In his featured article at the National Review, columnist Deroy Murdock talks about how the GOP can get back to a more consistent, conservative base and how to eliminate those who have led the party to where it is today. Here's some excerpts and my own opinions regarding some of Murdock's better points...
The GOP has been laid low, thanks to politicians who swapped their principles for power and lost both. As the chief electoral vehicle for conservative and free-market ideas, the Republican party cannot regain America’s confidence —nor should it — until the guilty have been cast into the nearest volcano.
Amen to that. The party members should throw out the bums who put them into the minority.
Comrade George W. Bush has spearheaded the most aggressive federal expansion since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As a delivery system for socialism, he has been the most effective Trojan Horse since that pine steed rolled into Troy.
When Bush arrived, Washington consumed 18.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product. Uncle Sam now devours 22.5 percent of the economy, reported Jon Ward in the October 19 Washington Times. “The country has gone from a $128 billion budget surplus when Mr. Bush took office to a deficit of at least $732 billion in fiscal 2009,” Ward writes. “No president since FDR — who offered a New Deal to pull the nation out of the Great Depression and then fought World War II — has presided over as rapid a growth in government when measured as a percentage of the total economy.”
Ouch, Mr. President. Looks like you forgot the conservatism part of "compassionate conservatism".
While much of Bush’s spending has funded defense and the War on Terror, most of it vanished into the furnaces of No Child Left Behind, the 2002 Farm Bill, the 2003 Medicare drug entitlement, the 2005 highway bill, the 2006 ethanol mandate, at least 69,341 earmarks, and much, much more. In 2001, Bush launched federal embryonic stem-cell research. By 2008, he added the word “nationalization” to the American vocabulary, and underscored it with nearly $1 trillion in bailouts and Third World—-style government ownership stakes in banks and financial houses.
Bush has kept America safe from terror attacks since September 11. The liberations of Afghanistan from bin Ladenism and Iraq from Ba’athism were vital victories for national security and human rights. Until this year’s mortgage meltdown, his tax cuts fueled robust growth. Good work.
Nevertheless, Bush is the GOP’s Jimmy Carter, a weak bumbler who embarrassed his constituents, betrayed his philosophical movement, sank his party, and eventually surrendered the White House to the opposition, this time led by the Senate’s Number One liberal, still in his first term. Bush should retire quietly to Texas, where he can drive his truck, chop wood, and avoid the limelight for the balance of his natural existence.
While harsh, there IS a lot of truth to this. Both the positives of the fight against terror and the high-flying growth spurred by his tax cuts. However, Bush waffled too often on too many issues, and lost his way. Granted, he's tried to balance a long-term, large-scale War on Terror and a peacetime economy at the same time...but that hasn't worked. Also, in an attempt to "save" the economy, we now have the foundations for a large-scale expansion of government.
Further down the column...
With few exceptions, Republican congressional leaders cheered this elephantiasis amid an atmosphere of corruption, incompetence, and unaccountability. Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, House GOP chief John Boehner, House Republican whip Roy Blunt, and other failed leaders should go warm the back benches. Senator Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens will become Ted “Jail to Nowhere” Stevens — and not soon enough.
Former Senate GOP leaders Bill Frist and Trent Lott, and top House Republicans Dennis Hastert and Tom DeLay have nothing to offer America. They should be left alone to fade quietly into obscurity.
With the exception of Mitch McConnell, who has done a good job of rallying the minority (for the most part), I can agree with those names named.
Instead, Americans should listen to Republicans who courageously advance pro-market principles today. Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn would make outstanding GOP honchos. House Republicans should elevate Jeff Flake, Mike Pence, Jeb Hensarling, and John Shadegg to key positions. Governors Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal are attractive young reformers with lots to offer through at least 2012. Ditto former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele, author of 2008’s best slogan: “Drill, baby, drill!”
Yes, yes, and more yes. Throw in the names of Reps. Thad McCotter (MI-11) and Eric Cantor (VA-7) and the GOP would take on a much fresher, energetic, principled leadership.