Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Personal Aside: Would It Be That Bad for the GOP to Lose the Congress?



With the exception of the governorship where I will write in the name of Randy Stufflebeam, I will not only vote straight Republican but will be rooting energetically for the election or reelection of a number of my favorites to the House: including Peter Roskam in the 6th and David McSweeney in the 8th . As a matter of fact, I can think of many elections where I have been more lukewarm than this one. I had never been a fan of Richard Nixon and so I rather dragged myself off to the polls to vote for him in 1960 over Kennedy and in 1968 over Humphrey. Moreover, I had never been an enthusiast of Barry Goldwater because, having worked for one brilliant conservative, Walter Judd, I clearly saw Goldwater’s deficiencies. I supported him however—manfully.

I was a little more enthusiastic for Nixon in 1972 when the opponent was George McGovern whom I knew slightly and felt he was…and still is…entirely impractical for the country with his support for massive redistribution of income and a complete detachment from reality in foreign affairs. Having known Gerald Ford when we both worked in the House…he as a fast-rising Michigan congressman and me as an aide to a congressman who was his fast friend…I was unimpressed. Even more unimpressed when in debating Jimmy Carter he announced that East Germany had moved to the Free World. Of course the high-water mark for me was Ronald Reagan and his program in 1980 and 1984. George H. W. Bush was always too much a preppie and irresolute to my way of thinking. I was never that interested in his “realism” in foreign policy which was a hangover from the Nixon-Kissinger days when Dr. Kissinger became convinced that this country did not have the will to win the Cold War.

The Republican nominee against Bill Clinton was Senator Bob Dole whom I knew quite well from dealings in the Congress since he had been in the House. A very uninspiring, evasive, temporizing relativist who got the nomination simply because it was his turn. I had supported Jack Kemp whose economic views made perfect sense. But he burned out early, in part because he was a kind of perverse Marxist. Like followers of Marx who believed economics was at the root of everything, Kemp felt the free market was the answer to everything to the extent that he couldn’t mount any fervor for the evangelicals who have meant so much to the GOP’s sinews.

At the outset, in the pre-convention period of 2000, I was for Steve Forbes and felt that George W. Bush was a very small chip off the old block. How wrong I was. I think now that he may well equal if not exceed Ronald Reagan as one of our greatest presidents, no matter what the contemporary media—which were wrong all during the Cold War—may say. And I still feel the same way about the president. The Republican Congress, however, has bogged down in careerism. Newt may have had a lot of defects but he was a veritable pinwheel of ideas as Speaker. Dick Armey was duplicitous but a superbly equipped legislator to be majority leader, as a trained and eloquent economist. I would even vouchsafe that Tom DeLay would have continued…had he not been shattered by the attempt on his life which snuffed out a close Capitol Hill cop…as a thoroughly competent majority leader.

We know now that Denny Hastert is in no way a successor to Newt’s group that went before. He has been a caretaker and not a very diligent one at that. It has not been his fault: after all, he was drafted for the job when Livingstone opted out of the Speakership. Still, there are times when party majorities grow old and arteries get clogged. I am persuaded that a change of leadership in the Speakership…with maybe a Mike Pence of Indiana or a Shaddegg of Arizona…would be salutary. Perhaps before that can happen, it may be necessary to see a temporary shift in a House majority. I wouldn’t exactly suffer through that if I were sure that Nancy Pelosi and her gang were as fully committed to this country as Democratic majorities were in the past—a past I knew well and worked under: with Speaker Sam Rayburn, Speaker John McCormack…even Tip O’Neill whom I knew quite well. Then one gets to the Democratic dregs…the thinnest residue of which in the bottom of the glass is Ms. Pelosi. She and her lean and hungry Cassius with cheeks sucked in lascivious lust of power who entertains no absolutes save his own opportunism, Rahm Emanuel.

It is not in my power to do anything except cast one vote. But if I had my druthers, I would turn the House over to a Democratic generation of a bygone day. That’s how I feel about it today anyhow. Tomorrow a partisan Democrat may strike at my boys and I will don my armor and fight again.


  1. Tom
    All of the reasons you gave would be legit if we were in the 90's with no enemies knocking at the door. How many millions will die when the money for the waqr is cut off? How many millions of Illegals will be made citizens to prop up this shell of a democrat party? How long will it be until we are struck again in the heart of our country?
    A win for the Democrats will be seen as a loss for the President and the insurgents will explode all over Iraq untill we pull out. Charlie Rangle Chairman of ways and means?
    We can stop all of that horror just by helping keep the 6th district and helping to win the 8th! If those 2 districts are put into the GOP column there is no way for the Democrats to take control. If you don't want to vote for the top of the ticket don't but do not stay home

  2. I hardly think having the Dems in charge of one branch is going to result in more illegals coming over the border than were allowed under years of Republican rule of the House. And it was Bush and the Republican Senate that was considering something approaching amnesty.

    Would be hard for the Dems to drop the ball more on illegal immigration. Would be hard for the Dems to be drunker sailors when it comes to federal spending than Denny's crew has been.

    Tom's right. The arteries of our leadership are clogged. Years of arrogance and neglect can't be overcome in 3 weeks. Scare tactics are just pissing people off more at the GOP.

    David McSweeney especially doesn't deserve to get caught in the coming bad wave, but it's Hastert's fault as much as anyone's.

    In Tom's defense, I think he did say he was voting for all the Republicans except for Topinka. Besides, I don't think it's the people blogging on political websites that we have to worry about not voting. I think enough people have decided that an arrogant GOP leadership needs to be taught a lesson, and all the GOTV in the world isn't going to change that at this point. I think it's been too little too late for the GOP to expect to keep the House. The Senate, I think there's still a chance to keep a small majority.

  3. For one thing who was it that voted to put up a fence? The House! In the 1996 campaign the Democrats under the direction of Al Gore rushed hundreds of thousands of "Immigrants" through the citizenship process without backround checks just to pump up the vote tens of thousands of felons were given citizenship. As far as arrogance and spending WE ARE AT WAR!!!! How big was the deficit the last time we were attacked at home? You sound like a spoiled child, "Needs to be taught a lesson." Who was more arrogant than Chairman Rostencowski and his buddies? The Speaker is going to retire, lets change leadership through the vote for speaker not allow Pelosi and the rest of the commrades to take control; you act as though the GOP has done nothing good. Tax cuts, marriage protection, Stopping fetal stemcell research, killing the assault weapons ban, expanding IRA's killing the death tax I could go on.

    The most important thing is the war on terror. The reason we were attacked was the liberals were in control after vietnam and cut the crap out of the CIA and restrained them. Remember what they did to Reagan for helping to beat the Sandanestas? They charged him with a crime for freeing millions. This country cannot risk Democrats in charge of the purse strings in this war. Grow up

  4. Hey, all the ranting at me on this blog isn't going to change reality. Too many voters think the Republicans have had their chance at one-party power, and pretty much made a mess of it. Scare tactics aren't going to change that.

    By the way, where is that border fence? Since 2001, Repubs have had the Oval Office, House and Senate. Still no fence.

    Denny's boys look like they've been more concerned with trying to have sex with young kids, and then covering it up.