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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Peggy Noonan Spells OutThe Problems

We have long admired Ms. Noonan for her no nonsense style and solid conservatism. We do not always agree with her, but we recognize the wisdom of a longtime conservative who served with and helped President Reagan during his eight years in office. And president Reagan portrayed the maxim of modern American conservatism. Today, she penned a piece that might leave more than a few Republicans with a sour taste in their mouths. And why is that? Because she points out that more than a couple high-level Republicans are hoping that the GOP loses in November:

A year ago I wrote a column called "A Separate Peace," in which I said America's leaders in all areas--government, business, journalism--were in some deep way checking out. They saw bad things coming in the world and for our country, didn't think they could do anything about it, and were instead building a new pool or buying good memories for their kids. Soon after I was invited to address a group of Capitol Hill staffers to talk about the piece. When the meeting was over a woman walked up to me. She spoke of what was going wrong in Washington--the preoccupation with money, a lack of focus on the essentials, and the relentless dynamic of politics: first thing you do when you get power is move to keep power. And after a while you don't have any move but that move.

I said I thought the Republicans would take it on the chin in 2006, and that would force the beginning of wisdom. She surprised me. She was after all a significant staffer giving all her energy to helping advance conservative ideas within the Congress. "Yes," she said, in a quiet, deadly way. As in: I can't wait. As in: We'll get progress only through loss.

That's a year ago, from the Hill.

This is two weeks ago, from a Bush appointee: "I hope they lose the House." And one week ago, from a veteran of two GOP White Houses: "I hope they lose Congress." Republicans this year don't say "we" so much.

What is behind this? A lot of things, but here's a central one: They want to fire Congress because they can't fire President Bush.

Republican political veterans go easy on ideology, but they're tough on incompetence. They see Mr. Bush through the eyes of experience and maturity. They hate a lack of care. They see Mr. Bush as careless, and on more than Iraq--careless with old alliances, disrespectful of the opinion of mankind. "He never listens," an elected official who is a Bush supporter said with a shrug some months ago. Along the way the president's men and women confused the necessary and legitimate disciplining of a coalition with weird and excessive attempts to silence Republican critics. They have lived in a closed system. They now want to open it but don't know how. Listening is a habit; theirs has long been to suppress.

In the Republican base, that huge and amorphous thing, judgments are less tough, more forgiving. But there too things have changed.

There remains a broad, reflexive, and very Republican kind of loyalty to George Bush. He is a war president with troops in the field. You can see his heart. He led us in a very human way through 9/11, from the early missteps to the later surefootedness. He was literally surefooted on the rubble that day he threw his arm around the retired fireman and said the people who did this will hear from all of us soon.

Images like that fix themselves in the heart. They're why Mr. Bush's popularity is at 38%. Without them it wouldn't be so high.

But there's unease in the base too, again for many reasons. One is that it's clear now to everyone in the Republican Party that Mr. Bush has changed the modern governing definition of "conservative."

He did this without asking. He did it even without explaining. He didn't go to the people whose loyalty and support raised him high and say, "This is what I'm doing, this is why I'm changing things, here's my thinking, here are the implications." The cynics around him likely thought this a good thing. To explain is to make things clearer, or at least to try, and they probably didn't want it clear. They had the best of both worlds, a conservative reputation and a liberal reality.

With all due respect to Ms. Noonan, and those in the GOP that are upset at the president and the Congress, we sympathize. When this election cycle started, Thomas and I sat down and looked at those in Congress we felt no longer deserved their jobs. The list was not long, by anyone's imagination, but it was solid. There were people we completely disagreed with for their actions, or inactions, while in office. And their performance was not reflective of the president's. We have our legitimate gripes with the president, but his powers differ from those in Congress.

But we question those people who still stand up and proclaim that President Bush is a "conservative." He was certainly more conservative than Al Gore or John Kerry, but the president is not a Reagan conservative. He is a moderate in the image of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the rest of the RINOs in Congress theat we conservatives gnash our teeth over everyday. But in the world of politics you have three choices. Vote for the direct opposition (namely, Democrats), vote for a third party (which is a dog idea because they never garner enough support to truly make a difference), or simply stay home and refuse to vote. And those choices are only options if you decide not to vote with your party (which in this case, for us, is the GOP).

Do the Republicans deserve to lose this election? That is a question that has been weighing on our minds for the better part of a year. They have not actred like their conservative constituents. They have spent tax dollars in the same fashion the Left has. The bothced UAE deal, the lolly-gagging on border security and immigration reform, the injection of their opinions on the president's wartime powers, and the malfeasance of the Gang of Fourteen deal are just some of the examples showing that this is no longer your daddy's Republican party anymore. As the Democrats have evolved further to the Left, the GOP has moved further to the center; virtually abandoning the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

And the base is not happy with it.

And I believe that this is the point she is trying to make. The GOP DOES deserve to have its wings clipped by the voters, but in a world like the present, can we really afford to play that game? Again, we come down to the choice of a lesser of two evils. Do we jettison the GOP from Congress thereby securing a Democrat win, and see what the Democrats can do? Let us face hard facts here, and facts that were uttered by operatives last week fro Newsweek--they have no plan for Iraq, the war, or national security. The GOP seems to have that in hand. Or do they?

The president has moderated his approach to Iran and North Korea, preferring diplomacy to direct action. That is a good thing ina many respects, and a bad idea in others. The sanctions levied by the United Nations on North Korea are a joke,and if any are forthcoming for Iran, they, too, will be jokes. And we would be remiss in forgetting that it was the region that responded to North Korea first, not the United Nations.

The president's only veto came ion the Stem cell bill, where congress had approved to lift the ban on federal funds for research. He vetoed it. His first veto in five years of serving. He claims he needsa a line-item veto. We contend that while that might be effective, it was far more effective for President Reagan to veto a bill, then appeal to the people and tell them why. The president recognizes he is not the best speaker int he world, and that might be the reason why he will not take a page from Reagan, and utilize such a strategy. President Reagan left a decision in the hands of the people. The people would call Congress, and either tell them to put the bill back up again, or take out of the bill what irritated the president so it would pass. President Bush has not done that, and it is a weak spot for him when it comes to having the pulse of the nation.

The majority of this nation does not hate this president. But many are unhappy with what he has done. Thomas, Sabrina, and I count ourselves amongst those that feel this way. But in the end, when it comes to voting day, we have to ask ourselves three simple questions before heading into that booth:

What will the Democrats do to fix things? What is their plan?

Will they protect this nation to the best of their abilities, or will they use the war as a political football; something quite evident in their rhetoric for the past three-to-four years?

And if they do not take BOTH Houses resoundingly, what real changes will occur?

We are a nation that should be united in the war effort, and we are not. We are supposed to be a nation that pays attention to our elected representatives in Congress and the White House, but we are too busy watching DVDs on our big-screen plasma, HD TVs, and enjoying full theater surround sound. We enjoy our comfy chairs, and the brain-dead reality shows, while eating a bg full of Wendy's quarter-pound double stacks. We, as a nation--in general--have become quite complacent. And in the long run, we are only hurting ourselves.

Does the GOP deserve to lose this year? No, they do not. But it is time that we start paying attention. Bloggers and the alternative media cannot do it all. It takes a united effort from the nation. And it is blatantly obvious by recent stories--the Mark Foley scandal, the corruption scandal rocking Capitol Hill, the moderation and negotiation with sworn enemies of this nation--that it is time to turn off Survivor and American Idol, put down the cheeseburger, get active, and stay informed. We are, ultimately, right ly so, the ultimate check against the government. And it is high time we started doing our job.



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