Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

What will or should happen next

First, Republicans have to realize that this is about as big a defeat as can be expected in the House, given modern redistricting technology. There should be no solace taken in the fact that the result was pretty close to the average six-year-itch election.

Second, Republicans in the House need to recognize that they need new faces if they’re to recover some (or all) of the ground they lost last night. And not just new faces. As the resident "compassionate conservative" in these parts, I recognized the risk that GWB was taking in trying to move his party in that direction. House Republicans basically took his willingness to expand government in the short term as an excuse to engage in pork barrel politics. The result was an uninspiring performance that all too easily could be characterized as corrupt "business as usual." Republicans have to relearn and remake the argument for personal responsibility and small government.

Third, President Bush has to serve the ball into the Democrats’ court on Iraq. We cannot, and he will not, "cut and run." Democrats now share responsibility for the future of that country. If they’re not willing to engage in responsible bipartisan deliberation on how to win in Iraq, they deserve to be cast back into the political wilderness.

Fourth, President Bush should vigorously resist any Democratic attempt to hamstring our efforts at fighting terrorism. Here’s a place where he can successfully wield, if need be, the veto pen, and win political points in doing so. This election can’t be read as a mandate for scaling back our surveillance efforts.

Fifth, should there be any high profile judicial nominations, President Bush shouldn’t under any circumstances put forward anyone other than a principled conservative. No Souters, Kennedys, or Mierses. Make the Democrats stand up to or embrace the extremist interest groups that are most vocal about judicial nominations.

Sixth, President Bush and Congressional Republicans should embrace the Democrats for Life abortion reduction bill. So long as they cede no ground in the moral condemnation of abortion, this bill is good for both policy and political reasons. Most importantly, it will compel the Democratic majority (see, I can write those words) to choose between a practical means of reducing the frequency of abortions and toeing the Planned Parenthood line.

Discussions - 16 Comments

Make the Democrats stand up to or embrace the extremist interest groups that are most vocal about judicial nominations.

What? They don’t need to "stand up" or "embrace" anything. All they need to do is mire the process in Committee. The MSM will dutifully fail to cover the stonewalling. America will soon enough be burdened with "American Idol" and won’t pay any attention.

Plus, what principled conservative would subject themselves to the savage thrashing they’ll get from Leahy and Kennedy, now that they hold the gavel?

I agree that Bush should not send up some mushy Souter. I’d love to see a string of fire-breathing conservatives with keen minds go up and spar with Leahy/Kennedy. My point is it’s a strategy that won’t succeed ... mostly because the Democrats wouldn’t fall for it.

If he’s smart, that’s exactly what he’ll do...send in the hard-core nominees. His base needs sharp reminding of who’s buttering their bread. Of course, how many hard-core nominees will agree to becoming sacrificial lambs?

Don, I do not think the Democrats could resist making a conservative Supreme Court nominee look like Saddam Hussein on trial. I do not see that the media could resist the fun, either. Who else would go up for that nomination EXCEPT some fire-breathing conservative? Even a relatively moderate GWB nominee would be portrayed as a right-wing nut-case. So what difference would it make, except as a chance for someone to state conservative principles under fire? I wonder how many sacrificial lambs it might take before the seat was filled? I’ll bet after two the public would be so sick of the fight that GWB could put Robert Bork up as nominee and the fight would fizzle.


"New faces" In Ohio, the only state-wide executive race that did not put a Democrat in a job that Republicans formerly "owned" was auditor, and Mary Taylor is a new face. All the old faces are gone. I wish I felt worse about it.
I am hearing on the news that this a defeat for conservatives, but in Ohio, except for Blackwell, I never considered those Ohio Republican "old faces" who were defeated, especially DeWine, as conservative.


It is Iraq and the war on terror that are most worrying. I am remembering the end of the Southeast Asian conflict. I was anti-war back then and yet, the end of that made me sick and I sickened until my previous convictions died a healthy death. Will the Dems. see this as a referendum on the war and choose to simply pull out? Would the Democrats do that again? I confess, I am afraid to listen to the political rhetoric today for fear they might be saying that.


