About two years ago, I noted that the Republicans where on the wrong track.  The issue that caused me concern was immigration.  Immigration is a law-and-order issue — nothing else.  Republicans used to be the law-and-order party.  It later occurred to me that they had been on the wrong track for a while.  I should have noticed when the late, great WFB and George Will were down on Republicans back in 2004.  They saw the writing on the wall four years ago.  Alas, the party should have used them as a weather vane and changed course then.  Here is where the Republicans have gone wrong in this conservative’s estimation:

Fiscal Hawkishness
Earmarks should be anathema.  The Republicans became just like  Democrats, and both parties are like pigs at the trough, feasting on the people’s money and in the process betraying the public trust.  This money is legalized bribery.  The politician is saying, ‘Here is money, so vote for me and I will get you more money.’

Small Federal Government
This is the outcome that is impossible if one does not keep a handle on the earmarks. Another element of this is keeping giveaways-writ-large off the table.  For example the ‘Prescription Drug Benefit’ was a Democrat program imposed on us by a GWB. Congress should have told him to take a walk.  Instead they let is pass.  It should have been filibustered.  Another one like this is the ‘No-Child-Left-Behind.’  Education is important.  A quality education is not all about money.  Look at DC, they spend more per student than anyone else ~$14K-per-student-per-year, and the results are the worst in the country.

Until these two issues are permanently resolved, and not spending the tax payers money is taken to heart permanently, discussion and arguments regarding taxes will ring hollow.  The ‘starving the beast’ strategy does not work.  It appears one must instead stop worshiping it.   The beast offers the illusion of permanent power and employment.  The conservative Republican constituency does not tolerate this.  Budget growth cannot exceed GDP growth.  Doing so is situation is not sustainable.  Higher taxes will not solve the problem.  If anything, they will bring it to a head sooner.

Nation Building
This is an idea that originated in the 1960′s, and it was a bad idea then, too.  Why did we resurrect it?  It was a bad idea, so Bush then resurrected it in the 21st century?  Look how popular it has made us around the world.  Obviously no one wants our ‘help’ in this form. This is something Republicans should treat like plutonium, and conservatives should have raised a bigger stink about.

Party Unity
Reagan said that Republicans ought never speak ill of the other Republicans.  Spencer, McCain, and Graham are notorious in this regard.  It is not helpful.  The only thing it does is provide ammunition to the MSM, which is blatantly in the tank for the Democrats.  The Democrats have taken this to heart and are highly disciplined in keeping their differences in the family.  Being a ‘maverick’ did not do McCain a bit of good in this election.

Principles over Popularity
Republicans should not care what the press says.  Espousing a position just to become a darling of the MSM was McCain’s moniker.  The minute he was up against a Democrat in the Presidential election, they threw him under the bus.  Speaking conservative principles without apology is integrity.  Undercutting your principles just to get favorable press will do you absolutely no good when the chips are down.

In 2002, the Democrats lost seats in the House and Senate running as Ersatz Republicans.  Many Republicans are now trying to run as Ersatz Democrats.  The results are equally dismal, as they should be.  Who wants zirconium when there is real diamond available for the same price?

Law and Order
We are a nation of laws.  We pledge our loyalty to a Constitution that represents 230 years of nationhood based on the proposition that all men are created equal.   Our republic is an embodiment of the principle that a government that is dedicated to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will bring the best possible result.  It is not paradise, but it is certainly better than elsewhere.  If we do not hold the law in respect, if we allow systemic corruption to take root, our form of government will eventually perish. More than likely, it will expire with a whimper.

Looking Forward
McCain received 56M votes to Obama’s 63M votes.  In 2004, GWB got 62M to Kerry’s 59M votes.  The end result is that this year 119M people cast a vote, and in 2004  the 122M did.  That is 3M votes less than in 2004.  The number missing is actually larger because Obama and the Democrats conducted a massive 1+M person voter registration drive.  So where did the 4M voters from the last election go?  They stayed home, and did not vote.

Considering the enthusiasm on the liberal side of the political spectrum, it is more than likely that the majority of the 3-4M people would not have voted Democrat.  But the Republicans did not deserve their consideration either.  This pool of voters will reenter the fray.  It should be a source of hope for the Republicans.  But they did not come out and vote for a Republican who espoused socialistic solutions to financial problems.  They did not come out and vote for a Republican who is apparently more comfortable making friends on the other side of the aisle than on his own side.

This is not a call to partisanship.  This is a call to return to the roots of our party.  The Republican Revolution in 1994 was supposed to change Washington.  It failed.  Washington changed the Republicans.