Conservatives who are upset that Republicans haven't done enough during their 12 years in control of the House and Senate and nearly six years in control of the White House need a slap in the face.
Republicans may have controlled all three branches of government, but conservatives haven't. If conservatives believe enough has not been done to advance their agenda, let them work to elect more conservatives, not hand control of Congress over to a party controlled by far-left liberals who have no intention of moderating their tone or watering down their beliefs after the election.
One issue should trump all others for conservatives: judges. As Manuel Miranda of Third Branch writes in Human Events, "If the GOP loses the Senate, precedent shows that more than 60 Bush judicial nominees will never get a Judiciary Committee hearing under the chairmanship of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Republicans will be unable to stop a filibuster of a next Supreme Court nominee and countless circuit court picks. This will dwarf Democrats' past six years of obstruction."
Liberals have used the courts for decades to bypass the public will and impose a secular agenda on the country. If they win control of the Senate, their current leadership will be emboldened to continue that practice. Any judge who manages to make it onto the bench will most likely be of the judicial philosophy of Anthony Kennedy and David Souter. Republican presidents named both men because they thought it would be easier to win the approval of Senate Democrats. Neither turned out to be conservative, despite the White House sales job to conservative groups.
Then there is the war. We live in a time when most people do not remember what a real war looks like. Some are horrified that nearly 3,000 Americans have died in the Iraq War, but ignore that in World War II more than 407,000 Americans died. Sixty-two million were killed on all sides. Some say this war is taking longer than that war. That's because this war is different from that war in that it has no home state, unless we abandon Iraq. And the enemy accepts no rules for fighting it.
Democrats speak only of withdrawing American troops and of how our presence inflames the enemy, yet they have no explanation for what inflamed them before the war. President Bush may have to change tactics, as he has said he is willing to do, but he understands the challenge. This isn't Vietnam. This is a religious-philosophical war for control of the planet. Anyone who thinks any objective other than the complete defeat and humiliation of these Islamofascists will deter them from their goal of world domination is self-delusional.
Last week over lunch, I asked Vice President Dick Cheney about conservative angst. He said in previous campaigns, "I would have given a lot to get an economy this good to be able to run on." Noting the recession that occurred right after he and the president took office in 2001, Cheney told me, "We (also) had 9/11. Š We had Katrina, a war. We had to spend a lot of money on the war and homeland security. And so a series of repeated shocks Š to the economy and here we are, we've got 4.6 unemployment. We added 6.6 million new jobs in the last three years. Productivity is running at an all-time high. More Americans (are) working than ever before. Inflation is under control. Š The stock market has hit all-time records. What do you want? How much better do we have to make it before people say, Œyes, that's pretty good'?"
It's a good question. Is there anyone who believes government doesn't have enough of our money? Then vote for Democrats. Is there anyone who thinks withdrawing from Iraq before the country can stand on its own against terrorism means there won't be more terrorism? Then vote for Democrats. Do you prefer liberal judges reading their prejudices into the Constitution and increasingly depriving us of our right to decide our own future? Then vote for Democrats.
If not, conservatives should vote Republican and then work to continue advancing conservative goals. Those goals are more likely to be reached under Republicans than under Democrats. That's the choice this year, a choice that will be made whether one votes, or cuts and runs out of a false notion that Republicans need to be punished for not doing more. As the vice president said, "What do you want?"
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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