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Quiet Time: I need a little space right now to sort out what happened on Nov. 7
World Magazine ^ | Nov. 25, 2006 | Joel Belz

Posted on 11/24/2006 9:46:54 AM PST by Guenevere

It was only the third day after the election, just a few minutes before supper, when the phone rang. "Good," I thought, in one of those strange convolutions one's mind goes through at such times. "At least and at last it will be someone I know, and not a pollster or a fundraiser or a be-sure-to-vote-for-our-cause activist."

Wishful thinking. "Mr. Belz," the unfamiliar voice said, "the results of the election are so profound, and the need for our response is so clear, that we are coming to you right away to ask for your generous help."

"How could you?" I thought. "How dare you?"

For three days, my mind had been reeling-trying somehow to piece together the meaning of all that had happened the previous Tuesday. What on earth were the American people saying? What direction was our nation heading?

The signals had been so contradictory. And I didn't like it that someone else found it so easy to interpret what was still so confusing to me.

I was baffled that the same day's voting would tell cause loyalists like Rick Santorum and Jim Talent that their role in the U.S. Senate was over, and at the very same time send several party traitors (like Lincoln Chafee) packing. On the social conservatism front, I was puzzled that in seven out of eight states where bans on homosexual marriage were being proposed, the voters got it right and upheld the bans-but that in two cases where abortion and embryonic stem-cell research were the issue, voters couldn't get through their heads how pivotal the measures were.

Big spenders of the public purse were both penalized and rewarded on Nov. 7. Some analysts said Republicans didn't take the immigration issue seriously enough, while others claimed they took it too seriously. It's hard to discern a pattern.

Even with reference to the war in Iraq-supposedly the granddaddy of all issues-the message was mixed. President Bush and his war cadre were blistered not just by those who said the war was wrong but by others (even among the Democrats) who said the war hadn't been pursued vigorously enough and that the United States had been too timid. We should have had even more troops in Baghdad, such folks said.

All of which prompts me to say to my late afternoon phone caller-and to everyone else who wants to make politics an all-important, all-consuming, full-time occupation:

"Give me some space! Give me some quiet time. Give me a chance to sort things out. I know the issues are urgent, and I sense that these are desperate times. But I'm not sure that direct mail and phone robots are the surest route to the solutions we all need."

Admittedly, such a time of thoughtful reflection may prove costly for the Republican Party.

Evangelical Christians who only one or two election cycles ago thought they had no choice but to vote a virtually straight ticket for the GOP were, on Nov. 7, given a good excuse to rethink their options. Republicans themselves opened that door with the incredibly dismal record of so many of their candidates: personal sexual scandal, dalliance with political financial corruption, voracious commitment to pork barrel spending, disdain for the big three social issues (abortion, marriage, embryonic stem-cell research). Add to that record of recklessness a handful of winsome Democrats, at least a few of whom sounded like more consistent evangelicals than the scoundrels they were challenging, and you're holding a recipe for dramatically reshaping the political landscape. What seemed so assured for the GOP after the 2004 election now seems more like a distant dream.

That's not by any means a bad thing for our nation. It is, in fact, most unhealthy for any political party or machine to be able to take for granted the en masse votes of big blocs of sometimes unthinking people. It hasn't been healthy for the nation to let the Democrats through the years assume they automatically own the votes of most African-Americans or of most labor union members.

But it's no more healthy for Republican candidates to assume they have evangelical Christians in their pockets.

So please don't call me this week if all you've got in mind is to enlist my support for your latest campaign. I just need a little time to think.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 11/24/2006 9:46:56 AM PST by Guenevere
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To: Jim Robinson; Miss Marple; Lazamataz; kayak

ping


2 posted on 11/24/2006 9:48:42 AM PST by Guenevere
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To: Guenevere
The GOP needs new leadership that is not allergic to conservatism.

I'm not saying all of the leadership is, but some are.

3 posted on 11/24/2006 9:50:41 AM PST by B Knotts (Newt '08!)
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To: Guenevere

My sig line says it all.


4 posted on 11/24/2006 9:52:16 AM PST by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle ("On 11/07/06, 'true' conservatives and 'rat traitors joined forces to bring Sharia law to America.")
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To: Guenevere

5 posted on 11/24/2006 9:54:29 AM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: Guenevere

There were children running the GOP - that's what happened.


6 posted on 11/24/2006 9:56:42 AM PST by Fighting Irish (My opinions have been forged by where I've walked - not by who I hear on the radio)
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle

Not really....you're just another one putting the cart before the ox.


