Upon arrival in the land of Oz, Dorothy informed Toto, this isnt Kansas anymore.
Neither is the United States the 60s anymore. The increasing polarity of the political parties reached a milestone in 1994 when the Republicans reached a majority in that body for the first time in 40 years. That was as long as Moses roamed the desert, to give a little biblical proportion.
The 1994 elections were significant in that the Republicans put together a national campaign that filtered all the way down to congressional districts. Twenty years before, the Democrats significantly increased their majority in the House on the backlash of the Watergate scandal.
After the stunning defeat of the Democrats in 1994, Democrat Party leaders tried to reassure their base that the Republican sweep was a fluke, and they would be back in power in 1996. Instead, Democrats on every level, particularly in the Southern states, began fleeing the sinking Democrat ship. In the 1996 elections, the Republican majority was cut back slightly, but 1998 saw gains.
The Democrats loss of majority status was not offset by their control of the White House. Bill Clinton proved to be an embattled, yet Teflon-like, politician who left the Democrat Party in ruins in his wake. The Constitution stipulates that all spending originates in the House, so Clinton benefited from the spending and tax policies of a conservative Congress without having to make the tough decisions himself.
In 2000, the Republicans ran the table. They won back the presidency and increased Republican control of Congress. This was a turning point for the Democrat Party. This election marked the end of the patience that the Party base had afforded the Democrat leaders. The liberal base of the Democrat Party was now making demands, and the rhetoric became acidic.
The attacks on George Bush are legendary. It gives great hope to some when they can call a Harvard University MBA and Yale undergrad a dummy. Doesnt matter that he was also the elected and re-elected governor of one of the largest states in the nation. Then, 9/11 occurred, and the country rallied around the president and gave the presidents party a further increase in their numbers in Congress. This was almost unprecedented.
The Democrat left was in turmoil, so hypocrites like George Soros shifted his support of limiting the influence of cash in elections to dumping unprecedented amounts of money into a self-righteous crusade against Bush. Soros became a hypocrite in the eyes of some watchdog organizations that he had previously funded.
Along with Soros and his piles of campaign money came the legions of Hollywood intellectuals such as Alec Baldwin, who vowed to move to Canada if George Bush was re-elected in 2004. The rhetoric was further elevated by the propaganda film that Michael Moore put together: Fahrenheit 911. On election night 2004, George Bush, the dummy beat back the attack, and the American people re-elected him and, once again, put more Republicans in Congress.
The Democrats lost and are losing because they do not offer a viable alternative. Many of us Republicans were just as stunned by the results of 2004. The results in the foreseeable future will be the same as long as the Democrat Party is perceived to be the party of the lunatic left. As long as they compare the troops in Iraq to Nazis and make wild claims about going to war for oil profits, the Republican alternative will be the better one.
Jim Thacker is a political consultant who worked on the Don Manzullo and LarryMorrissey campaigns. He is advising Republican and former Bank of America investment banker David McSweeney, who is opposing Melissa Bean, the first-term Democrat from the Eighth Congressional District of Illinois.
From the July 19-25, 2006, issue