Conservative voters gave Republican politicians their best Christmas in at least half a century, conferring majorities at nearly all levels of government. Now, what will the politicians give the voters in return?
President Bush says he wants to spend the "political capital" he earned in the election to advance his agenda. Let's take a peek at what the leading priorities should be for 2005.
Reining in judicial supremacists who have been legislating from the bench to remake our culture should top the list. Bush campaigned against such judicial mischief, and we expect him and the 55-44 Republican majority in the Senate to deliver on those promises.
We expect Bush to use the Supreme Court litmus test he announced in his St. Louis debate, i.e., that he "wouldn't pick a judge who said that the Pledge of Allegiance couldn't be said in a school because it had the words 'under God' in it." Bush's constituency will not accept another mistake like Justice David Souter, whose lack of a paper trail made him vulnerable to capture by judicial activists.
The voters are beginning to flex their muscles on cultural and patriotic issues. After the school superintendent in Mustang, Okla., removed a Nativity scene from an elementary school Christmas program, the voters punished the school by rejecting two bond issues.
By significant majorities in 2004, the House of Representatives passed two excellent and long-needed bills to end judicial supremacy on the Pledge of Allegiance (the Akin bill) and the Defense of Marriage Act (the Hostettler bill). It should be the first priority for the enhanced Republican Senate majority to introduce and pass these bills.
The Nov. 2 election proved that defense of marriage is more popular than George W. Bush. In 10 of the 11 states (all except the very pro-Bush Utah) that passed marriage amendments, the marriage amendment received more votes than President Bush.
Of course, conservatives expect Congress to stop the runaway federal spending that plagued George W. Bush's first administration. It's the job of the House of Representatives to reduce the bloated federal budget and to stop funding institutions that spend our money to oppose American values.
After Big Media, U.S. colleges and universities are the biggest enemies of the values of red-state Americans. Of course, Congress can't order colleges what to teach or to fire their tenured Marxist professors, but the universities are among the biggest recipients of federal handouts and the power of the purse carries strings.
Judicial supremacists recently nullified the Solomon Amendment, which requires universities that take taxpayers' money to allow equal access on their campuses to military recruiters. The congressional response in 2005 should be to slice out of the federal budget those universities that exclude the military - and then watch those parasites beg to be reinstated.
Institutions that flout Bush administration policy on stem cell research should also be taken off the federal gravy train. If the phrase "political capital" means anything, it surely requires spending capital on those who support rather than oppose his policies.
The overwhelming success of Proposition 200 in Arizona, which requires a valid ID in order to vote or to receive benefits paid by state taxpayers, shows that the grass roots are demanding prompt action to stop the entry of illegal aliens. It would be a political blunder of the first magnitude if President Bush remains mute while Sen. Hillary Clinton sounds off daily against illegal aliens and makes herself the national champion on this popular issue.
Congress should move speedily to use its appropriation power to cut off funds to states that give drivers licenses to illegal aliens. Bush should abandon his guest-worker plan, which is amnesty by another name.
The Bush administration and Congress should clamp down on the girlie men who are secretly changing military rules in order to place female soldiers in ground-combat situations. A Nov. 29 briefing to senior Army officers at the Pentagon presented a plan to scrap the military's ban on collocation (the deployment of mixed-sex noncombat units alongside all-male combat-units).
The Bush administration and Congress should fix the injustices caused by the feminist-enforced Title IX quotas, which specify that the proportion of men to women who participate in competitive sports cannot exceed their proportional enrollment in college. This quota system has caused the senseless elimination of hundreds of men's college teams, and unless Bush or Congress takes action to stop this nonsense, high school sports are next on the feminists' hit list.
Tort reform is now possible, and Congress should start by preventing attorneys from bilking towns and schools at rates of hundreds of dollars per hour in lawsuits demanding that God not be mentioned or that the Ten Commandments be removed. Congress should stop this racket by reforming the federal statute that requires towns and schools to pay attorney's fees to the other side when an activist judge holds in its favor.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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