7 posted on 11/24/2006 9:57:27 AM PST by taxed2death (A few billion here, a few trillion there...we're all friends right?)
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To: Guenevere

This one needs to be read and thought about. No use scolding the writer, he's only being honest.

My own best thinking about the election is that it was a sixth-year "throw the bums out" situation, and unfortunately a few of the good guys like Rick Santorum got thrown out with the bums.

The problem, of course, is that with our civilization on the brink of a catastrophe, we can't afford to throw the bums out if it brings in people who want to help bring the catastrophe forward. They will focus on raising taxes, increasing racial divisions, promoting gay marriage, and turning Iraq into Vietnam, while they encourage the Islamists to take over Europe and the world's oil supplies.

Is that the fault of Evangelicals who stayed home and didn't vote? Or is it the fault of Republican politicians who thought they could kick their base in the teeth for two years? Maybe a little of both. But the politicians sure as hell won't fix it if they decide to do more of the same.


8 posted on 11/24/2006 9:58:36 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero
The 'throw the bums out' argument was extreme on our local Pennsylvania board.

I'm still decompressing, but the idea that the electronic vote, so argued here in FR not many months ago, was, like many a highway project or sports stadium .. initialized anyway, and ... IMO ... we wuz robbed.

If I'm correct, America has just disappeared .. if I'm incorrect, but not far from the truth, we should be studying up on applying war paint and/our practicing our close quarters drill on the 'green' ....

The possibility I'm just, plain crazy is always in reserve as a defence to stay out of jail ...

9 posted on 11/24/2006 10:08:30 AM PST by knarf (Islamists kill each other ... News wall-to-wall, 24/7 .. don't touch that dial.)
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To: Guenevere
What on earth were the American people saying?

I want a nanny.

What direction was our nation heading?

To a socialist/communist society.

10 posted on 11/24/2006 10:12:18 AM PST by EGPWS (Lord help me be the conservative liberals fear I am.)
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To: Guenevere

Great.

While you're free, how about going down to the border and building a fence.


11 posted on 11/24/2006 10:15:23 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (Election 2006: For Republicans, the results were comprehensive.)
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To: Guenevere
Admittedly, such a time of thoughtful reflection may prove costly for the Republican Party

Conservatism in total.

12 posted on 11/24/2006 10:16:01 AM PST by EGPWS (Lord help me be the conservative liberals fear I am.)
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To: Guenevere
Oh good grief, what melodramatic claptrap. People are sick to death of President Bush. That's all the recent election means. Six years is too long for one person to be President. End of story.

For three days, my mind had been reeling-trying somehow to piece together the meaning of all that had happened the previous Tuesday.

This man seriously needs to get a life. This is pathetic.

13 posted on 11/24/2006 10:16:46 AM PST by Sandy
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To: EGPWS

What on earth were the American people saying?

I want a nanny.

What direction was our nation heading?

To a socialist/communist society.

-

Only if Republicans keep trying to be "Democrat Lite".

We need another Ronald Reagan. And we need one now.


14 posted on 11/24/2006 10:17:43 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (Election 2006: For Republicans, the results were comprehensive.)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
Only if Republicans keep trying to be "Democrat Lite".

If they can get elected by not being democrat lite, I'm all for it!

We need another Ronald Reagan. And we need one now.

We need hundreds of them.

Someone who can laugh off politics, try to do what is best and right and not put all their focus on being reelected.

15 posted on 11/24/2006 10:25:54 AM PST by EGPWS (Lord help me be the conservative liberals fear I am.)
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To: B Knotts

GOP..needs common sense. People get turned off when
the people we vote in, turn out to be despicable and
self aggrandizing, and the top level try to ignore it
with the "it'll go away" attitude. When you have a
plethora of talking heads on TV, and the overwhelming
numbers of them despise the Republicans, *check the media
voting records)..80-20 or something close to it..in the
Dems favor..you get the ides....Bush and leaders have
to be out front and show nation the conservative response
with emphasis on our values. Jake


16 posted on 11/24/2006 10:27:01 AM PST by sanjacjake
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To: Sandy
Six years is too long for one person to be President. End of story.

Until one deepens their though process and realizes what the other two options were for being POTUS for the last 6 years.

