We have to accept the fact that the conservatives we sent to Congress in 1994 became the bloated, earmarking, tone-deaf toads of 2006. They thought they could do whatever they wanted, regardless of what their constituents think, and now they have been reminded of just who is working for whom. Remedying that sense of isolation and disconnect and unchecked power is why we have elections in the first place, and as to the consequences of it, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
I'm writing each and every one of my congresscritters today to let them know one very simple fact: Republicans did not lose the way they did because they held on to their conservative ideals. They lost because the Republicans acted like the Dimocrats, and alienated the very people who voted for them in the first place. Via Instapundit:
Over in Tim Blair's comment section, a guy named Dave S. said this:
"The Republicans lost and the Democrats won for the same reason -- they distanced themselves from their base. "
That's the sentence of the year, in my opinion.
We need to let the Republicans know that if they expect to win in 2008, they must return to the conservative principals they supposedly supported during the election years. Which means no more Denny Hastert protecting corrupt congresscritters. No more waffling on border security. No more "Well, mebbe we'll keep the tax cuts, but we'll vote on that later" bullshit. No more pork barrel politics that both sides of the political sphere practiced in recent years. Let's face the truth: Many of the Republicans in Congress were the very picture of what conservatives vote against, and it cost them. We have a chance to tell the Republicans exactly what they need to do in order to win elections, and I'm willing to bet that they'll be much more disposed to listen right now.
Yes, losing sucks. But rather than scream and yell and cry about it, we need to ensure that it doesn't happen again in 2008. Let's get cracking!
Perhaps I can add my thoughts to TVE's post below. Yes, the media controlled the debate. What did you expect? The MSM has been carrying the Dimocrats for years now. Without the biased reported from ABCCBSNBCCNNMSNBC, the Dimocrats wouldn't be capable of sniffing any seats in Congress. But what did the Republicans do when faced with this challenge? They just sat back and let it continue. The heavy lifting in the war of ideas wasn't done by any elected Republican, it was done by blogs, or talk radio, or other alternative media. It was very few and far between that an elected Republican came out and laid out THEIR thoughts. As the Dimocrats slung mud and crap everywhere they could, the Republicans did...... nothing. It wasn't until President Bush came out on the election trail and started asking "What plan, exactly, DO the Dimocrats have?" that people started to wake up and ask the same thing. What do you think would have happened if some Representative stood up a few months ago and asked that question? If the Dimocrats had been taken to task? "So, Ms. Pelosi, you have been criticizing the President for a while now. In plain words, what alternative plan do you have?"
The Dimocrats didn't have any plan they wanted regular Americans to know about, but nobody pushed that point until a few weeks before the election. That was a major foul-up, plain and simple.
So what's next? We lost some good people, plain and simple. But we also lost some dead weight. This isn't the end, so long as we work towards the next election. Let's clear out the trash in the next PRIMARIES, not general elections. And let's get the Republican party back to where they were in 1994, not 2006.