In these days after the election, the Republicans are still licking their collective wounds and the Democrats are still in the euphoria of their honeymoon. The question that the Republicans are asking, and many along with them, is what went wrong? What could have been done differently.
While there can be no doubt that the economy figured big in the election, as it always does, I think there are other issues needing examination as well. Foremost among those issues would be the attempt to move the Republican Party to the left, especially on moral issues such as abortion and gay rights.
George W. Bush won both his terms largely due to the support of socially conservative voters. They voted for him because they believed he would do something to stem the tide of abortion and gay rights. Bush presented himself to his constituency as a stongly pro-life, pro-family candidate.
However, the Republicans did very little to deliver on what they promised. After the mid-term elections of 2002, the Republicans gained a majority in both houses of congress. In addition, Bush appointed two members to the Supreme Court in John Roberts and Samuel Alito, both known as conservative judges. Yet, with all this in their favor, the Republicans did nothing to advance legislation aimed at curbing abortion, or even outright overturning the reprehensible decision of Roe vs. Wade. Democrats with that kind of an opportunity would not have thought twice about it. Why did our Republican representatives drop the ball?
After the recent election it would appear that the Republicans are embarrased about holding to a position that has won them elections in the past. They would rather try to become more moderate. Post election pundits are strongly suggesting that the Republicans abandon their stands on these things and focus more on the economy. What they seem to be missing is that these stands were the reasons they won before. Without them, they will fare even more poorly than they did in this election.
If the Republicans won't support the many Americans who value life and family, then we will go elsewhere to find our representation. That leaves the Republicans without the conservatives they once looked to as their bread and butter and trying to gain people who have been traditionally Democrats. Or, they could wake up to what has brought them this far and they could return to representing the people who have typically supported them.
My feeling is that the Republicans have one more shot to get this right. After that, I'm out, and I'm sure I am not alone!