How to win in November

On August 28, 2006, in General, by Neil Stevens

If fighting pork is not the right way to get the base unified for victory in 2006, then what is? I’ll tell you.

Zero baseline budgeting: This reform idea was part of the Contract with America, but unfortunately seems to be an element of that package that failed to pass. Because today we are still stuck with a broken baseline budgeting system that makes it easy to spend upwards of two trillion dollars ($2,000,000,000,000) a year without turning off the autopilot.

There are other budgetary reforms possible, such as earmark reform, but even opponents of so-called pork cannot point to such spending as being a significant part of that two trillion. Further, pork spending is a highly emotional matter on both sides, straining needlessly our party unity in a time of war. So zero baseline budgeting should not only be a more effective spending check, but it should be better politics, too.

Renewed immigration enforcement: Mike Pence has proven that the anti-illegal immigration wing of the party is not unified behind Tom Tancredo, so proponents of unskilled laborer immigration should know they can get that at any time. Therefore, the Republicans should be free to prepare for such a reform immediately by renewing our commitment to enforce the laws on the books today.

Neither the failure of the Senate to pass H.R. 4437 nor the House failure to pass S. 2611 has the effect of wiping out previous immigration laws from the books. Until such time as a new bill passes, the existing laws should be enforced as a show of good faith. After all, why bother to change the law if we know it won’t be enforced anyway?

Win the War: This should be obvious, but this year we are seeing too many Republicans run against the President on the War on Terror at home, in Iraq, at Guantanamo Bay, and in the rest of the world.

We need to talk as aggressively about the last five years as we did in 2004. Imagine if the Democrats were in power these last two years, and we were now reading stories about all those planes exploding in the air. We would be reading about how people died in the explosions, how some survived that but died in the succeeding crashes, how others survived that but drowned in the ocean, and lastly the few who could be rescued out of the water after all that. Can we afford to stop the war and live through something like that?

Fight judicial activism: Again, this should be obvious. Does anyone think that the fight against the ‘living Constitution” is over now that Justice Alito is hearing cases?

President Bush can help the Congress on this by making an aggressive series of Judicial nominations, and the Senate leadership can help itself by doing what it can to force votes on each and every one of them.

We can do this. We can win, and we can win together.


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