The election of 2006 is history, and the Republicans went down harder than the Detroit (Paper) Tigers. The only difference between the 2006 World Series and the 2006 elections is that anyone with an IQ higher than the room temperature knew what the result of the elections would be. And while I, as a true Conservative, am disappointed, the truth is that the Republicans have no one to blame but themselves.
I rejoiced when George W. Bush took office in January 2001. Now that Republicans controlled all three branches of government, including, for all intents and purposes, the Supreme Court, the country, and the world, for that matter, would see just how a country should be run. I have little patience with liberals (a subject for another post). I truly believe in the Jeffersonian maxim that “the government governs best, which governs least”. I salivated at the prospect of small government, lower taxes, the anticipated economic boom, and a return to emphasis on family values and personal responsibility.
So what happened? The Republicans had their chance and blew it big time, and this time there are no Democrats to blame. They badly miscalculated the course of events in post-Saddam Iraq, but I can even forgive them for that one, because at the time everyone (including John Kerry) thought drop kicking Saddam Hussein was a good idea. We thought the Iraqi people would be grateful to us for liberating them from a blood thirsty tyrant. We were wrong.
No, to me the failings of the Republican party in which I once believed hit closer to home. The irony is that this is supposed to be the party of fiscal conservatism, while the Democrats are supposed to be the tax and spend liberals. But over the last six years the Republican Congress has been spending money like drunken sailors, bringing the country back to the days of deficit spending after Bill Clinton (of all people) had managed to balance the budget.
The unholy alliance the Republicans have made with the odious Christian Right has also proven their undoing. The majority of people in this country are basically centrists, and do not want a government that leans too far to the Left or to the Right. Make no mistake about it: both the Loony Left and the Christian Right want to use government to control your life; they simply differ on which aspects of your life they wish to control.
So in fact I am not really all that disappointed. The Republican party needed a good spanking, and the voters gave them one. And I can say without affectation that I am genuinely grateful that I live in one of a handful of countries on this planet where the people really do have the power to change a government they are unhappy with, and where the politicians are in fact forced to listen to the will of the people at the risk of losing their jobs. Irrespective of how you voted, can you imagine something like this happening in China, or North Korea, or Iran, or any of the many tin pot dictatorships that still blight the Third World?
And let’s face it: the worst thing that will happen to the Republicans is that they lose some pretty cushy office space. In many countries, when the government changes hands people are taken out behind a wall and shot.
This country, with all its flaws, remains one where the phrase “Government of the people, by the people, for the people” is more than just empty words.