Joe, the Democrats just DO toe the Planned Parenthood line.

Of course, how many hard-core nominees will agree to becoming sacrificial lambs?

Exactly. Not many. The Democrats can reasonably expect to knock down two or three before any hint of obstructionism raises its head. Maybe more if the MSM pays little attention to the workings of Committee.

The other downside is that if Bush sends up hardline conservatives, the Democrats can easily strike the drumbeat about how America voted Democrats into office as a repudiation of such things. It doesn’t have to be true for it to be effective.

An enormous opportunity -- perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity -- has been squandered by Republicans and conservatives since 1994. Had Bush more clearly articulated the reasons for Iraq and the consequences of failure, and had Republicans in Congress not been so damned focused on their greedy little pork issues, there was a real chance to trend the congress to even bigger majorities. That might very well have killed off the hyper-liberal cancer at the core of the Democrats, and opened up a better two-party system. But alas, they dropped the ball. And they’re not going to get it back any time soon.

Stand by, Kate, you’re gonna be a whole lot sicker. Osama and his jihadi brethren are already spinning this into the ol’ "America is weak and unmanly" rhetoric. We can expect global attacks as the Iraqi war ceases to be a sponge soaking up Jihad.

And you know what, Osama is right. We are a paper tiger...no patience, no stomach for casualties (or even hardships), no willingness to sacrifice for higher ideals. This place is done...better start looking around for the next "city on a hill."

Yeah dain, and it gets worse: I heard the Defeatocrats are actually going to invite OBL and his al Qaeda buddies to come LIVE in America so they can see it’s not such a bad place. They’re hoping this will get them to stop picking on us. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll just surrender. After all, we Defeatocrats are just a bunch of wimps who secretly WANT the terrorists to win! Better stock up on your guns and canned goods and reinforce that bomb shelter door, amigo!

I’ll bet after two the public would be so sick of the fight that GWB could put Robert Bork up as nominee and the fight would fizzle.

A lot depends on when the opening came up. If in the near future, the Democrats would have to stand tough for several cycles. If nearer the 2008 elections then perhaps they’d be more open to folding. But I doubt it.

Whatever nominee goes up for the sacrificial slaughter, they could not be fire-breathing and nasty. That would be way too easy ... heck, even I could design a PR campaign to make America hate the nominee. It would be easy.

The only insulation that seems to work is cloaking the nominee with nice family-oriented things ... kids, wife. That makes it harder for the Democrats to "be mean."

But if you think for one minute that the Democrats will risk alienating their base by "going soft" on something as important as the judge that’ll tip the Supreme Court ... well, then I’d have to say you’re just not viewing things in a realistic manner.

"An enormous opportunity -- perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity -- has been squandered by Republicans and conservatives since 1994."

What gets me is that conservatives have been pointing this out for years. I did not vote for Bush in 04 when he expanded government like never before (prescription drug giveaway) and his support of RINO Spector over Pat Toomey. Yet, the MSconservativeM (NR, Weekly, WSJ, this blog, etc.) never seemed to wake up to the train wreck that was coming. Perhaps now we can separate the conservative movement from the Republicans? What do we have to fear? The Dem’s will show their true euro-uber-socialism in the next year or two. Let’s focus on the Big Business/country cluber/insider bridge- to-nowhere leadership in the GOP and fix that, since there is no fixing the Dem’s. Then, in 2008, or maybe 2010 we have a chance for a conservative GOP...

p.s. Did you hear Rush’s confession this afternoon, that he now feels “liberated” because he does not have to try to defend the indefensible from the GOP anymore? The FOOL! he should have never defended the indefensible because conservatives are “principled”, they see through that garbage. I did, and so did all the other cut-n-run conservatives who stayed home yesterday…

Again, Christopher, I agree wholeheartedly, although I have defended the Bush administration on the war, even when I thought they were screwing up. Why? Because, as Lincoln said of Grant, "this man fights." Fighting a necessary war, even badly, beats suicide.

