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Republicans Forgot Reagan's Message
Human Events ^ | November.10, 2006 | Marc Rotterman

Posted on 11/11/2006 2:42:16 PM PST by Reagan Man

As I write this column, three days after the midterm elections, the Democrats have taken over the House of Representatives and, with the concession of Sen. George Allen (R.-Va.), have captured the Senate as well.

Make no mistake about it—this is Republican loss and not a conservative loss.

Republicans lost because the Bush Administration and the Republican leadership too often cavalierly abandoned the populist conservative message and policies of President Ronald Reagan.

For far too long the American people have come to view the conservative movement and the Republican Party as one and the same. Indeed, they are not.

Conservatives need to re-establish their identity and independence from Republicanism. The Bush Administration has been hijacked by neo-conservatives who believe in “big government conservatism.” The very phase is an oxymoron—designed to give cover for big government intervention in both the domestic and foreign policy arenas.

The neo-conservatives support open borders, expansion of the education bureaucracy and promoting democracy in the Mideast through military intervention.

Republicans paid a heavy price at the ballot box for their failure over the last few years to live up to the ideals and standards which the American people believed they represented when they took the House of Representatives from the Democrats a decade ago and when Bush won the presidency in 2000.

This election turned out to be just what many conservatives had feared—a referendum on the performance of the Bush White House and the Republican Congress, rather than a contest between the two competing party’s visions for America.

Republicans lost touch with almost every element of their base.

Economic conservatives could not understand it when the Bush White House teamed up with Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D.-Mass.) on “big government” legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the Medicare prescription drug bill. And they could not understand why “conservative” leaders such as former Rep. Tom DeLay (R.-Tex.) carried the water for the President on behalf of this massive expansion of government.

Conservatives were perhaps most dismayed with the administration’s failure to secure our borders and to deal with illegal immigration. And many conservatives such as Bill Buckley, Brent Scowcroft and Pat Buchanan were skeptical early on about the war with Iraq which they viewed as unnecessary and not a part of the War on Terror.

To further complicate matters, Republicans—who were elected by promising the highest standards of integrity—were involved in one scandal after another involving members of Congress, Republicans lobbyists and some members of the Bush Administration.

Exit polls indicated that the American electorate had become more than skeptical regarding the war in Iraq, concerned about the war on terrorism and the scandals in Washington.

One final nail in the coffin of the GOP was the failure “at all levels of government” in responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. (One note: In my opinion this emphatically excludes the leadership by Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi in efforts exhibited in rebuilding his state.)

In short—the mid term elections can be summed as crisis of confidence in the GOP controlled Congress and the Bush White House.

Sadly, it seems that the “Party of Reagan” has been hijacked by the neo-cons, the big government crowd and the pragmatists.

The debate for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and the conservative movement has begun. Let’s hope we are up to the job.

The question is this: Do we want do the stay the course or do we want to want to return to the “Party of Reagan?”

[***Mr. Rotterman is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation and a GOP consultant.***]


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: conservatism; reagan; reaganagenda
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The question is this: Do we want do the stay the course or do we want to want to return to the “Party of Reagan?”

Easy choice. Return to the Party of Reagan.

1 posted on 11/11/2006 2:42:16 PM PST by Reagan Man
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To: Reagan Man

Easy choice. Return to the Party of Reagan.
-----
In spades. Easy choice.


2 posted on 11/11/2006 2:44:04 PM PST by EagleUSA (T)
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To: Reagan Man

republicans need to learn you can't out liberal a liberal


3 posted on 11/11/2006 2:44:43 PM PST by flashbunny
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To: glock rocks

glockeroonie ping!


4 posted on 11/11/2006 2:48:20 PM PST by Bradís Gramma (Get right with God....eternity is a long time.....)
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To: Reagan Man
"No Chit, Chirlock..."
5 posted on 11/11/2006 2:49:34 PM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: Reagan Man

"Easy choice. Return to the Party of Reagan."

So right.


6 posted on 11/11/2006 2:50:24 PM PST by tennmountainman
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To: Reagan Man

Who led the charge that regained the House for Republicans? NEWT did...so as I look back, he may be the man to run for our NEXT President...he was all over fiscal responsibility...balancing the budget, cutting big spending and big government...


7 posted on 11/11/2006 2:51:49 PM PST by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand; but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: shield

The two stalwarts of conservatism over the last 25 years have been Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich. Period. They were great political leaders, advancing a conservative revolution. Newt and Dick Armey built the Contract With America fromv policy speeches given by Ronald Reagan. And with the right leadership, the GOP can have a Reagan agenda once again to build on for the future.


