I’m going to join the growing chorus of conservatives asking that Republican leaders step aside to make room for true conservatives who will lead the GOP back to their roots (well, most of them anyway). I supported McCain as a clear foil to the radical, leftist agenda of Barack Hussein Obama, and I was more enthused when he selected a true conservative, Sarah Palin, as his VP pick.
But now, the election is over, the Dems have near-total dominance of the legislative and executive branches and the outlook for the GOP is grim. Time to make a change. Apparently, change is underway in the House leadership with one exception – House minority leader, John Boehner.
Boehner is the only major GOP leader in the House likely to survive a shake-up in which GOP Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and Conference Chairman Adam Putnam of Florida have already stepped aside. Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor is unopposed to replace Blunt as the No. 2 House Republican, while Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, a Christian conservative, is poised to replace Putnam.
Cantor and Pence are good news. Cantor has a 97% ACU rating and is the only Jewish-Republican. He is outspoken in his support of Israel and against the terrorist regimes in Iran, Syria and across the Middle East. Pence is minority leader material. He is a solid conservative, a former conservative radio talkshow host and a strong social/economic conservative in the Reagan mold.
I appreciate Boehner’s work and his tough position. He is an anti-earmark Republican personally but hasn’t done enough to reign in his own party on fiscal matters. He was too acquiescent to the White House in many of the matters that roiled conservatives in the grassroots movement. He is being challenged by conservative California Rep. Dan Lungren. But I’m not sure Lungren has what it takes in stature to lead the House GOP. I’m not sure who would be the best replacement for Boehner although I think Pence should be making that run.
Things are more difficult in the Senate. It’s hard to advocate against GOP Senate leader Mitch McConell. He is a tough conservative and a parlimentary whiz dedicated to using every trick in the book to make things Hell for a Dem majority. He does it well, and we can’t afford to lose him. His 90% ACU rating is not off the charts, but I feel that, unlike Boehner in the House, he was very unhappy with supporting many of Bush’s suspect policies. In the role of an opposition leader unchained to the White House, he will take on Obama with all of the pitbull vengance that he displayed when fighting against McCain-Feingold and persecution of tobacco and gun companies. This dude will take the President to court.
It’s hard to argue against Senate GOP Whip, Jon Kyl (AZ). He is 97% and is already threatening Obama on judicial appointments. I don’t know that he is as much of a pitbull as Mitch, but we could live with him. Conference Chairman, Lamar Alexander (TN) is lukewarm and needs to be replaced with a strong Conservative.
My sidenote on the Senate is this: there are several Republicans representing blue states and semi-red states who are forced to moderate their positions in order to achieve reelection. I pray to God that Norm Coleman wins the recount in Minnesota, but he isn’t a conservative. On the other hand, Saxby Chambliss in Georgia must win the runoff, but again, he isn’t exactly a strong conservative. Then you have folks like Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe in Maine who are total RINOs. The Congressional conservative leadership will emanate from the House until the conservative tide sweeps again (ie. 1994).
My final word on GOP leadership is in regards to the Republican National Committee. Let’s take former Lt. Governor Michael Steele (MD). Imagine a black conservative running the national party in the age of Obama. How great is that? He is a breath of fresh air and the exact thing we need at the top. All other challengers should cede to Mr. Steele.
Sorry for the rambling analysis. I thrive on this type of analysis, and I’m trying to regain some perspective after the devastating losses we saw this past election. We will continue to see more unless we energize the base. And we will not excite the base unless we have leadership that speaks to the base. It’s time to return to fundamentals.
I will say to Steve – you were right about McCain, but I could not see dissing him in favor of Obama. Now that the experiment has failed, we need to get back to basics and erradicate the lukewarm, elitist elements within our own party. Unless we do, we will be doomed to another 40 years in the wilderness.