America loves a great comeback. Stories of redemption and second chances serve as metaphors for the tenacity of the American spirit. The 1980 “Miracle on Ice,” the 2004 victory of the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, the 1997 return of founder Steve Jobs to Apple, and the recent resurgence of 88-year-old actress Betty White’s career; these are uniquely American triumphs that make this country great. There is another comeback story unfolding as we speak: in 2010, the Republican Party has emerged from the wilderness, ready to lead and ready to advance the will of the American people.
The 2006 loss of the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate was a message from the electorate: Republicans in Congress had strayed from their principles and forgotten they were chosen to serve the people. As a candidate for Congress in 2006, I distanced myself from a party that had become synonymous with high-profile ethical lapses and an inability to rein in government spending. I ran on a passion for service to my neighbors and our country, and a promise that I would help change Washington with real world solutions. After suffering further election losses in 2008, the media wrote the obituary for the GOP. Time Magazine asked, “Is the Party Over?” Forbes forecasted “The Dismal Future of the GOP.”
To plagiarize a sentiment from Mark Twain, reports of the party’s death have been greatly exaggerated. In the face of the big government agenda advocated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama, Republicans rededicated ourselves to the conservative principles that we had once upheld. I think the exact moment we got our mojo back was when we presented a united front against Obama’s failed $862 billion stimulus plan. This was truly a turning point that energized millions of Americans.
Something happened across America: people awoke to a changing America they did not recognize and began to demand accountability from those elected to represent them in government. They wanted a government that was limited in its reach and effective in its operation, a description the current federal bureaucracy didn’t even begin to resemble. People began to read the Constitution and realized that the current Democratic leadership in Washington had strayed very far from the intent of our country’s founders.