Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What do we do now?

Events of late have taken me into far more political territory than I would have liked, but all of us who have hoped for a return to the Constitution in Constitutional Law have been badly abused by the President's failure to take advantage of the opportunity he had.

What do we do now? This will not satisfy those whose bloodlust has been stirred by the President’s horrible choice, but here is my advice:

1. Do not abandon the Republican Party as an entity; take it back! While many of the framers did not favor political parties, our system has the consequence of assuring a two-party system. (I could explain that in more detail if someone wants, but I’ll leave it as a given for now.) Thus, conservative abandonment of the two party system is suicide. We can control the GOP. We should control the GOP. Our lack of control over the GOP is because of things I will discuss below.

2. Work hard to elect truly conservative Republican Senators. Bush’s fear of RINO’s seems to be a part of the problem. Too many folks do not get involved in the process until the primaries are over and then the choice is usually self-evident. Even a lousy RINO is better than the best donkey 95% of the time. I am not advocating people who come across as looney; get strong, presentable, bright, articulate candidates and elect them.

3. Pay more careful attention to the presidential candidates for 2008. The GOP has a track record of coronations, not nominations. 2008 already looks different because there is no obvious GOP front-runner (for the first time since 1968). We need to look carefully at the track record and electability of the candidates and make sure we get a winner who will remain a winner after being elected. Our record so far has just been too spotty.

4. While we cannot rush to a choice for 2008, we do need to unite behind a strong candidate for 2008 without a lot of folks sitting out because they did not get their top choice. There are plenty of capable folks out there. Let’s give them some time in the crucible, pick one of the best, and then get him or her elected.

5. We cannot sit out 2008!!! There is nothing gained by having a Democrat for four years or eight years. If that happens, there is just that much more damage to try to fix when we do get in power again. We’re spending too much time trying to dig out of problems as it is.

6. As to Harriet Miers, I doubt she will fail confirmation unless there is some as yet unknown disaster. I suppose we just pray that she does not bring shame to the Court, that she sticks with Scalia and Thomas for voting purposes, and that she tires of the job as soon as we have a true conservative president in the White House. I suspect she is probably about 60% likely to vote the right results, but she is still a political hack and it is embarrassing to the Republican Party and the conservative movement that she has been nominated. I fear that damage is already done.

7. Winning in 2008 is still critical. Justice Stevens is 85. I think he will hold out for the 2008 election, but his chances of staying through 2012 (age 92) are slim, and 2016 (age 96) seems extremely unlikely. By 2016, a lot of the present justices will probably have retired (most will be 80+). As frustrating as this process is, can we really abandon the Court for another thirty years to appointments who see themselves as Platonic guardians imposing their superior will on the rest of us who are mere mortals? We must see the battle through to the end. We did not know it would take so long, but restoring our constitutional republic for future generations is worth the effort.

Sorry, if that sounds like an overly-bland agenda. Ours is a representational system. If we screw up in choosing our elected officials, we’re toast. The only way to get correct that is to do a better job of voting and to do that consistently.


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