17 posted on 11/24/2006 10:29:29 AM PST by EGPWS (Lord help me be the conservative liberals fear I am.)
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To: Guenevere

bttt


18 posted on 11/24/2006 10:29:41 AM PST by Christian4Bush (Don't blame me - I didn't vote for these DEM bastards.)
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To: Cicero

You and Belz express my sentiments...


19 posted on 11/24/2006 10:30:01 AM PST by Guenevere
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To: EGPWS

Exactly.

Most of all - we need a new generation of Republicans, with a SENSE OF HUMOR.

Who wants to follow someone who doesn't smile? Reagan radiated optimism and patriotism. Where are Republicans who seem *nice*? Wholesome. Leaders, whom one would be comfortable sharing a daily carpool ride with.

We've somehow managed to elect a bunch of humorless dolts, who sometimes seem to have selected the stuffy, officious dork who was always hanging out with the blond (Frank?) from M*A*S*H as their role model.

He's a loser. So are many current Republicans. They don't lead. They don't say what they mean. They don't stand for anything, and it's obvious every time they open their mouths.

Ugh.

WHERE ARE THE LEADERS?


20 posted on 11/24/2006 10:39:56 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (Election 2006: For Republicans, the results were comprehensive.)
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To: knarf
If I'm correct, America has just disappeared .. if I'm incorrect, but not far from the truth, we should be studying up on applying war paint and/our practicing our close quarters drill on the 'green' ....

Unfortunately ... you are exactly right

21 posted on 11/24/2006 10:42:02 AM PST by clamper1797 (Kerry does support the troops ... just not ours)
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To: EGPWS
Until one deepens their though process and realizes what the other two options were for being POTUS for the last 6 years.

Doesn't matter what the other options were. 6 years is too long, whoever the president is. If I had my choice, we'd amend the Constitution tomorrow. One 4-year term per President is long enough.

22 posted on 11/24/2006 10:43:40 AM PST by Sandy
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
WHERE ARE THE LEADERS?

Our country is full of them!

Sadly enough, our system has been played by career politicians very effectively and those "true" leaders are rendered unelectable.

23 posted on 11/24/2006 10:43:57 AM PST by EGPWS (Lord help me be the conservative liberals fear I am.)
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To: Sandy
Doesn't matter what the other options were.

I see said the blind man to his deaf wife as he picked up the hammer to saw.... ; )

24 posted on 11/24/2006 10:46:12 AM PST by EGPWS (Lord help me be the conservative liberals fear I am.)
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To: Sandy

No, Sandy, I am not and never was, "sick" of President Bush, The band wagon of "Hate Bush" rolls right along and I chose not to get on it. Too many folks that ride that band-wagon of "Hate Bush", want to blow me and my loved ones to Kingdom Come. "You can choose a man who boozes by the company he chooses."


25 posted on 11/24/2006 11:01:36 AM PST by rusureitflies?
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To: Guenevere

My view of what happened on Nov. 7 will not show up in any polls. I have found elements of this in the people I have spoken to and it makes sense to me.

Many voters went to the polls with the attitude that they wanted to send a message to the Republican party. They figured that it was either too corrupt, too spineless, or something else was wrong with it. They also figured that if they did not vote for their own Congressman, they would signal that displeasure. Some even voted Democratic. In these cases they did not like the Democrat more. But they figured that the one seat they could effect would not matter. Or that the one Senator they could effect would not matter. The cumulative result mattered.


26 posted on 11/24/2006 12:03:56 PM PST by Ingtar (Prensa dos para el ingles)
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To: Guenevere
Dear Guenevere,

Sir Lancelot and King Arthur stayed home on Nov. 7th. The knights of the round table voted third party.

Mordred ( Obama) and his mother ( Hillery Clinton) are preparing for the final battle at Camlan.

If Merlin can get out of the RNC offices to empower Tancredo and Tom DeLay, all will not be lost.

The Republicans have abused the conservative wing of the party, its 2004 mandate, and now the jig is up.

Either the overly aristocratic RNC gets it or it doesn't:

Republicans cannot regain power without a conservative agenda, and the necersssary true , loyal men who will pursue it unapologetically. Otherwise welcome to minority status for the next 20 years.

Political DEATH to ALL RINOs! Let the games begin.

27 posted on 11/24/2006 12:11:21 PM PST by Candor7 (Into Liberal flatulance goes the best hope of the West, and who wants to be a smart feller?)
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To: Guenevere
S

P

A

C

E

28 posted on 11/24/2006 12:14:46 PM PST by Silly (Not being... Silly)
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To: Cicero
Certainly the bloated spending and a few ethical scandals worked against the GOP, but to control spending and clean up ethics they elected...Democrats?

