issue was fiscal responsibility. I believe that the Republican leadership will rightly dust off the Contract with America and look at what happened. Here is what I believe will start us off on the correct course.
1. Speaker Hastert stepped down as Majority (now Minority) Leader on Wednesday and Majority Whip Boehner with him. We need to support real conservatives for these posts. In that vein, I support Mike Pence for Leader and John Shadegg for Whip. These are the men who, had they been elected leaders last year, may have been able to stop the tide.
2. Ken Mehlman has done a really good job as Chairman of the RNC. As Chairman he is directly responsible and did the right thing by resigning. In his place I support two different candidates. One is Newt Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich was the architect of the Conservative Revolution of '94 and is just the person to get us back on track. I have met him on a couple of occasions and was seriously impressed with his intellect and class.
The other individual that may be good for the position is Michael Steele. Mr. Steele just barely lost a very close Senate race in Maryland. He is black and done a fantastic job of bringing blacks over from the DNC to endorse him. Most of the blacks that I know are very conservative people whose loyalty is sorely misplaced. Mr. Steele could fix that. I haven't completely thought through his selection and would entertain the thoughts of my gentle readers. Is he a viable mouthpiece outside the metro DC area?
3. Replace Secretary Rumsfeld with someone OTHER THAN Gates. I've had the "pleasure" of working under Mr. Gates and can say that he is an idiot. Gates was a Soviet maniac who completely missed the implosion of the USSR. In fact, he spent a remarkable amount of time castigating those that forcast it. He was later fired as DCI. He is a terrible choice.
4. With the Rumsfeld debacle, I have decided that the President simply no longer deserves my unabashed support. His prosecution of the GWOT was the only thing that he got right (even the SCOTUS nominations were initially botched) and now the military feels betrayed. Ditching Rumsfeld (or allowing him to resign... whatever) was spectacularly poor timing and replacing him with Gates was a kick in the nuts. So much for the leader of the Party. Time to focus instead on 2008. Who will lead us into a country of smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and meaningful national security? I'm not sure, but the time to start the search is now!
Stay involved. These hard issues will not go away, but they will come second place to retribution by the Democrats. Impeachment is in the air and will distract the "leaders" of our country from the hard work that needs to get done. Take a moment to flush your system of all the election hype, spin, and high blood pressure. Don't watch the news, throw out the opinion section of the Sunday paper, whatever.
But... don't give up. The sun still rises, the economy is rockin' along, your family still needs you, your job is still as important. Take a break. Come back to conservative activism when you're ready. Keep reading the blogs you like *ahem* and catch some shuteye. There are plenty of firefights ahead... take 10, have a smoke, drink some water, and get your gear ready... we're going to need your help soon.