One thing we know: This decade will be better than the last

Rep. Pete Sessions Chairman, National Republican Campaign Committee
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What a difference a year makes. In 2008, voters were sold a bag of goods by Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat puppets. Democrats promised a secure America, both fiscally and physically, but those campaign promises were disregarded before the first month of 2009 even ended. Now with a new decade upon us, Americans have a chance to take back their country by taking back the people’s House.

At the beginning of 2009, few people would have believed that one year later House Republicans would be stronger and ready to make serious gains in the coming election. In fact, a little more than a year ago political prognosticators were declaring the GOP dead and buried:

“Thumped convincingly in consecutive election cycles, the Republican Party now finds itself in its worse straits since the rise of the conservative coalition.” (Jonathan Martin, “GOP in dire straits,” Politico, 11/06/08)

But in true American fashion, House Republicans pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. By articulating opposition to disastrous legislation rammed through the House with little to no thought or debate, and by offering sensible, responsible alternatives, we have been able to turn the tide against Pelosi and her puppets. To be clear, November 2010 is a long way away and a lot can change, but the writing is on the wall.

This sudden change in public opinion can be explained quite simply: Democrats have either lost touch with the American public or have simply chosen to ignore them. How else can you explain Democrats pushing for a government takeover of your healthcare? How do they intend to defend a bill that 58 percent of Americans oppose, not to mention almost 60 percent of senior citizens? Not only are House Democrats pressing this disastrous legislation, but they are doing so at the expense of America’s senior citizens. To help offset the cost of this boondoggle, Pelosi and her puppets choose to cut Medicare for seniors instead of dipping into the pocket of their benefactors, the trial lawyers, by reforming our broken tort system.

Not only have House Republicans been winning the debate on the House floor, but we have been triumphant in the political arena as well. Recruiting this cycle has eclipsed anything seen in at least a decade. Mothers, businessmen and women, doctors, and other non-traditional candidates are lining up to take on out-of-touch Democrats. These non-traditional candidates are concerned about the present and their children’s future, both imperiled by the Pelosi agenda – an agenda that aims to raise taxes, explode the deficit, ration energy and healthcare, and turn our great country into a second-class nation.

I think it is important to stress again that our recruiting efforts have been bolstered by non-traditional candidates. These are individuals who have not held elective office before, and in many cases have never even run for office prior to this year. They embody the ideal of the citizen legislator and are running because of concerns for their families, communities, and country. Many are mothers, who fear for their children and the future they will inherit. Some are doctors, who do not want to see a federal bureaucrat come between them and their patients. And still others are small-business owners, the job creators who will lose their livelihood under the oppressive, anti-business policies of the Obama-Pelosi agenda.

It is the strength of our recruiting, coupled with the souring attitude toward failed Democrat policies that have led to the not-so-surprising retirements from alleged conservative Democrats Dennis Moore (KS-03), John Tanner (TN-08) and Bart Gordon (TN-06). These Democrats knew they could not run on their record and, after rubber stamping Pelosi’s liberal agenda, faced serious electoral concerns in 2010. In addition to these three retirements, Brian Baird (WA-03) also decided to call it quits, setting the stage for a potential GOP pick-up in his district.

While this initial wave of retirements sounded the first warning bell for House Democrats, the party switch of Parker Griffith (AL-05) from Democrat to Republican is probably the most telling sign of all. When announcing his party switch, Griffith said he felt compelled to stand up to “policies that burden our children with debt and threaten our economy.” With more and more Americans opposing the Democrats’ legislative agenda, Griffith’s switch has further fueled speculation by political handicappers about who will be the next Democrat to retire rather than campaign on the Democrats’ wildly out-of-touch agenda.

A new decade is upon us – one that is hopefully filled with security and prosperity. Americans have a chance to put this country on that path next November. There is a long way to go, but momentum continues to build for House Republicans. The time has come to take back our country, and retire Nancy Pelosi.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.