Notably, Republicans retained Chambliss’ Senate seat in Georgia, captured Jefferson’s House seat in Louisiana, have successfully transferred the “Culture of Corruption” moniker back to the Democrats (where it properly belongs and with an assist from Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich), and successfully blocked the UAW from rolling taxpayers with a bailout of the most lopsided wage and benefit package in big industry.
Core conservatives (like me) more likely would characterize the above events as a failure to fail and not the result of some policy debate that was convincingly turned into good legislation. David Keene, Chairman of the American Conservative Union, observed that in the last few years Republicans have done much to destroy the traditional Republican brand. He’s right.
Here are some issues Republicans can advocate to restore the brand.
1) No more bailouts.
2) Regulate Wall Street. Here’s the dirty little secret Democrats don’t want on the news; they are more beholden to Wall Street than Republicans. Here are some questions that require answers: Which hedge funds were conducting naked shorting of bank and financial institution stocks last fall? Who were the investors in these hedge funds? Subpoena the records from domestic futures markets and determine who was driving up the price of crude oil last summer and fall? (Prediction: It wasn’t Exxon).
3) Stop Card Check even if it requires a filibuster. Predictably misnamed the Employee Free Choice Act it is in reality the Democrat Campaign Finance Act and its passage will further ensure that worker wages go to
4) No Defense cuts.
5) No more earmarks
6) Make the Bush tax cuts permanent.
This abridged list can be turned into a platform in 2010. The Republican Congress can redeem the good name of drunken sailors by refusing to spend and behave worse than them after the Obama inauguration. It will be a long road back to power but it has been done before.