I used to love this time of year. First, it was October, my birth month. Second, the temperature began to drop enough that it was comfortable to be outside wearing a jacket or sweater. Third, the elections were coming soon. In the old days Fritz Rench and I tried to encourage many Presidential-year voters to vote in the non-Presidential elections. It was fun and exciting and we won many times. Later, while running a political action committee, I had a nationwide field team which would report from local communities. Now I am excited no more. Oh, I still love October and my grandchildren are wonderful on my birthday but the elections interest me less. It is not because there are negative ads. People who are critical of negative advertising are unfamiliar with our history. Negative ads and vicious cartoons have existed from the founding of the Republic.
I understand well what is at stake in the current election. What is the problem then?
I think it is disappointment with the 109th Congress. On election night in 2004 when Republicans defeated the Majority Leader of the Senate and picked up four seats I was really excited. I had been tracking Jim Bunning (R-KY) all evening and was thrilled when he won. At last, I thought, we will be able to do big things. Karl Rove spoke to the Council for National Policy and told how every single objective which the President had announced before the election was achieved.
Then Harry M. Reid (D-NV), the Minority Leader of the Senate, began to dictate terms. One would have thought the Democrats had won the election. This happened all through the session. It was terribly disappointing. The Democrats had a nasty game plan. It involved blocking President George W. Bush from drilling for domestic supplies of oil. It meant short-changing our troops. It meant sending our brave men and women mixed signals. It even meant trying to restrict the President from trying to protect the nation by monitoring suspicious telephone calls.