Hey, dain, speaking of fighting, do you remember THIS, when you said:

"What I will take special delight in is 2006, when we kick your butts again. And 2008 after that. As the song goes "Lose your money...learn to loss.(sic)"

Here’s hoping that the GOP kicks butt as much in ’08 as they did this year!!! What a laugh riot you are...

dain, better start looking around for the next "city on a hill." which is where? I know people who are moving to Costa Rica and someplace else down there - NOT Nicaragua. My husband wants to move us to Kenya where he says we could change the place. I don’t see it. Besides, this is my country, even when it makes me sick.

Who cares what Osama says. People here just think the Iraqis are ungrateful as evidenced by their allowing al Qaeda and Baathist and other thugs to operate and kill our sons and neighbors’ sons. Osama spouting stupid nonsense and most of all, actually doing something will probably force Dems. to do something sensible or else start making everybody else sick and then the House will go back to the GOP in the next election. Then the demand for action, the compulsion to it, might bring everyone to face what seems huge to some of us and the merest distraction to others. How horrible it is to realize I am thinking it might be GOOD for America to get smacked again, hard. Ugh.


Don in AZ, OK, no fire-breathing conservatives, unless well insulated, for the S. Court. I think whoever is put up first will get clobbered on the general principle that if GWB nominates him, he/or she, must be the embodiment of evil. That has been the rhetoric and why give up now? I suggest that anyone GWB might put up, I will offer as my strawman, Sen George Voinovich- moderate and liked by many Dems, but pro-life - and that issue will make him necessarily unacceptable to Dems., if they would not alienate their base. I say even nice Republicans will get rough treatment, especially if the Senate goes to the Dems. The last time I looked, VA was still undecided, and could tip the balance to them if it’s Webb.


Christopher, yes, we have been upset many times in the last six years. Big deal. Now we can be even more upset. (I heard Pat Toomey speak and conversed at table with him after and it IS a shame he was not elected. Arlen Spector makes me sick, too.)

Yes, trollboy, you’ve got me...my prognostication was inaccurate. So what? We will kick you butt again sometime soon...hopefully in 2008, but if not then, in however long it takes you Lefties to alienate the electorate.

Unlike you folks, you don’t see us scream about disenfranchisement, conspiracies, etc. We are whiny children, and we will be back. You lucked out this round, but it won’t last. You’ll have to have some ideas to rule, and you ain’t got any. Hee hee.

Well, hell...I meant to say we are NOT whiny children. My God, we need the ability to correct our posts...it’s enough to make you abandon NLT.

It’s true, the only real ideas the Dem’s have are borrowed from the uber-socialists over in Europe. I don’t see them doing anything worthy on Iraq - though they may take credit for a Republican plan while they are in power. I give them about a year before most of the cross over voters are done with them. However, because of the Republican failure, the GOP may not be ready in 2008 to take advantage of it...

Kate, the Puritans were religious utopians...they brought the darkness with them. This is always the case...people just aren’t consistent enough to create utopias...maybe not consistent enough to create even good societies. My "city on the hill" was a simple way of saying we should stop despairing for the Republic...it’s done. We need to look after ourselves...our economic interests, our kin, our culture. It’s sad, but I don’t see much future in "the American experiment" these days.

We need to look after ourselves...our economic interests, our kin, our culture.


dain, that’s just what those Puritans were doing, coming here. Isn’t that all we ever had to do? We are what we are and yet, looking around the world, is there any better option as to a place to do that? The only way to do what you say, to preserve and protect ourselves and our own, is to work towards making the Republic work as a republic, again. Elsewhere, or maybe even on this blog, I don’t remember, I wrote despairingly of our Republic. But everyone here, American and alien among us, is doing what you say they must do. Unfortunately, they too often do it badly and that makes society a nasty proposition, sometimes.


Christopher, You keep bragging about having stayed home during the election as if you think someone will congratulate you on the fact. Who, except for the gloating Democrats here, is going to do that?

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