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By Geoff Metcalf

November 14, 2006

�What we call �Progress� is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.� --Havelock Ellis

The congressional balance of power flip is not really a sea change as much as a much needed correction.

A recent poll by the Club of Growth found that voters think the �GOP used to be the party of economic growth, fiscal discipline and limited government, but in recent years, too many Republicans in Washington have become just like the big spenders that they used to oppose.� EXACTOMUNDO!

In other words, the country hasn�t rejected conservative principles�the establishment Republican Party has.

Newt Gingrinch said, "The balance of power in the House is now 50-plus blue-dog (conservative) Democrats,� he told the Washington Times. A growing consensus believes Republicans got thumped because voters perceived that they had strayed from conservative principles.�

Frankly, the power flip in congress is in many ways a direct function of myopic enablers within the GOP. The White House, party leadership and even conservative icon Rush Limbaugh must share guilt and blame.

Defenders of the indefensible �knew� they were wrong and still embraced the partisan pettiness of �us vs. them��and they all are responsible.

Albert Einstein once observed, �If the facts don�t fit the theory, change the facts.�

Limbaugh claims republicans were held captive by party leadership and were forced to endorse police with which they disagreed.

BULLFEATHERS! They (Rush included) made a conscious decision to abandon principles to support misguided �team� rah-rah�and now they must suffer the consequences.

Rush contributed to the Democrats victories and it is painful to here him explain now that it has not been easy for him to endorse some of the things backed by Republicans in Congress. "There have been a bunch of things going on in Congress, some of this legislation coming out of there that I have just cringed at, and it has been difficult coming in here, trying to make the case for it��

If �Excellence in Broadcasting� was truly committed to conservative principles, Rush (and his clones) had a self-assumed duty and responsibility to �keep the GOP honest� and he/they failed.

Rush says, �I feel liberated�I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried.� The reality is he didn�t HAVE to carry RINO water before. He chose to�for all the wrong reasons.

Bill Clinton told a Canadian audience �I think the American people prefer, first, a government that gets things done and is not mired in partisan gridlock.� He conveniently ignored the Democrats complicity in gridlock. He also acknowledged that Americans are more �culturally conservative� than Canadians, and��It would be a big mistake to read the results as some big move to the left in America.�

However, Bill was wrong when he said the American electorate ��thought that the government has gone too far to the right, is too unaccountable�. If anything, the reality check for the GOP was a demonstration of the electorate�s angst at the GOP for having abandoned their alleged key principles and the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

Some of the proforma quotes emerging from the post election trauma are beyond hypocritical. Harry Reid, one of the most offensively partisan hacks in Congress was quoted as saying, �The only way to move forward is through bipartisanship and openness.� Prove it Harry!

Henry Waxman who takes over the Government Reform Committee observed his committee �has jurisdiction over everything�. He said, �The most difficult thing will be to pick and choose (what to investigate).�

Despite GOP speculation the Dems will flood and investigations into everything and anything as retaliation�payback, Waxman �claims� that won�t happen.

"A lot of people have said to me, `Are you going to now go out and issue a lot of subpoenas and go on a wild payback time?' Well, payback is unworthy," he said. That�s what he says NOW. Save that quote for when the partisan knives come out�and they will.

Chuck Schumer made one of the more honest and insightful post mortem observations. He acknowledged that a his party which has been captive to the most strident liberal left (a significant admission), this time sought more moderate candidates, better suited to red state sensitivities.

However, the successful strategy for winning begs the question of what now? Will the usual way-left suspects (Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Waxman, Biden, Kennedy et al) reassert an agenda far more liberal than the core principles of the constituency that elected them?

Democrats won with moderate (blue-dog type) candidates.

  • In Montana Senate candidate (and farmer) Jon Tester ran on gun rights and tax cuts. Sounds kinda republican?
  • In Virginia, Senate candidate Jim Webb was a pro-military former Reagan Navy secretary. Sounds kinda republican?
  • Tennessee's Harold Ford (though he lost) was real competitive in a red state because of his conservative stance on partial-birth abortion and gay marriage. Sounds pretty republican?
  • The House is a similar picture, where most of the two dozen or so Democratic winners campaigned on somewhat conservative social and fiscal issues. Yeah, pretty republican?

So how do these new �blue-dog� Democrats fit in with their far left brethren? Will they be allowed to exert a moderating influence on legislative priorities and visceral desires of payback? Or will the alpha liberals marginalize the newbees?

Schumer admits the obvious divisions among his members. "Democrats, having been in the wilderness so long, are willing to make more compromises for the common good.� That sounds good�but can they?

When asked by the Wall Street Journal how Democrats will approach President Bush's new defense secretary nominee, Robert Gates, Chuck waffled a tad.

"I think the inclination of Democrats is that, when it is an executive appointment, to give the president latitude. And so unless it is something egregious . . ." He left the sentence dangling�without example.

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But what about the perpetual spitting match Democrats maintained against �executive appointments� to the judiciary? And if Bush gets Gates as an executive prerogative, what about John Bolton for the UN?

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In other words, the country hasn�t rejected conservative principles�the establishment Republican Party has.