Matt Towery

The fourth issue is the economy. Hmmm, let's see. Overall growth continues, and at a pace slow enough to contain inflation. Oil prices have dropped substantially. The stock market hit an all-time high this week. Americans continue to spend money. The housing "crash" has actually been a gradual -- and much-needed -- market correction. Might current political leadership be a common thread in all this?

The fifth and final issue is terrorism -- the most exploited issue in politics. Recall in 2002 when President Bush named the "Axis of Evil" -- Iraq, Iran and North Korea. He was roundly denounced for arbitrarily picking on those nations. Now, Iran and North Korea are energetically forging ahead with nuclear weaponry.

Currently, despite charges of "cowboy diplomacy," Bush is actually trying to work with the United Nations to build a consensus to deal with these rogue nations. I believe he is showing great restraint.

The possibility must be considered that terrorists could get nuclear weapons from countries like Iran and North Korea. How many voters honestly believe the best way to curtail the chances of that happening are through Jimmy Carter-like appeasement approaches that Democrats might adopt if they're in power?

Here's the skinny, folks: The Republicans have held power for too long, and grown cocky and lazy. Bush strutted around defiantly. Republican leadership took a Nixonian, siege-mentality approach to the press. Bad things got worse. Now they may lose Congress.

Even so, absent the issue of personalities, political style and the like, a neutral scorecard based on policies makes at least a modest case to return the GOP to power.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, that case has been buried in a blizzard of negative media and poor public-relations moves by the GOP. Only a miracle thaw will reveal it in time to rescue America's majority party.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
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