Last Thursday millions of Americans gathered around family dining tables to give thanks for the blessings they enjoy. For conservatives, we have far fewer blessings to count these days after a train-wreck presidential campaign, spectacular meltdowns in several senate races that put the GOP in a deeper hole instead of drawing closer to control of Congress’ upper chamber and an Obama Administration that will be more emboldened in advancing its radical agenda.
Despite these setbacks, Republicans can be grateful for some things.
Control of the US House of Representatives- While I can understand why John Boehner isn’t a favorite among conservatives, it is preferable for the speaker’s gavel to rest in his hands and not Nancy Pelosi’s. The house represents the last bulwark of opposition to Barack Obama’s attempt to fundamentally restructure America…at least more so than he already has when the president had an open legislative road in his first two years. For the next two years, the fight for the country’s soul and America’s future will be won or lost in the US House of Representatives. While retaining control of the house was somewhat of a consolation prize for Republicans, it’s the beachhead for a return to power.
Susan Collins- No, I’m not kidding about this one. After trying to defy political gravity by chasing off electable moderate senate candidates in moderate states that haven’t backed a Republican presidential candidate in thirty years, perhaps conservatives will leave the least conservative member of the GOP’s senate caucus alone. Though not a lockstep Republican, Collins is relatively harmless to the party’s conservative wing and not nearly as obnoxious as Lincoln Chafee and the late Arlen Specter were before their respective exits. It would be wiser to light a candle under a Democratic incumbent than foolishly trade a 50% GOP vote in the US Senate for a 95% Democratic. Republicans should be thankful she hasn’t already run into the open arms of the Democratic caucus.
The Twenty-Second Amendment- While a second term is two more than any conservative would have liked Obama to have had, at least the GOP will never have to face the most talented politician in American history in another national election. Obama’s logic-defying appeal to voters is a unique trait that likely 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton doesn’t possess and whomever is picked by Republican primary and caucus participants will face a lesser candidate in November 2016.
The End of the GOP’s “Next Loser Up” Trend- Democrats hustle to be nominated for president while Republicans tend to “inherit” their party’s nod. For decades it seemed that losing a bid for president was a necessary qualification for eventually winning the Republican nomination. Since 1960, seven Republicans have been nominated for president who lost a presidential run, came in second in delegates at a convention and/or were unsuccessful in their pursuit of the GOP presidential nomination on a previous occasion. John McCain and Mitt Romney proved the folly of this “tradition” and hopefully history will cease being repeated if the Republican Party is serious about abandoning the stale politics of failure. In two straight presidential elections, the Republican Party settled for “slightly worse than the last guy”. It’s time for the GOP to go in a different direction in 2016 by embracing a new face instead of an old worn retread.
Good Health for Five Judges- The Anglican Church produced a special prayer for Queen Elizabeth II for her Diamond Jubilee and conservatives might want to pen their own petitions to the Lord for the good health of Chief Justice John Roberts (age 57) and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia (age 76), Anthony Kennedy (age 76), Clarence Thomas (64) and Samuel Alito (age 62). Though the court…scratch that…Chief Justice Roberts disappointed in the ObamaCare ruling, the five Republican appointees are all that stand in the way of extraconstitutional power grabs via executive order by the Obama Administration.
Fox News, Talk Radio and the Conservative Blogosphere- No part of American society failed our country more over the past four years than the mainstream media. Their professional performance in the past four months has been utterly disgraceful. In lieu of questioning those who pull the levers of power, the mainstream media aided, abetted and covered-up for the Obama Administration. Fox News, talk radio hosts and conservative bloggers are the only information alternatives to the monolithic chorus pro-state networks that have actively colluded with the Obama White House.
The Examples of Others Before Us- As awful as things look right now for conservatives, we can find hope in the past, where the GOP managed to dig itself out of far deeper holes than this one. If you think being a Republican in 2012 is rough, try having been affiliated with the party in 1936 when the GOP succeeded in only winning two states. Or in 1948 when the GOP found a way to lose a “can’t lose” presidential election, thus giving Democrats control of the White House for twenty straight years. While our presidential nominee was at times tactless, our senate candidates reckless and our political professionals clueless, our cause is far from hopeless.