Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Few Thoughts On The Mid-Term Elections

I received an email the other day, asking why I hadn't been posting on the upcoming (now past) mid-term elections. Wasn't I interested in this seemingly momentous event?

The truth is, I have a vastly greater interest in political theory than practical politics.This is all the more true because neither of the two major parties really represents my interests as a conservative. Nevertheless, I will offer a few thoughts on the unsurprising results of this election season.

My initial reaction is quite simple: good! President Bush, despite the ostensible backing of both the House and the Senate, has consistently failed to live up to the ideals and expectations of the conservative base that placed him in office. Conservatives have not been this bitterly disappointed since the unfolding of the Nixon presidency. Occasionally, some still justify his every action with the placating "at least he's tough on terror." And yes, the Supreme Court nominations have turned out well, despite Bush's best efforts to choose a lemon. But what, exactly, has Bush done for his conservative constituency lately?

Some, of course, will claim this view of the elections is nothing more than blithe justification, akin to fringe elements of the Left that claimed Kerry lost the election because he wasn't liberal enough (!). But this would miss the crucial point - the electorate continues to confound conservatism with N eo-conservatism; the two are as dissimilar as the Macy's Parade is from the Gay Parade. Perhaps this disaster will finally convince the Republican party to align with true conservative values - minimal government, secure borders, fiscal restraint, and a prudent foreign policy. And perhaps the Republicans will do some soul searching on the matter of party discipline (I noted with some satisfaction that the two Republican members of the Gang of 14 up for reelection were unseated.)

My second reaction is as simple as the first: Thanks, and enjoy your purchase! For months, Republicans have begged their constituencies to reelect their candidates rather than "punish" the GOP for its failings. Look, they said, at the alternative. Although the request itself is the height of audacity - might I tentatively suggest that more principled governance would have avoided the rebellion in the ranks? - essentially, they were correct. No matter how bad the GOP performed these past few years, the alternative is worse for the United States. Again, the lesson might do the GOP some good, but in the interem, the country will suffer.

In honor of the Democratic victory, I've decided to finally sit down and write a few pieces I've been meaning to compose, including the promised defense of a controversial (political) figure. Up next, Patriotic Democrats and Other Mythical Creatures.

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