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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.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

John Shadegg On The House Elections

John Shadegg is running for Minority Whip, and we have endorsed him for that position. Today, he's at National Review Online with a column that shows he understands why the GOP lost, and what it must do to get the majority back.

For months, voices inside and outside Washington had been warning Republicans in Congress to break away from our recent past or we would lose our majority. Last January when I was running for Majority Leader, I heard from long-time supporters that we had drifted away from our principles, particularly in the areas of fiscal responsibility and our promise to change the way Washington works. The drift had gone on for too long and the American people had finally had enough.

We made great strides in our early years in the majority — welfare reform, the first balanced budget in nearly 30 years, and a commitment to smaller government. Since then, we have more to be proud of — tax relief, a strong economy, and no terrorist attack on American soil in five years. But these accomplishments are not enough. We lost the people’s trust.

Now, we as Republicans are faced with a challenge. We must regain the trust of the American people or face being a minority party for a long time. We can regain their trust, but we must return to the ideals that swept us into the majority 12 years ago. The status quo is unacceptable. We heard voters’ message loud and clear. They want change in Washington and that means new leadership and a renewed and shared vision.

When we seized the majority, Republicans promised to deliver on two things; shrink the size and scope of the federal government and remove the ethical cloud over Washington by changing the way it operates. Initially, we made progress, enacted real reforms, and instilled fiscal discipline. In the years since, we have too often forgotten those promises.

Unfortunately, over time, things changed. Federal spending and government expansion increased at an alarming rate. More importantly, we became the party of secret backroom dealing that was sadly reminiscent of the scandal-plagued Democrat Congress we once railed against.

What happened to our promises? Huge government entitlements threaten to bankrupt the federal budget, earmarks exploded and often appeared corrupt and self-serving even if they weren’t, and the budget process has not been reformed. Still, some Republicans were surprised when some of the American people gave up on us and dealt us a decisive blow that quite frankly, could have been much worse.

Yet, in defeat there is a real opportunity for Republicans. We now have an opportunity to evaluate, unite, and change course. We must learn from the mistakes of the Democrats after their loss in 1994, and not spend the next 12 years in the minority. They kept the same leaders and not until they made the necessary changes eight years later did they begin to find a road toward success. If we want to return to the majority soon, we must take corrective action now. We cannot, as they did, count on the others side to make mistakes.

To be successful, our leaders must believe in the principles they are espousing. Paying lip service to reform and principle won’t be enough. The voters saw through it last week and they’ll see though it again. We need new ideas, a shared vision for real reform, and strong, principled, policy positions.

Being a part of the Revolutionary Class of ’94 instilled a sense of optimism and hope in me that still remains. We believed then that we could return our government to the people, and I still believe it now. The American people share the Republican vision for America, but now we must earn back their trust.

We need leaders with new ideas and new energy to reignite our efforts and reclaim our rightful place as the governing party of reform and individual empowerment. These principles will be the keys to our success. We will not regain the majority without them.

John Shadegg gets it. He understands what went wrong, and why. He knows that the GOP made a serious mistake in walking away from what put them in power, and he knows that if they don't make changes soon, they'll be the ones wandering the wilderness for years to come. 2008 is a seriously important year, and one in which we can retake the Congress. But we have to prove we deserve it. As John points out, America isn't going to accept having the woll pulled over it's eyes. They didn't buy it last Tuesday, and made that abundantly clear, and the nation shocked many Republicans by not returning them to power.

Tomorrow, Marcie and I have a special mid-month column at Common Conservative where we break down the election--what went wrong, what went right, and the hope that we have for the future. But that column reflects much of what Rep. Shadegg is saying here. Yes, the war was a serious, mitigating factor in the election, but it was the dawdling of the wayward "Republicrats" that cost the GOP its majority.

Rep. Shadegg's a smart guy. That's why we support him for Minority whipin the House. Mike Pence is a serious conservative in the House who also understands where the party went wrong. (And just in case there are people out there who bring up his pro-amnesty past, a recent interview with Laura Ingraham shows that he understands that such ideas must be left behind for a forward-thinking party.) And now we make an endorsement for minority whip. Lamar Alexander is squaring off in the Senate with Trent Lott. While Lott has paid the price for his comments during Strom Thurmond's birthday celebration, he hasn't paid the price for his own "Republicrat" ways. Sen. Lott is one of those senators who liked playing the games of the past few years, even to the point of attacking bloggers directly.

Sen. Lott was the one who came out swining against PorkBusters, if memory serves me correctly, when he stated he was sick of them constantly looking over everyone's shoulder. Guess what, senator? We wouldn;t have to if you were doing your job correctly. And it's exactly that sort of arrogance that turned a lot of Republicans off. Sen. Lott would be wise to remember that, and so would the rest of the minority in Congress. They need to listen to the reofrmers leading the charge, and pay attention to what their base is saying. The moment they ignore both, they're done like dinner.

Publius II


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