Saturday, November 08, 2008

Tom Tancredo: End of the Bush-McCain era brings lessons for Republicans

Tom Tancredo, Congressman from Colorado's Sixth District, made the following remarks following the November 4 election," Barack Obama won the presidential election by making it a referendum on the Bush presidency and by successfully making John McCain look like a Bush clone. Voters decided they wanted more "change" than McCain could be expected to deliver.

"There are some clear lessons for Republicans from the McCain campaign and eight years of the Bush presidency. First, Karl Rove's grand paradigm for a "permanent Republican majority" built on "compassionate conservatism" was grand hype based on a grand illusion. No political victory can be permanent; each generation must fight for human liberty all over again.

"Second, it was neither smart politics nor smart policy to allow Ted Kennedy and the American Immigration Lawyers Association to write a Bush-McCain immigration reform plan which gave only lip service to border security. Those congressional battles alienated 90 percent of the Republican base and 75 percent of independents. Did the McCain support of two amnesty plans in 2006 and 2007 win him more support among Hispanic political groups than Republicans normally get? No. McCain could not out-pander the Democrat party, and it was foolish to try.

"Can the Republican Party rebuild to gain substantial victories in 2010 and 2012? Yes, absolutely. In the first place, recovering the principles, vision and verve of Ronald Reagan will be a lot easier with Barack Obama in the White House and George Bush back on his ranch. And not everyone in heartland America drank the New Change Kool-Aid; many voters would have voted for Benedict Arnold just to poke Bush in the eye. That sentiment will dissipate quickly.

"The party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan has endured a tortuous detour down the Bush Parkway and then into the McCain cul-de-sac. Fortunately, we do have a compass -- a compass called the Constitution and a north star called limited government. The first step to regain our bearings is to stop talking about where we have been and start thinking about where we want to go. More than the future of the Republican party depends on our resilience and our abiity to chart that new course successfully. "

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