Some thoughts about the election:
Newt Gingrich: In spite of the heretofore unparalleled effort by such liberal forces as the NEA, big labor, and the press, he remains the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The House remains under Republican control (the repeat victory a landmark) and almost all of the "Young Turks" are re-elected. This, in spite of the most viscous, dirty, and heavily financed campaign of lies and distortions perpetrated by the left yet to hit the annals of American politics.
The NRA: When 92% of the members of the House who supported a repeal of the presidentís ignorant "gun ban" law are re-elected, it proves that the vast majority of voters donít buy the leftís radical lying propaganda and anti-constitutional theories regarding the role of guns and crime in general.
Conservatism: Proof that this country is basically conservative is self evident in spite of Clintonís re-election. The facts are is that the 94 elections swept in the Republicans after two years of Clinton, her husband, and a Democrat congressís unchecked liberalism. The first thing the Clintons did after their first election was to increase taxes, pack the Cabinet with homosexuals, revoke the militaryís rules on gay soldiers, and try to federalize the nationís health care system. Clintonís reaction to the 1994 electorateís repudiation of those actions was to shift dramatically away from his true liberal philosophy. A quick study, Mr. Clinton realized that he had to act like a Republican, putting some distance between himself and such liberal causes as gay marriages, increased taxation, liberalizing drug laws, and affirmative action (liberal term for the word discrimination) during the last two years of his first term in order to fool enough voters to re-elect him. The fact that the Republicans ran a moderate, beltway insider, elderly politician who never faced a political rival the equal of "Der-Schlickmeister" did not exactly help their cause.
Bill Clinton: Sure, he won the election, but now, instead of a lame duck, we have a "sitting duck" president. Now the headlines in papers across the country should read "Let the indictments begin!"
It is only by the grace of a "friendly" media that Mr. Clinton has avoided impeachment thus far. The mass departure only one day after the elections of so many high level officials who havenít already been indicted, resigned, committed suicide, or been prosecuted is highly reminiscent of rats bailing overboard a sinking ship.
Affirmative Action: When a relatively liberal state like California overwhelmingly votes to end "Affirmative Action" which is government sanctioned discrimination, the handwriting is on the wall. It says "enough" with this destructive and divisive quota game. People should not be discriminated against, and to try to correct past policies of such behavior by making it official policy to do so against others is not a sane act in a democracy. Take a close look at those who now howl in protest to the passage of this amendment. These are the ones who want government enforced discrimination to continue. Obviously it is the only way they can get around the barriers of honest competition.
Unions: After an all out frontal attack on American Conservative values, spending untold millions of their membership dollars, the unions (NEA, AFL-CIO, and others) ended up with a net gain of only 10 House seats, (and still a minority) and a net loss of one Senate seat. Are the union bosses asking themselves "was it worth it?" More over, are their members, the largest segment of which are Federal employees, asking the same?
I think you're seeing the results through rose-colored glasses. Newt Gingrich may have been re-elected, but he ain't so loud anymore. If things had gone the way he (and, I think, you) predicted, the Republicans would have made serious gains in both the House and Senate, leaving the Democrats almost nonexistent as a political force. And the Congress would have continued to churn out legislation from the Contract with America in the past year.
Instead, Newt got strangely quiet, and the Republicans, who not long before were shutting down the federal government, are making soothing noises about cooperation and bipartisanship.
Why? Because, if you drew a line halfway between my political views and yours, you would find the American people. They don't like taxes but don't want the federal government to go away, nearly as much as you do. They agreed with me, that Newt was a dangerous loudmouth with a radical social agenda, and they communicated it loudly enough to the Republican party that he has been in hiding ever since.
The handwriting is on the wall for the far right's brand of no-government fiscal conservativism coupled with a big government social agenda (ban abortion, regulate speech on the Internet, etc.) The Republican party is dominated by the Christian Coalition and fundamentalists of a similar ilk, but the American people are not. What happened to Robert Dornan is a harbinger of what is likely to happen to the entire party, if it clings to its radical agenda. He failed to notice that there was now a significant Hispanic vote in his district. Now, the word is that many Hispanic people will vote Republican if you let them. But they weren't going to vote for a hateful, racist man whose final sputter was that he was defeated by people who couldn't legally vote. The party is losing women and losing Northeastern Republicans. A swing back to the center--in reality, not just a counterfeit--is what it will need to carry on in the future.
Which is not to say there is much strength left in the Democratic party. All the Republican domination of Congress means to me, though, is that the Democrats withered a bit faster. They started trying to be the party of big business sometime in the '80's, took PAC money, lost their progressive identity. The Republicans have a more devoted lunatic fringe, which can carry them through the hard times and give an appearance of energy; ironically, the Democrats, who the far right keeps tarring with that radical-left-liberal brush, are anything but, and have the committed ideological support of nobody.
Don't blame me; I cast my protest vote for Ralph Nader. And that will be the first time in 24 years that I didn't vote Democratic in a Presidential election. But I've had it with politicians who don't believe in anything. Before I salute a flag, I like to know what it stands for. I'm patiently waiting for a third party to come along and restore meaning to politics, make it an exercise in issues rather than a struggle of interests. In order to get there, we need radical surgery on our campaign finance system; that is the first step. We have a weak democracy today, and I'd like to have a strong one. But strong democracy could never arise from the Contract Republicans; theirs is a politics of meanness, exclusion, moral authoritarianism. This time they hung in there, when they expected to conquer; I predict that next time they'll slide back. Like Robert Dornan.