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Republicans need to wake up and smell the coffee

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I remember my mother saying once there was nothing like a wet dishrag up beside the head to wake someone up.

Could it be the third straight loss of a special congressional race in as many months is the wet dishrag the national Republican leadership needs to awaken to the trouble into which they have gotten themselves and the party?


The district they lost in Mississippi had been held by Republicans for the last fourteen years and the Illinois district of former Speaker Dennis Hastert had been Republican for, if I’m not mistaken, more than 70 years.

Pretty sad goings on, if you ask me.

One thing they don’t need to do is abandon Republican principles altogether and start voting on the side of Pelosi Democrats in order to claim they are actually doing something about health care, gas prices and so forth.

To do so would only further alienate the conservative voters they have turned completely off and who they’ll need in November.

Many of my Republican friends have said they are disgusted and not sending any more money to the national party.

Latest reports state the Democrats have a huge cash advantage over Republicans - $44.3 million to $7.2 million.

Disillusionment among the base is certainly one big reason for this imbalance.

In my opinion, the Republican Party has completely squandered any political capital garnered by Ronald Reagan to the "kinder, gentler" administration of Bush 41 and was utterly destroyed by Bush 43 and his "compassionate conservatism."

George W. Bush has been a disappointment in so many ways beginning with his failure to veto even one wild Republican spending bill during his term to his abject failure on the illegal immigration issue.

It’s as though his ears were completely sealed to the loud cries of his constituency.

I was humiliated by his total capitulation to Vicente Fox time-after-time.

At one time I felt history would record him as a great president, now I think he’ll be regarded as one of the worst.

Government spending and regulation increased dramatically when Republicans held both houses of congress and the White House.

This doesn’t represent "change," "reform" or Republican principles so why should Republican-leaning voters believe anything they say now?

Anything they do will be perceived as a last-ditch effort to save their backsides.

Since the 2006 elections where Republicans were repudiated at the polls, they have done nothing to change anything.

They can’t even get behind an earmark moratorium bill.

The prevailing sense at the time was obviously the people were in a snit over George W. Bush and the Iraq war.

Stupidly, they couldn’t see the problem was systemic and ran much deeper.

So, how badly have things gone now?

Well, the obvious Republican nominee is a not-too-popular liberal who’s been in Congress many years.

While much was being made of Hillary Clinton’s win in West Virginia, little notice was paid to the fact John McCain, the only Republican still in the race, received only one (that’s 1) percent of the Republican vote.

Huckabee collected 52 percent and Romney got 46 percent.

In the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, McCain lost 18 and 20 percent of the Republican vote respectively on those ballots.

It was hardly a stellar performance for the Republican nominee, to say the least.

RNC Chairman Robert Duncan recently said, "This is a real wakeup call for us. We can’t let the Democrats take our issues. We can’t let them pretend to be conservatives."

Most people are asking the obvious question: What issues?

Have the Republicans elaborated any?

Another obvious problem is that at least half the Republicans in Washington are pretending to be conservative, so why shouldn’t the Democrats?

Our own Joe Barton was pushing a big Pelosi spending bill "because the governors are all for it."

So, who cares about governors, what about the ordinary citizens and taxpayers?

They are the ones the Republicans in power have forgotten and the ones who are about to unleash their fury on the unrepentant.

So, what should Republicans do?

They must adopt and actually adhere to the timeless conservative principles advocated by Ronald Reagan.

Not surprisingly, those principles are still in the Republican Platform, but most Republicans pay them little mind.

Republicans need a unifying message about individual liberty, restraining government and the judiciary to the Constitutional constraints our Founding Fathers placed on them, a promotion of free enterprise, national defense, traditional American values and securing our borders and reining in illegal immigration.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently said that without a spectacular change in course, the GOP is headed for a disaster this fall or they will suffer decisive losses.

Perhaps there is still time for things to happen, but it’s high time they got things in gear.

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