One Reason We’ve Lost Ground

Many rank-and-file Republicans, whether they’re activists or just voters, marvel at the fact that Republicans have lost ground in the past several years.

What is amazing about this descent is that a great deal of work by a lot of thoughtful people has gone into efforts that should’ve resulted in gains, not losses. We’ve got research institutions and think tanks laying out the facts and making the case for what works. So why are we losing ground? Obviously because the individuals with the power to make changes chose to ignore the prescriptions for what ails government.

How could this have happened? After all, our leaders know what needs fixing and the fix has been spelled out in detail already. Part of the “how” can be explained simply. Many assume that if a person attains high office they’re up to the task that office demands. That’s often a bad assumption – just look at the judgment of many of the individuals with their hands on the levers of power.

Don’t bother talking about the war, or the realities of life following September 11, 2001 as an excuse for inaction. Times of crisis are opportunities to advance good causes because political leaders have the attention of the public to a greater degree.

Nationally the issues are easy to sum up. We need entitlement reforms. We need tax reform. Not commissions or rhetoric, but serious change. We need to control discretionary spending. If there were ever an excuse to do that, you would think the expenses of war would do the trick. Instead, Speaker Dennis Hastert and company spent without control.

The recently released report of the U.S. House’s Committee on Standards of Official Conduct regarding the Mark Foley scandal shows that Speaker Hastert and his team couldn’t even handle something on which there is no debate. Foley should’ve been dealt with severely early on but wasn’t because he shared a preference for male-male sex like many other important Republican Congressional staffers.

To act required clear thinking. Too many inside Speaker Hastert’s office and others on Capitol Hill favored the propagation of a confused politically correct approach to human sexual impulses and behavior.

If we are going to find leadership that understands the challenges we face, a good first step will be to see if they have good judgment regarding one important and simple matter. Do they understand that human sexual impulses are different than race, nationality, and gender? Race, nationality and gender are ways to describe what a person is. Sexual impulses are part of the human condition; a person is not what they desire or what they do.

Speaker Dennis Hastert and his staff failed the country for eight years. Sure, there were successes, and yes, progress was made on a few issues. But anyone arguing that we are better off as a country than we were eight years ago (when Hastert became Speaker) will have a tough case to make.