Now is not the time to give up and go home

Posted: Aug 04, 2006 12:03 PM

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey…But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." – Winston Churchill

A good friend directed me to this quote the other day. I was 10 minutes into a rant about where the Republican revolution of 1994 had gone as many of us stuck in DC are prone to do on a dog-day afternoon in August when it was 99 degrees outside with a heat index of 109 degrees.

Analyses of the past 11 years of Republican control of Congress have been mixed in recent months. Even the normally loyal Heritage Foundation has become increasingly critical of Republican spending habits and the creation of new entitlement programs like prescription drug coverage.

A fair number of pundits have even suggested a quasi-suicide-turned-resurrection whereby Republicans lose Congress in 2006 so they can retain the White House in 2008.

No doubt, the nirvana of a government limited to only the enumerated powers in the Constitution, has not materialized, but we must keep our heads in the game and our eyes on the ball.

For me, the Churchill quote was a good smack to the side of my head. It quickly woke me out of my 1994 daydream and back to the challenge, facing us as conservatives in 2006.

The prospect of Democrat control should concern every last one of us. Now is not the time to insist on a conservative heaven-on-earth or nothing at all. Heaven will wait, and meanwhile we have a long battle ahead where progress will be slow at times -- but progress nonetheless.

Fifteen seats is all it would take to lose the House of Representatives, and that wouldn’t be unheard of at all for a midterm election, based on historical trends.

A new effort organized by several conservative Internet activists is attempting to prevent such an electoral disaster and generating a lot of attention and momentum.

Rightroots has picked fourteen conservative House candidates and four conservative Senate candidates according to the belief that “properly funded, these candidates represent our best chance to retain control of Congress and to enact a conservative agenda.” The candidates are as follows:

U.S. House of Representatives

Michele Bachmann (MN-06)
Chuck Blasdel (OH-6)
Max Burns (GA-12)
John Gard (WI-08)
Diana Irey (PA-12)
Jeff Lamberti (IA-03)
Ray Meier (NY-24)
David McSweeney (IL-08)
Rick O'Donnell (CO-07)
Peter Roskam (IL-06)
Scott Tipton (CO-3)
Van Taylor (TX-17)
Chris Wakim (WV-01)
Mike Whalen (IA-01)

U.S. Senate

Thomas Kean (New Jersey)
Michael Steele (Maryland)
Mark Kennedy (Minnesota)
Mike McGavick (Washington)

Since most Americans live in areas where the incumbent congressman is completely safe, it can be difficult to know where to put your hard-earned money in order to make the most impact. That’s why the Rightroots list is perfect. A group of hardcore conservative activists – people I consider allies in the battle – have sifted through hundreds of races, candidates, polls, and cash-on-hand reports to pick a handful that will make the difference.

A Democratic takeover would surely start a terrible chain of events-including ridiculous investigations, even more spending, a bloody battle when Supreme Court Justice Stephens or Ginsburg retire, and even worse – generate momentum for the Democrats going into 2008. I don’t have to list the disasters we have in store if Hillary and her gang get a leg up in the race for the White House.

Recent legislative successes for conservatives have been limited, true, but I have no doubt that a Democratic Congress and President will roll back every last achievement we’ve had in 11 years:

Tax cuts – gone.
Hope in the Middle East – gone.
Protection from terror – gone.
Protecting the unborn – gone.
Defending the family – gone.

The election in just three months is as serious at they come, and I will be making my own contribution before the day is out. I urge you to do the same by supporting Rightroots candidates today.

Jonathan Garthwaite is Editor-in-Chief of