Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Young Guns vs. The Old Dogs

John Shadegg on the virtual-stump for House Minority Whip:

Yet, in defeat there is a real opportunity for Republicans. We now have an opportunity to evaluate, unite, and change course. We must learn from the mistakes of the Democrats after their loss in 1994, and not spend the next 12 years in the minority. They kept the same leaders and not until they made the necessary changes eight years later did they begin to find a road toward success. If we want to return to the majority soon, we must take corrective action now. We cannot, as they did, count on the others side to make mistakes.

To be successful, our leaders must believe in the principles they are espousing. Paying lip service to reform and principle won’t be enough. The voters saw through it last week and they’ll see though it again. We need new ideas, a shared vision for real reform, and strong, principled, policy positions.

Being a part of the Revolutionary Class of ’94 instilled a sense of optimism and hope in me that still remains. We believed then that we could return our government to the people, and I still believe it now. The American people share the Republican vision for America, but now we must earn back their trust.

We need leaders with new ideas and new energy to reignite our efforts and reclaim our rightful place as the governing party of reform and individual empowerment. These principles will be the keys to our success. We will not regain the majority without them.

At the same time, the Corner notes a hint of Pencementum. The young guns are pushing; whether they have what it takes to win remains to be seen.

Lastly, Roy Blunt makes a strong case for his election as Minority Whip:

In a nine-page memo that will be sent to his fellow Republicans later today, and obtained exclusively by NRO, Blunt writes that, “We must force the Democrats to be Democrats,” and hang together as a caucus so “their team feels the pain.” And just what pain is the former Baptist college president talking about inflicting?

The kind that comes in forcing House Democrats from moderate and conservative districts to either support the “San Francisco agenda” of their new Speaker, and “show who they really are,” or to “vote with us."

“Either way, we win,” Blunt writes.

The targets? Those 60 Democratic members from districts where President Bush won in 2004. In an indication of just what an advantage incumbency is in these contest, Blunt then lays out, according to just how red-leaning their districts are, exactly which Democratic members will be at the top of their list when the roll is called. And how will it be done?

Through amendments and substitutes that could be politically damaging for these moderate and conservative Democrats to oppose. Blunt lists ways to hold feet to the fire on the line-item veto, minimum wage, drug prices, taxes and spending.

I'm of the mind that the taint of '06 needs getting rid of and that would include a guy like Blunt. But the man definitely has a plan and it is a specific one. I like that.

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