Paul  Weyrich

By the time you read this you may have voted. The intelligence I am receiving from around the nation would indicate a Democratic landslide. In recent weeks various incumbents had closed the gap in their races or pulled ahead. Inexplicably, they more recently fell behind. A few may have narrowed the margin through good organization but that usually provides only about four additional points. If one were ten points behind good organization would not help.

This has been the most disappointing race in my political lifetime. Much of the autumn was spent arguing about the scandal involving Representative Mark Foley (R-FL). The real issues rarely were discussed. Some at the grassroots level have argued that we should send the Republicans a message of disapproval by voting for Democrats. Interesting. That would be like a mother who has an unruly child spanking herself to improve the child. Republicans say that in two years they will retake Congress. Really? It is likely that no Democratic incumbent will be defeated in this election. Who is to say that Democratic incumbents will be defeated in the next election? If the Democrats will have won by a large margin, Republicans would need a 1994-type of event to retake the House of Representatives, which does not happen often. It also is possible that the President will be a Democrat in 2009. If that occurs and Democrats control Congress it may be difficult for conservatives to win an election.

Congress and the President in 2009 or thereafter may shut down talk radio as we know it. To do so, they simply would need a majority on the Federal Communications Commission, something they would obtain within two years of the next presidency. They also may make further changes to electoral laws to favor political parties and weaken grassroots efforts. All they need to do so is a majority on the Federal Election Commission. Republicans are naïve if they believe that liberals once in power would play by the rules.

It is possible that we have seen the last Republican government in my lifetime. We had four years and four months of government under one party's control. That is the longest such run for the GOP since the 1920s, when Calvin Coolidge was President and had a Republican Congress for his entire presidency, as did Warren G. Harding for Harding's brief presidency.

Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
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