8 posted on 11/11/2006 2:57:33 PM PST by Reagan Man (Conservatives don't support amnesty and conservatives don't vote for liberals!)
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To: Reagan Man

Remember the sign in Clinton's headquarters?..."IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID".

GWB should have posted a similar sign in the oval office reading, "IT'S THE WAR, STUPID".


9 posted on 11/11/2006 2:58:09 PM PST by GoldenPup
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To: GoldenPup

"IT'S THE WAR, STUPID".

I kind of like

"IT'S THE CONSTITUTION, STUPID!"


10 posted on 11/11/2006 3:00:59 PM PST by Ozarkie
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To: Reagan Man
The two stalwarts of conservatism over the last 25 years have been Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich.

Sorry, not conservative enough for the folks here, Reagan and Gingrich are downright socialists according to the prevailing purist standards.

Gingrich did the "drunken sailor" thing and backed the socialist Medicare D.

Reagan would never make it to the White House... as governor he raised taxes, passed gun control and signed abortion law that caused the number of abortions to surge in CA. And forget immigration, as President Reagan signed a massive amnesty for illegal aliens.

I'm not quite sure who is perfect ENOUGH to meet the standards around here anymore, but Gingrich and Reagan wouldn't survive any purist primaries nowadays. Too pragmatic, and that is just "selling out" and "no principles", ya know.

11 posted on 11/11/2006 3:27:57 PM PST by Tamzee (Thomas Jefferson - "Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.")
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To: Reagan Man
Return to the Party of Reagan.

Darn right! And make it plain to the liberals that they're welcome to go right back to the Democrat ranks from whence they came.

12 posted on 11/11/2006 3:28:25 PM PST by Prime Choice (The angel has spread its wings. The time has come for bitter things.)
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To: flashbunny
republicans need to learn you can't out liberal a liberal

So true. And isn't it funny that, while our side was trying to out-liberal the Liberals, the liberals were portraying themselves as conservatives...and winning.

But if you ask the many RINO-coddlers around here, we lost because we weren't liberal enough.

13 posted on 11/11/2006 3:30:44 PM PST by Prime Choice (The angel has spread its wings. The time has come for bitter things.)
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To: Reagan Man
the American people have come to view the conservative movement and the Republican Party as one and the same. Indeed, they are not.

Bears repeating ad infinitum.

14 posted on 11/11/2006 3:36:54 PM PST by IronJack
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To: Reagan Man
Everyone's got an opinion...

Mine is that so many of the electorate are ignorant so that any informed vote is overwhelmed by an avalanche of democrat biased noise. As exhibited by Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity in their man in the street interviews - typically the "victims" cannot identify people below the office of president in government - but will identify themselves as democrats - I guess it is just cool.

I wouldn't consider the results of close elections as very meaningful, at least of the voter intention. Of course, it will be very meaningful for the future of this nation.

I guess I'm just cynical, I laughed at the old, miserable people who complained about their confusion about the butterfly ballot in the 2000 election. Idiots! Who wants to hear from you anyway!

15 posted on 11/11/2006 3:44:55 PM PST by GregoryFul (There's no truth in the New York Times)
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To: GregoryFul


BUMP the dumbing down of too many American voters.


16 posted on 11/11/2006 3:47:31 PM PST by onyx (I'm now a minority and victim of the democrats, but with full and free entitlements!)
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To: Reagan Man

We would do well to remember that President Reagan's legacy is based on the whole 8 years - the way he was viewed by the general public after 6 years and after 8 years is/was quite different.


17 posted on 11/11/2006 3:49:17 PM PST by gondramB (It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.)
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To: shield

I like Newt - but he has been so trashed by the MSM that he wouldn't stand a chance.


18 posted on 11/11/2006 3:50:07 PM PST by GregoryFul (There's no truth in the New York Times)
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To: Reagan Man
Easy choice. Return to the Party of Reagan.

And his Eleventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."

Its violation helped defeat Goldwater in 1964, and assured our loss of both House and Senate in 2006.

19 posted on 11/11/2006 3:52:14 PM PST by umbagi (Monthly Donor [entry level])
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To: GregoryFul

>>I like Newt - but he has been so trashed by the MSM that he wouldn't stand a chance.<<

Not just the MSM. But Presidents have been elected before without being MSM darlings.


20 posted on 11/11/2006 3:55:07 PM PST by gondramB (It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.)
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