Say what you will about Republicans, they are consistent. They ride their little merry-go-round, round and round, always ending up in the same place they started, just dizzier. Obviously, they still haven't received that memo about change.
The "leader" of the Republican Party, Arizona Sen. John McCain, is scheduled to sit down with the Miner Editorial Board today to discuss, among other things, the economic stimulus bill recently passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President Tuesday in Denver.
The senator is against the legislation, big surprise there, but what's worse, he's intent on making sure the doom he and his colleagues say will surly come from such lame-brained legislation will actually come to pass.
With all due respect, Mr. Senator, as with the last election, you lost. Get over it. How does it help the country for you and Sen. Jon Kyl and most of the others on your team to vocally and publicly condemn legislation AFTER it has passed. It's like you think you still have a chance to pull this out. Turn off Limbaugh for a minute and listen. You're not helping America, you're hurting her.
Sir, you have a great opportunity here, and it's slipping through your fingers. You have a chance to remake the Republican Party, to make it stronger, to return it back to the people. And believe me, the party is in desperate need of a makeover. The Bush 8-year debacle aside, Republicans have disgraced themselves out of control of both houses of Congress over the last few years because they have disconnected with the common man.
Would you like to know when it started? I can pinpoint for you the exact time when the GOP began its dissent, when it lost touch with the very people it was designed to represent. Think back to March 2005. Remember Terri Schiavo? Republicans dropped everything to "save" this dying woman. They rallied behind Bill Frist to pass legislation through both houses of Congress in less than two days (working during the weekend no less) and get it to President Bush, who signed it one day later.
Most Americans were astonished to see the Do-Nothing Congress, which was unable to pass nine of 11 appropriations bills between 2004-2006, come together to enact legislation at blinding speed to "help" one dying woman stay alive in a vegetative state. Illegal immigration? Forget it. Spending reforms? No way. Intrusion into something they had no business getting into? You bet!
Republicans lost their base in March 2005 when they allowed the religious right to dictate policy. What followed was inevitable. The GOP lost control of Congress in 2006, then lost the presidential election two years later. You tried to speak to that base in your presidential bid, and you nearly succeeded by forecasting doom and despair should Barack Obama get elected. Fortunately, enough Republicans refused to be fooled again.
And now, here you are, spouting the same rhetoric that lost you the election just a few months ago. Senator, you've got to find your mojo again. Like it or not, the Republican Party is looking to you to remake it, to extinguish the hypocrisy prevalent throughout. Quit listening to Joe the Moron and Sean Hannity. Republicans are just as tired as Democrats; they want change just as bad.
Most Republicans are sickened by the way their leaders continually set high moral standards that they themselves can't adhere to. We've seen the body count of disgraced congressmen thrust out of office because they were doing things most of us could never even contemplate doing. You, sir, are the one who could change this. Here's how:
1. The religious fanatics, people who demand that others act according to "God's" guidelines, need to be moved to their proper place in the Republican Party. The separation between religion and politics must be re-established. I realize that Democrats gave these folks a powerful voice because they pushed religion too far into the background, but if you want to connect with average voters, you need to quiet these fear-mongers. Many of them are ultra-hypocrites who bring down the entire party.
2. Establish a platform based on the original ideals of the Republican Party. You connect best with constituents when you promote business. Forget that trickle-down crap. It doesn't work, and even if it did, the ones on the bottom never seem to get an adequate piece of the pie. Lowering taxes is wonderful, but you have to do more to help small businesses.
3. Take a vocal stand against companies sending jobs overseas. Republicans love to wave the flag when it comes to moral issues, but they refuse to fight to keep American jobs in America where they belong.
4. Quit whining. You sound like Democrats did 10 years ago. Instead of pouting about the stimulus bill that passed because you couldn't put enough Republicans in power, go after other issues that are important to Americans, like health care and illegal immigration. Make Obama follow YOUR lead!
5. And finally, put together a strategy to entice young people into your party. Talk about things important to them. Use technology to reintroduce your party to youth. Show them that Republicans have their best interests at heart.
Senator McCain, you have an opportunity here to do great things for your party and your country.
Don't blow it again.