Where Do Reasonably Moderate Conservatives Go From Here?
First, wait and watch a while. An analysis of the results indicates that the recent election was not a turn to the left, but more likely a turn to the right. Many liberal Republicans lost, and many of the new Democrat House members ran on conservative platforms. We have been asking for years where all the Jacksonian Democrats have gone; perhaps a new generation is back. Liberals have been known to hide their true agendas, so we will have to see what happens.
From the Washington Post:
November 11, 2006
“The fact that the Democrats crossed midfield does not make this election a great anti-conservative swing. Republican losses included a massacre of moderate Republicans in the Northeast and Midwest. And Democratic gains included the addition of many conservative Democrats, brilliantly recruited by Rep. Rahm Emanuel with classic Clintonian triangulation. Hence Heath Shuler of North Carolina, antiabortion, pro-gun, anti-tax -- and now a Democratic House member.
The result is that both parties have moved to the right. The Republicans have shed the last vestiges of their centrist past, the Rockefeller Republicans. And the Democrats have widened their tent to bring in a new crop of blue-dog conservatives.
Moreover, ballot initiatives make the claim of a major anti-conservative swing quite problematic. In Michigan, liberal Democrats swept the gubernatorial and senatorial races, yet a ballot initiative to abolish affirmative action passed 58 to 42 percent. Seven of eight proposed state constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage were approved. And nine states passed referendums asserting individual property rights against the government's power of eminent domain.
To muddy even more the supposed ideological significance of this election, consider who is the biggest winner of the night: Joe Lieberman. Just a few months ago he was scorned by his party and left for dead. Now he returns to the Senate as the Democrats' 51st seat -- and holder of the balance of power. From casualty to kingmaker in three months. Not bad. His Democratic colleagues who abandoned him this summer will now treat him very well.
Lieberman won with a platform that did not trim or hedge about seeking victory in Iraq. And he did it despite having a Republican in the race who siphoned off 10 percent of the pro-war vote. All this in Connecticut, a very blue state.” Charles Krauthammer
Second, carefully select new leaders in the House and the Senate. The inability of Republican majorities to deal more effectively with issues like judicial nominations, immigration, social security reform and corruption caused tremendous frustration and anger in the ranks. Republican leaders seemed indecisive and weak, and could never apply the basic rule of politics: ‘reward your friends and punish your enemies’.
We need leaders who can articulate conservative causes and have proven their competence and tough mindedness. We also need leaders who do not succumb to the Washington, DC social scene and try to be ‘good guys’ in the eyes of the media and the party-givers.
Finally, we need leaders who will be able to combat the spate of hearings, investigations and impeachment attempts that will stalemate the government and divert people from doing the jobs that need to be done. Perhaps our new leaders can study and put to use some of the obstructionist tactics used so successfully by the Democrats over the last six years.