Monday, September 26, 2005

Crossroads

Everything I know about Conservatism I learned from Ronald Reagan. Reagan was President during my “political” formative years. I was almost ten years old when he took office and almost 18 by the time he left. Through those years I came to identify with his brand of conservatism and his belief in the American spirit. Strong on defense, proponent of small government, freedom and the belief that the American dream was still alive. He is why I am a strong supporter of the Republican Party.

I feel we have entered a crossroads of sorts for the GOP. We seem to have lost our conservative roots. The Republican controlled Congress has become as adept at pork barrel spending as any past Democrat Congress. The good news in this, for Republicans at least, was pointed out by Paul Mirengoff over at Power Line today, and that is that while most people dislike Congress as a whole, they like their representative. So at worst the Republicans may lose a few seats in 2006 but will most likely maintain control over Congress. Somehow this does not make me feel any better. I understand that locally elected officials owe their constituencies, but is not part of what they owe them fiscal responsibility.

Now comes Hurricane Katrina and Rita and how to finance the aftermath. A lot of money has been promised to rebuild the Gulf Coast and I am all for rebuilding, but at what cost. So far Bush has promised to keep the tax cuts, you can almost hear his father saying “read my lips” right now. Robert Novak rather poignantly talked about this very trouble today in his townhall.com column. He points out that the White House will not even consider delaying Bush’s Medicare subsidy and with the exception of a few, no one in Congress is jumping on the cut pork bandwagon.

Bush and his Administration are overreacting to the mainstream media’s bantering of slow and inadequate federal response due to the Republican agenda of small government. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence of incompetence on the state and local level and the fact that if the federal response was slow it was due to FEMA being bureaucratically hamstrung by being lumped in with the Homeland Security Department, Bush is succumbing to democrat and media pressure to expand the federal government.

Where is all of this leading? Well, how can it lead anywhere but to a tax increase. A tax increase, larger federal bureaucracy, and more government entitlements. Does this sound like the Party of Reagan? Sounds more like the party of Tip O’Neil and Ted Kennedy. Not to long ago someone at the Townhall.com Soapboxes asked if there were any potential Republican presidential candidates out there that resembled Ronald Reagan. I could not think of any so I did some research and could not find any. I went back and checked the soapbox regularly throughout the day and obviously nobody else knew of any either.

Please do not get me wrong I am a strong supporter of President Bush and contrary to the moonbats he is compassionate and feels strongly about helping the people displaced by the Hurricanes, as do I. However, I feel he is overcompensating for the media attacks and he is pushing us closer to the socialistic country the democrats hope to make us. Forty years of government entitlements have not helped end poverty, tax increases do not create growth, and loss of public support can lose a war.

It is time the GOP moved closer to the Party of Reagan and away from what it is becoming. Bush can start that process. He has some of the qualities. Believer in tax cuts, a strong defense, and the promotion of democracy. However, he has let the left and the media push him into a corner by blaming him for the aftermath of a monumental natural disaster. If he is not going to come out attacking and exposing the incompetence on the state and local level and he feels his only way out is through exorbitant spending programs then at the very least he needs to whip his party into shape by insisting on cuts in wasteful pork spending. Another Reagan quality but one he, unlike Bush, was unable to push due to a tax and spend democrat controlled Congress. If Bush does not do this he risks losing the conservative base and it is entirely possible the GOP will fragment and find itself in the unenviable position the democrats find themselves in now. This is the crossroads where we find ourselves.
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