This is an op-ed that I wrote back in June 2005 and was published on OpinionEditorials.com. In light of the current political climate, I think it is still VERY pertinent now...
Dear Republican Congressmen:
Less than 1 year ago, Americans voted to give President Bush a second term to continue working toward his vision for America. Voters gave President Bush the best present that any Republican president could ask for - a Republican controlled Congress. Americans breathed a sigh of relief that gridlock was over for at least 2 years. Some real changes could finally be made.
Despite being the majority party, the Republican Congress has been mired in political correctness. Minimal changes have been made. Instead of taking the lead, the Republican Congress has laid down in the middle of the road. Appeasement and basically fear of later retribution at the polls have lead the Republican members of Congress to behave like the minority party.
It is time for you, the Republican Congressmen, to stand up and act like the majority party. You are in charge and you have the power. To heck with the “spirit of bipartisanship” – where has that gotten us? Do the Democratic Congressmen want to work together as a team? Forget this idea of making sure the minority has a voice. That’s why they are the minority. We voted to give YOU the voice.
The Republican members of Congress that are setting themselves up for a run for the White House in 2008 may as well concede right now. You cannot stand up for Republican values in Congress. How do you expect Republicans to trust you with the White House? Several of you may have a better chance running as a Democrat than vying for the Republican nomination.
What should you do to rectify this situation with the Republican voters? Here are a few suggestions from the grassroots – not the publicity experts, not the professional handlers or the professional campaign managers.
First of all, call out the Republicans in Name Only (RINO’s). These are the Congressmen that ran on the Republican ticket just to ride into Congress on the rising tide of conservatism. Look at their records – do they vote for Republican ideals? Do they speak out against usurping of the Republican majority? If they vote like a Democrat and sound like a Democrat, they ARE a Democrat.
Secondly, when someone denigrates our President, our Country or our military, grow some cajones and take them to task publicly. Don’t issue these benign statements about the comments that are the equivalent of a slap on the hand. They have no effect whatsoever. Get on the television, the radio, the floor of the Senate or anywhere that Americans (and those that hate America) can hear you. Show some emotion (and I don’t mean tears Sen. Voinovich). Use strong language – take a lesson from Vice President Dick Cheney but use the PG version. Stand up for our President, our Country and our military. Do to them what they would do if the statements came from a Republican. Quit worrying about how “unprofessional” you think it would be. Refusing to go to bat for our President, our Country and our military is just as bad as the comments themselves.
Throw the spirit of bipartisanship out of the window. Quit trying to appease the Democrats. If it means invoking the “nuclear option”, go for it. Fight for what you were voted into office for. Instead a letting the Democrats call the shots, be the leaders that you are. You are the drivers of the Congress. Put the Democrats in the back seat where American voters wanted them. So we don’t have an Ambassador to the UN – so be it. That sends a message more powerful than giving in to all of the Democrats’ ridiculous demands. Let the Democrats hang themselves in the court of public opinion. Don’t allow them to tie the rope and hand it to you.
Start acting like you are in charge or you will not be for very long. We Republicans worked very hard to get you in to office. We can work just as hard to get another Republican in your place. We voted you in to do a job – now do it. Like one of my favorite songs, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”. Stand up for your Republican ideals or sit down in the audience.