The Republicans Don’t Have Many Options
By: Craig Chamberlain
It’s highly unlikely, that even with the Democrats missing the magic 60 number, the Republicans will be able to maintain a filibuster. RINO’s, such as Senator Specter, Senator Snowe, Senator Collins, and Senator Voinovich will be frequent defectors to Obama in an attempt to stay on the good side of the beltway press, and fearing anti Republican feeling, will try to disguise themselves as Democrats, as much as possible, to keep their jobs.
To make matters worse there is the matter of Senator Coleman. The outcome of the race might not be known until 2009, but it seems to be the case that every official in the state of Minnesota is doing everything in their power to make sure that Al Franken is the next Senator from the land of 10,000 lakes. If Al Franken isn’t a reason for voting straight Republican ticket nothing is.
It’s very likely- no, it’s more than very likely, it’s a certainty- that the first two years of the Obama administration is going to pull the country to the left, maybe irreparably so. Card check to unionize most businesses against their will, nationalizing Americans health care system, and possibly the energy industry if they’re feeling especially aggressive. A trillion dollars in new spending that will only further the debt, weaken the currency, and increase the tax burden for the average American.
Things are not looking good for the Republican party or the conservative movement. It’s likely that the ban on partial birth abortion will be repealed by the new, and most militantly pro abortion Congress in American history. With it the Hyde amendment, which forbids, using medicaid money to fund abortion. After all we’ve just elected a President so pro abortion that he was opposed to medical help for infants who survived abortions.
So then what can conservatives realistically do? Most of the strategies and options before us don’t sound very promising. Forge an alliance with the Blue Dog Coalition in the House of Representatives? Not very likely. Speaker Pelosi has them on a very short leash. They’ll vote the party line when they are told to do so.
Hope that the Supreme Court will declare most the Obama’s plans unconstitutional? The only parts of his plan that are blatantly unconstitutional are card check, the fairness doctrine, and national health care. The rest of it doesn’t involve any questions of constitutionality. Then you have a court so evenly divided that there is no guarantee that the court will come down on the side of the constitution. After all the court upheld McCain- Feingold didn’t they? The filibuster won’t be a viable factor. Then what can the conservative opposition hope to do in the next two years?
1) Speak directly to the people. We can’t rely on the press to ask any hard questions of the Obama administration. Saddam Hussein didn’t have a press that was so friendly as the one Obama will have. So forget the press. Go over their heads right to the people. When President Reagan wanted his tax cuts passed he urged the people to call their congressman to let them know of their support for the tax cuts. Buried under letters and phone calls the Democratic house surrendered, and passed the tax cuts. When McCain- Kennedy wanted to amnesty millions of illegal immigrants the American people rose up and said no. They flooded the switchboard of the Senate until they got the message and gave up on the project.
The conservatives must keep the people involved, and let the Congress know that while the voters kicked out the Republicans conservatives are still presents and still a force in this country. Nearly half of the people voted against Barack Obama. There is not unanimous support for left wing activism.
2) Get back to conservative principles. We lost our way, and the majority, when we began acting like Democrats. If we fail to practice what we preach we might be in the minority for another 40 years. If the GOP wants to become the majority anytime soon it must not only retake lost seats in the south and west, but must also attack Democrats in their strongholds. The GOP is almost nonexistent in New England, we’re fading in New York and the upper midwest. These were once Republican strongholds. Instead of writing them off the party must do all it can to recruit candidates that can speak to the voters in those regions and win. Too often we simply give up and run a token candidate. While the south is the heartland of the GOP, the GOP is not just a southern party. We don’t have to sell out our conservative principles to attract voters outside of the south, but we must speak to their concerns and run candidates that can gain their support.
Lastly it is imperative to maintain party discipline. As the minority party the last thing we can afford is defections and infighting. While a filibuster might not be reliable it might be possible in certain situations if certain Republicans can be given a reason to hold ranks. Admittedly it’s not very likely, but nothing ventured nothing gained.
The next two years are going to be very challenging for the Republican party. It remains to be seen whether we can block Obama’s plans, but we’ll have a better chance if we’re smart about how we fight him.