Ha ha. We're tired of chickens who eat too much and don't lay eggs. Let's get some wolves in the chicken coop.

29 posted on 11/24/2006 12:53:19 PM PST by Sender ("Always tell the truth; then you don't have to remember anything." -Mark Twain)
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To: Ingtar; knarf; Cicero
In #26, #9, and #8, you three fairly well mirror and echo thoughts which have been passing through my own mind. My own opinion is that once in power, the "R's" spent and governed like the the Donks- so, many people figured they might as well vote for the real thing. And it's a pity, because this election has green-lighted many of America's enemies. Damn if I know what the fix is anymore, but we are headed here:


30 posted on 11/24/2006 1:17:55 PM PST by backhoe (Just an Old Keyboard Cowboy, Ridin' the Trakball into the Dawn of Information)
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To: Guenevere
The democrats smartened up and ran non-moonbats who spoke conservative. Whether they are really conservative democrats or not remains to be seen.

I posted a long thread about my theory, which is that the democrats tailored each race for the voters of that particular congressional district or state. In areas where gun rights were important, they ran a pro-Second Amendment type. In areas where Right to Life was important, they ran a pro-life candidate.

Coupled with scandals, increased youth vote, and a divided Republican party, they managed to squeak out enough votes to take control of the House and Senate.

In my opinion, this election wasn't a triumph of ideology, whether left, right, or middle. It was simply a case of a good election plan being beaten by a better one. Those who claim a mandate for their particular cause are either foolish or deliberately demagoguing the situation.

I find it interesting that what prompted this column was a phone call for a donation, right after the election. Conservatives are too often the targets of those who use our heart-felt beliefs as a motivator for donations. How much money have some of these 501c3 organizations raised without any appreaciable progress, except for stirring up people's fears and anger? Our money would be better spent on our churches, charities, and saving for the future.

That's just my opinion, but I think it one people should consider.

31 posted on 11/24/2006 2:51:42 PM PST by Miss Marple (Lord, thank you for Mozart Lover's son's safe return, and look after Jemian's son, please!)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
We need another Ronald Reagan. And we need one now.

Actually in the sixth year of reagan's Presidency, the GOP lost 8 Senators(compared to 6 in Bush's 6 the year).

The Gop lost only 5 house seats in 86, but by that time GOP represention in the House was about as low as it could go, since Reagan and the GOP suffered a masscer of 26 seats lost in the House in 82.

I really get a kick out of how people just bring up reagan's name without any historicial context.

32 posted on 11/24/2006 2:57:15 PM PST by Dane ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" Ronald Reagan, 1987)
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To: Dane
Hi, Dane. My personal feeling is that this election didn't mean much of anything. Conservatives think we lost because we weren't conservative enough, and moderates think we lost because we were too conservative.

It's just one of those things that happens in elections, and with the media running full-tilt against us we couldn't afford any mistakes, and we had quite a few.

33 posted on 11/24/2006 2:59:56 PM PST by Miss Marple (Lord, thank you for Mozart Lover's son's safe return, and look after Jemian's son, please!)
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To: Miss Marple
Somone on this thread earlier stated that GOP ran as democrat lite, when it was the other way around, the democrats ran as GOP lite, and also notice how the Hollyweirdos kept their mouths shut.

Also I always get a kick of the deifiication of Ronald Reagan. Reagan would be the first one to say he wasn't perfect. Reagan and the GOP suffered big losses in Reagan's midterms and remember in 87 when Daniel Inouye was chomping at the bit to impeach Reagan for Iran-Contra and they held those grandiose hearings.(that actually made Oliver North a "star", for lack of a better term).

34 posted on 11/24/2006 3:07:40 PM PST by Dane ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" Ronald Reagan, 1987)
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To: Miss Marple

I read your excellent post....and replied :)


35 posted on 11/24/2006 4:05:04 PM PST by Guenevere
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To: Miss Marple

I agree. I do not think this was a case of people deciding to vote Dems in or throw the Republicans out.

Not at all.

I think these were individual races where the candidates appealed to the voters because they took locally popular stands. This along with a general feeling of malaise trumped up and pounded on my the DBM and MSM.

I doubt if any of these voters thought, omgosh, I'm voting Nancy Pelosi in as Speaker. That just happened to be the result...


36 posted on 11/24/2006 4:18:54 PM PST by altura
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