As Republicans enjoy a massive victory this week, party leaders should not misunderstand the message of the public. They should not feel too comfortable about their large margin of victory. Indeed, the GOP will be on a very short leash. If they return to the big-government Republican policies of George W. Bush, their reign of power will be incredibly short-lived.
During the Bush years, the Republicans in Name Only (RINOs) were in charge. In that era, a budget surplus turned into $458 billion in deficits, the government added entitlement programs like Medicare Part D, and social spending exploded with liberal legislation such as “No Child Left Behind.” In addition, under Bush, a brand new federal bureaucracy was created, the Department of Homeland Security, which took over management of multiple agencies including FEMA and failed miserably during Hurricane Katrina.
After the Bush years and twenty-one horrific months of President Obama, voters do not want such big-government solutions for our societal problems. In this election, voters sent a very loud and clear call for less government and a return to the bedrock constitutional principles which made this nation great. In this election, voters did not cast a ballot for the Republican Party, they voted against the socialist agenda of Barack Obama and his allies in Congress. They voted against a party that tripled the already large budget deficits of George W. Bush. They voted against a party that added more to the national debt in 21 months than the nation accumulated in the first forty presidential administrations, spanning two hundred years.
Obama has pushed so far to the left that the country naturally turned to the Republicans as a counterbalance to his radical agenda. Historically, the party out of power wins big in midterm elections. In 1994, Republicans captured 52 house seats and took control of Congress for the first time since the Eisenhower years. In 2006, Republicans lost control of Congress as Democrats benefitted from massive voter dissatisfaction with the Bush presidency.
Clearly, the Democrats abused their power in Congress, and the last four years have been a nightmare for our country. Democrats pursued policies that helped create the worst economy since the Great Depression. While Democrats have controlled Congress, the stock market has fallen, the trade and budget deficits have soared, unemployment has more than doubled, and the housing industry has been devastated.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is such a hated figure that “Fire Pelosi” rallies were held all across the country. In one poll of Independent voters, Pelosi scored a pathetic approval rating of 8 percent. On Tuesday, Pelosi and her leftist colleagues in Congress were fired for just cause. However, Republicans cannot use this leadership opportunity to enact more sugar-coated liberalism. As Ronald Reagan stated many times, the Republicans must raise “a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors.”
In these troubled times, Americans want to see real action, not just rhetoric. They want to see the Republicans reduce the size of government, push for tax reduction and work to rollback the socialist programs of President Obama, especially the disastrous healthcare plan. They don’t want Republicans to compromise with President Obama on a watered-down version of his agenda.
If Republicans do not use this opportunity to pursue a real conservative program and fight Obama on these important matters, they will never be given another chance to lead. This is the Republican Party’s last chance to get it right.
The tea party activists who have helped make this victory possible will not have much patience. If the GOP fails this time, the party will crumble and a new conservative party will emerge. The RINOs have had their chance for success and have failed. It is now time for true conservatives to step forward and show the country that the timeless truths of the Founding Fathers will work once again and save our nation from total catastrophe.
Jeff Crouere is the Host of “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. He is the Political Analyst for WGNO-TV ABC26 and a Columnist for selected publications. For more information, visit his web site at RingsidePolitics.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.