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after losses bush asks....now what?

Published:

so what direction do you think george bush will take in his last two years in office?

Even before the votes were counted, the 2006 election set off a sweeping critique of what went wrong both within the Republican Party and among groups that once backed it.

On Capitol Hill, the power struggle to lead the new Republican minority is already under way. On Wednesday, Speaker Dennis Hastert announced he will not to seek the minority leader post in the next Congress.

Those with close ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff - or who knew about disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley's e-mails to pages and failed to act - need not apply. Lawmakers are awaiting the results of a bipartisan ethics investigation on a possible coverup in the page scandal, which could produce more openings in GOP leadership.

But GOP self-critics say that the bad environment - scandals, war, the economy, or the president - doesn't account for this historic GOP defeat. The need, they say, is to get back to the principles that won them their majority in 1994.

Call it a bridge to the insurgent past. While the Republican Class of '94 campaigned to balance federal budgets, the GOP in power has racked up massive deficits. The party that campaigned to limit the size of government instead vastly expanded it. And the party that railed against entitlements created the biggest expansion of one, the 2003 Medicare prescription drug program, in a generation.

"We did not just lost our majority, we lost our way," said Rep. Mike Pence (R) of Indiana, one of 25 Republicans who voted against the prescription drug plan. He also chairs the conservative Republican Study Group, the largest group in the caucus.

"While the scandals of the 109th Congress harmed our cause, the greatest scandal in Washington, D.C., is runaway federal spending," he added in a statement within hours of the historic defeat. Mr. Pence sat out the fight in January to replace Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas as majority leader, but he is now widely seen as a top contender. On Wednesday he announced his candidacy for the top GOP post. "Only by making a dramatic turn in the direction of the Republican Revolution can we hope to attain majority status," he wrote in a letter to his GOP colleagues.

In a separate statement, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R) of Texas, who has drawn fire from fellow Republicans for his outspoken opposition to members' pork projects, called for a "return to Republican principles by renewing our commitment to limited government, individual empowerment, a strong national defense and traditional American values."

Along the same lines, the current GOP majority leader, Rep. John Boehner (R) of Ohio, called on the GOP to "recommit ourselves to the principles that brought us to the majority and renew our drive for smaller, more accountable government."

At stake in the next leadership fight is whether the GOP continues as a party of big conservative government or returns to its ideological roots in the Goldwater and Reagan eras, say libertarian critics.

"This is all a debate leading up to 2008, which is when we really get to make our decisions: Are we going to continue to follow the George W. Bush path of big government conservatism or the path of Reagan, Goldwater, and - to some extent - Newt Gingrich," says Ryan Sager, author of the recent book, "The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party."

Libertarians say the GOP's commitment to a social agenda that bans gay marriage and limits government funding for embryonic stem-cell research also contributed to its defeat this week. If there are new leadership elections, the party's conservative base is "going to be looking to clean house," and wipe away remnants of a leadership machine that "presided over the explosion of earmarks and petty corruption and worse," says Mr. Sager.

Meanwhile, business groups that work with the current GOP leadership are prospecting new ties with the incoming Democratic majority. One thing that Republicans and their critics are missing in the postelection analysis is that "this Congress, though well-intentioned, did not achieve a lot of legislative progress," says Jay Timmons, of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Of the many agenda items left incomplete at the end of the 109th Congress, those that most concern the business community include a permanent extension of the estate tax, renewal of research-and-development tax credits, and plans to bring down the high cost of oil and natural gas by increasing the domestic supply.

"They still have time to do this in the lame duck session," he adds.

Entry #755

Comments

1.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 9, 2006, 5:29 pm
Funny pic, Mike!
2.
Comment by LOTTOMIKE - November 9, 2006, 5:58 pm
thanks rick!

good to see bush finally get his due.
3.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 9, 2006, 6:44 pm
Bibles and bombs don't mix well for a palatable drink, eh?
4.
emilygComment by emilyg - November 9, 2006, 7:15 pm
thanks mike - lol
5.
JAP69Comment by JAP69 - November 9, 2006, 7:31 pm
Bush is still Prez for two more years yet. If the crats do not want to work with his policies the outcome of events is on the crats shoulders now.
Crats cut and run.
Take from the workers and give to the loafers.
Wheres the dole line? I do not feel like working any more either.

Take my money and give it to someone across town.
6.
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 9, 2006, 10:05 pm
We don't have a "dole" in America. Where are you from - Ireland? The outcome of Bush's actions will only be on him - everyone is wise to him and the pubs. Yhe crats are good for cleaning up messes, but they won't be blamed for them. Just like they are not blamed for them now. All they need is a shovel and smoking guns to watch their backs because pubs are some vindictive folks.

I think people are really seeing the real thing now. The lies and deceptions don't work anymore. At least it didn't this time. This "dole" statement only works for the ignorant people it is aimed at. But I didn't just fall off a turnip truck.

Welfare or the "dole" as you call it is just another Pub lie. People want to work, people want good jobs, good insurance, good retirement plans, good education, a good life for their families and we all want to be and feel safe. We don't want greedy companies that outsource jobs out the country or give them to immigrants for cheap labor, all because they bought a corrupt Pub in the White House that stand on their necks.

They are a hellavue lot of illegal immigrants on the "dole" that our White House allows in this country for cheap labor. We see that they don't give a damn about us only their pockets.

The White House just did a work around from the very constitution they claim to so fervently revere these days. Give me a break.

Read the Preamble.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Bush and the Pubs did not insure domestic tranquilty, but boy - in how- did they provide for the common defense. Showed the world what and who were important with the Katrina disaster. I won't call getting arrested for not submitting fingernail polish to security on a plane securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves.LOL

It's BALANCE we need - whenever dems want to nurture this country the way it should be (ever heard of widows and orphans), pubs scream "welfare" and allude that crats just want to give handouts - it's a lie - governing is all abourt BALANCE.

BALANCE - something the Pubs haven't done for 12 years. I'm glad I read "Angela's Ashes"LOL

Lottomike. Love that image. Did you write this article.
7.
Comment by LOTTOMIKE - November 10, 2006, 6:42 am
found the story on aol.they got quite a few links on election matters right now....

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