Tuesday's Losses Suggest “The Big Tent Will Turn into a Three-Ring Circus”
Contact: Gary Schneeberger, Focus on the Family, 719-548-5853, email@example.com
"Laura Ingraham said it best. When Congressional Republicans wait until the First of October to begin reaching out to their base, they are destined to lose. That was the GOP’s downfall. They consistently ignored the constituency that put them in power until it was late in the game and then frantically tried to catch up at the last minute. In 2004, conservative voters handed them a 10-seat majority in the Senate and a 29-seat edge in the House. And what did they do with their power? Very little that Values Voters care about.
"Many of my colleagues saw this coming. I said in an interview with U.S. News and World Report shortly after the 2004 elections, 'If Republicans in the White House and in Congress squander this opportunity, I believe they will pay a price for it in four years -- or maybe in two.' Sadly for conservatives, that in large measure explains what happened on Tuesday night. Many of the Values Voters of '04 simply stayed at home this year.
"The unfortunate thing is that Republican leaders still don't appear to get it. Sen. Arlen Spector, R-Pa, said on Wednesday that the election results represented a 'seismic earthquake' and that his party must become 'a lot more progressive and a lot less ideological.' Dick Armey emerged from four years in the wilderness to blame conservative Christians for Tuesday's defeat. They were, he said, 'too involved' with the party. He can't be serious! Someone should tell him that without the support of that specific constituency, John Kerry would be President and the Republicans would have fallen into a black hole in '04. In fact, that is where they are headed if they continue to abandon their pro-moral, pro-family and pro-life base. The big tent will turn into a three-ring circus.
"Republican leaders in Congress during this term apparently never understood, or they forgot, why Ronald Reagan was so loved and why he is considered one of our greatest presidents. If they hope to return to power in '08, they must rediscover the conservative principles that resonated with the majority of Americans in the 1980s -- and still resonate with them today. Failure to do so will be catastrophic. Values Voters are not going to carry the water for the Republican Party if it ignores their deeply held convictions and beliefs.
"To quote Dr. Ken Hutcherson, 'When Republicans act like Democrats they lose and when Democrats act like Republicans, they win.' And therein lies the lesson of '06."