Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What should Republicans do now? List your answers, ask your questions

With a victory in the House larger than any since the Second World War when in 1946 they took 56 seats and again in 1994 when they took 52.

At this moment, Republicans could pick up 65 seats in the House and 7 or so in the Senate as well 7-9 governorships. This doesn't even deal with changes of state legislatures.

If you were speaker of the house what would be your agenda?
  • Hearings on Health Care Bill
  • Repeal of Health Care trying to override an Obama sweep of the pen.
  • Get the deficit down.
  • Get the national debt down
  • Rebuild America's infrastrucure and reduce unemployment
  • Change trade policies so our workers are not punished by having to compete with lower wage workers in less developed countries.
When you win you have to govern. Will Mitch McConnell work together with the President and vice versa. Gingerich and Clinton were able to do so after 1994 Contract with America Republican victory.

Will President Obama call Dick Morris like Clinton did in order to refurbish his image?

Will they try to convince the Presidency to think less anout his place in history and more about the details of the stimulus package?

Was this a rejection of OBama or a rejection of incumbents or a show of support for Republicans?


  1. Since no one else is biting, I'd like to offer a few thoughts. I seem to be exceeding space limits, though, so I'm going to break this into three posts:

    1) An op-ed piece by retiring Sen. Evan Bayh entitled, "Where do Democrats go next?" (, offered some very interesting analysis of what went wrong for the Democrats and how to make it right. His next-to-final observation was that if his fellow Democrats took his advice, "they would confront Republicans with a quandary: cooperate to make America more prosperous and financially stable, running the risk that the president would likely receive the credit, or obstruct what voters perceive as sensible solutions." A very interesting observation.

    If Obama and the Democrats were actually to take Sen. Bayh's advice, this situation could relatively quickly be turned around to work for the Democrats' advantage. In a certain sense, the Republicans' best hope for 2012 is that Pres. Obama will remain stubbornly focused on his social agenda, putting his fellow Democrats in a quandary of their own: support their president, who will certainly be their party's presidential candidate, or oppose him and work with the Republicans.

  2. 2) Although it pains me to say it, I think that most of the Republicans' victories had very little to do with life and other socially conservative issues and more to do with the economy. In other words, moral issues didn't motivate the vote, they only benefited from it -- this time. If the economy improves in the next two years and/or the Democrats take Bayh's advice, put aside their social agenda for now and focus on the economy, then 2012 could easily go back to the Democrats.

  3. 3) My gut says that the "average American" (and most of the people who listen to Al's show probably don't fit that category :) ) dislike several things in politics, among them extremism and gridlock. The dilemma is, these days extremism tends to rule when one party holds all the power, while gridlock tends to rule when the power is split.

    Compounding the difficulty is that what is defined as "extreme" has changed over time. In fact, one of the major cultural battles, as Al's show follows so well, is the effort on the part of various forces to get Americans to think of their own position as "reasonable" and their opponents' position as "extreme." Therefore, positions that would have been unthinkable just 40 or 50 years ago are slowly positioning themselves as "reasonable" in the minds of many Americans.

    What does that mean for both parties? I think that if they want to succeed politically, they will have to put aside their social agendas, both the ones that we agree with and the ones that we don't, and focus together on the economy and the deficit. The party that acts as the Democrats have for the last two years, putting the economy and deficit second to anything else, will find themselves in trouble in 2012.

    Does this mean that pro-lifers have to drop all efforts to protect the unborn? No, but I think that, in order to be politically savvy about it, they will have to do it in a way that benefits the economy and/or cuts the deficit. For example, blocking taxpayer funding of abortion in the health care plan could work because it helps cut the deficit.

    A final thought: It's important to be involved in politics, especially so if the will of God is for you to be actively involved and running for office. But when it comes to the moral issues, trying to deal with them legislatively is like putting a tourniquet on a bleeding hemophiliac -- it buys you time, but it doesn't deal with the root problem. If you don't find a way to deal with the root problem, eventually the hemophiliac will probably bleed to death.

    The root problem for our society is the widespread rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord of every area of life. So even though political efforts should not be neglected, I believe that the bulk of our efforts as Catholics and Christians must be to bring people into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Those who are in love with their Savior will follow His words: "If you love me, you will keep my commands." And that conformity to His commands out of love will sooner or later translate into how they vote. Hopefully it will be sooner for the sake of our society, because the tourniquets are no longer doing the job. If we don't deal with the root problem soon, the pale hue of death won't be far behind.