Time for Republicans to come to Jesus

Congratulations to Barack Obama, the incoming 44th President of the United States. He soon will fill America’s highest office after a nearly flawless, first-time White House bid. He demonstrates that education, eloquence, and elegance trump lingering racial bias. His staunchly left-liberal ideas aside, he inspires in many ways. May he govern justly and make every American proud.

Now, what about those who Obama and his supporters vanquished? What the Republican Party badly needs is a Night of the Long Knives.

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 catapulted into the nearest volcano.

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, reports Jon Ward in October 19’s Washington Times.

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. 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 No. 1 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.

Bush could use someone to sweep the leaves at his ranch. I nominate Karl Rove. Why on Earth is he always on TV spewing advice? As "the architect" of the oxymoronic Big Government Conservatism, he counseled Bush to solidify power by spending like a Democrat, slapping tariffs on steel, and locking away his veto pen for six years. Under Rove, the administration’s communications efforts made the Tower of Babel sound like a news channel. This would be bad enough if the GOP were unprincipled but in control. Oops! The GOP lost Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008. Thanks, Karl.

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.

Instead, 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!"

John McCain and Sarah Palin campaigned energetically while advocating lower spending and tax cuts. Alas, the bailout fiasco truncated them at their knees. They otherwise might have prevailed, and deserve praise for trying to do the right thing.

Once the GOP’s detritus is dislodged, rebuilding can begin. The best way Republicans can redeem themselves is to ask daily: "What would Reagan do?"


(Deroy Murdock is a columnist and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.Murdock(at)gmail.com.)