The Republican Party will bounce back. There’s no doubt about that. They’ve been down before and they’ll be down again. But if they want to limit their time in the majority, they must take the lead in bipartisanship. Republican leaders in the House and Senate (Mitch McConnell and John Boehner respectively) must actively pursue cooperation and utterly avoid confrontation. This is the only way Republicans can continue to help their constituents, their country, and themselves.
Once it becomes absolutely clear that the minority party is willing to work together for the good of the people, the majority usually invites them to the table for more serious discussion. It is then time that Republicans can voice their dissent, explain their differences, and participate in good old fashioned debate. Bipartisanship will also allow Republicans to challenge President Bush without seeming selfish or maverick. Instead, it will be what it is – an elected official speaking his mind on behalf of his constituents, regardless of what the president or congress thinks.
But enough of this nice-guy talk. What do the Republicans need to do to win back the majority and retain the White House in 2008? Well the very first thing they need to do is figure out a plan for Iraq. Minimizing the loss of lives (both American and Iraqi) should be their first order of business. Whether that means adding or decreasing troops - which according to Bush’s plan to surge 20,000 troops to Iraq, is no longer up for debate - the loss of lives must come to an end. So Republicans should take the lead and send a delegation to the Middle East led by two war veterans with opposing views about the future of Iraq. John McCain (“There are two keys to any surge of U.S. troops. To be of value the surge must be substantial and it must be sustained -- it must be substantial and it must be sustained.”) and Chuck Hagel (“The idea that the Iraqis will respond only to more troops is complete folly, unless you're going to kill all the Iraqis."), should lead a group of Republicans across Iraq and the Middle East to get a first hand look at what is happening. Then they can come back with a plan to fix the mess, unite the party, and win back votes they lost because of this war.