many unhappy returns

short and sweet recap at this point in the game: democrats win the house, senate still undecided, shepard smith is yelling at somebody for some reason.

this was a defeat for republicans, not for conservatism. the american people didn’t give the democrats a mandate for higher taxes, possible impeachment hearings, more moderate judges, amnesty for illegals, or a policy closer to surrender in the war in iraq. they simply believed that the republicans had not met their expectations, so they decided to give the democrats an opportunity to do a better job governing. i just hope that we won’t be sorry that this choice was made.

philip klein:

We will hear a lot of reasons for why Republicans lost this year. We will hear that they lost because of an unpopular war, an unpopular president, a culture of corruption, a traditional anti-incumbent six-year itch and a dispirited base. But one thing is for sure. Republicans did not lose on a platform of limiting the size and scope of government.

Just as this election wasn’t a defeat for conservatism, it wasn’t a victory for liberalism. Democrats intentionally avoided a publicized “Contract With America”-style platform advancing a progressive agenda in favor of making the campaign a referendum on President Bush. The closest thing they had to a platform, “A New Direction for America,” was not a sweeping ideological document, but a laundry list of initiatives such as making college tuition tax-deductible, raising the minimum wage, and negotiating drug prices. Though a Democratic majority will likely roll back President Bush’s tax cuts, they didn’t advertise that in the “fiscal discipline” section of their platform. (It is a testament to how enamored Republicans became with big government that they enabled Democrats to run as the party of fiscal discipline.)

it is what it is. the democrats now control congress. the republicans need to learn that they don’t ever have a blank check from their base to abuse the trust they were given on issues that we care deeply about. i voted for republicans this time, because i thought that the bigger picture (terrorism, iraq) was more important than our concerns about spending and illegal immigration. (i also wasn’t convinced that the democrats would be an improvement in these areas.)

we can’t go to canada. there are few conservative havens in the world. so we need to stay engaged…now more than ever. we can’t give up fighting for what we believe, because the stakes are too high. keep calling. keep writing and emailing your representatives, no matter what their party affliation is. keep your eyes open.

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2 thoughts on “many unhappy returns

  1. How does one define what is and is not a mandate, and for what?
    Presumably if a party is voted in or out, it is an approval or rejection of their policy positions, and therefore a vote giving or revoking a mandate for their plans?
    How does a party win an election, but not be given a mandate?

  2. The voters rejected Republicans by wide margins. If the margin of victory is the sole determination of a mandate, then the Democrats have it. I have yet to see the evidence that Democrats were elected because of their views on social issues or because we want to withdraw our troops from Iraq immediately. What the voters said is that the Republicans weren’t living up to expectations. The voters wanted change, and I don’t think they considered all the implications of making that change.

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