House Republicans have led this Congress and have a record of accomplishments with which Americans can be proud. From economic security to national security, from a comprehensive energy strategy to legal reform, House Republicans have taken on the tough issues.
Americans of all financial backgrounds continue to enjoy the record-setting numbers of today’s economy. Our thriving economy is due to the tax cuts Republicans delivered. We have funded our troops and the Global War on Terror and increased pay to our deserving, dedicated, and intelligent men and women in uniform. House Republicans have answered America’s call for greater homeland security by passing plans to build a border fence and increase port security. We have strengthened vital intelligence-gathering procedures and ensured the USA PATRIOT Act and Terrorist Surveillance Program. Most of all, we have witnessed the success of these policies, and there has not been another attack on U.S. soil since 2001.
This election, like all elections, provides voters with a real choice. Those who are advocating “change for the sake of change” need to understand what they are choosing. There is no question that America is engaged in a difficult battle for freedom abroad. Freedom is not free. We also have issues to address here at home. The practice of democratic government is not easy. There is no question that we have serious work to do, which brings us to the 2006 Election.
Unfortunately and unabashedly, Democrats and opinion leaders in Washington, D.C., are already planning a victory bash for the Democrat party next week. I think the greatest disservice the Democrats and their talking heads have done the American people this time around is with their deafening silence about what a Democrat victory next week would mean. These Washington insiders smell blood in the water and want to make this election at the historic sixth year of a presidency as dramatic and theatrical as possible. The Democrats’ campaign rhetoric has been as negative as it has been vague.
What would happen if the Democrats win? There are two reasons Democrats try to avoid taking positions on most issues. Either they have no discernable position (do you know what the Democrats’ policy is on the war on terror these days?) or they have one, but they’re desperate to keep it a secret (does anyone doubt their taxes won’t go up?). Seriously, take a step back from the campaign these so-called thought leaders and the Democrats want you to watch — and think for a few minutes about what Democrats are all about. They would have you believe the entire election is about us, but what about the hidden Democrat agenda behind the curtain? Luckily, we don’t have to guess — they have a record.
First, let’s consider national security and the War on Terror. The Democrat Party has yet to glean a single lesson from the Global War on Terror. Has the Democrats’ foreign policy changed at all since September 10th, 2001? The only Democrats who have really taken a strong position on the Iraq war — like Nancy Pelosi, who would be Speaker of the House and the third highest-ranking politician in the country — have called for the immediate surrender and withdrawal of American troops. Our mission be damned; our promises to the Iraqi people be damned.
Democrats opposed the creation of the Homeland Security Department. They opposed the construction of the 700-mile security fence along our porous southern border. They opposed the PATRIOT Act. They oppose the president’s efforts to monitor terrorist communications. They opposed the president’s and John McCain’s efforts to codify rules by which terrorists can be interrogated by American military and intelligence agents. This is not conjecture; it is the public record and the public pronouncements of leading Democrats, the men and women who DC’s talking heads want in charge of Congress.
Next, let’s consider economic policy. Democrats have a record here too. They opposed tax relief before 9/11. They opposed every tax relief measure Congress has passed since 9/11. If they had their way, taxes would be higher today than they were when President Clinton left office. How can we trust the Democrats knowing their record? They may not be saying much now before the election, but just look at their actions. How can we have forgotten about Democrat Congresses passing the largest tax increases in history — only to watch them do it again? Have we really forgotten that it was a Democrat Congress which increased Social Security taxes in 1986 and a Democrat Congress which increased gasoline taxes in 1993? The efforts of opinion makers to mask this fact notwithstanding, Democrat positions range from vaguely indecisive to extremely liberal.
What about the Democrat leadership? Nancy Pelosi has recently promised to bring a new civility to Washington, D.C. But when asked about President Bush and the elections, Pelosi says, “this election is a referendum on them [meaning the Republican party] …making them lame ducks is good enough for me.” When talking about the Global War on Terror, she calls our commander-in-chief, “out of touch.” And when talking about her Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives, she says they have been, “…a rubber stamp for his (Bush’s) failed policies.” That doesn’t sound so civil to me.
Do we really want Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco values leading the culture war? Do we really want an appropriations chairman to cut off funding for our troops during a time of war? Do we really want a Ways and Means Chairman who has said there is not one current tax cut he supports? He is promising every American who works for a living they will have a tax increase. Do we really want a Judiciary Committee chairman presiding over multiple gavel-to-gavel impeachment hearings? Do we really want a Government Reform Committee chairman issuing an unending, daily list of executive-branch subpoenas? Do we really want an impeached federal judge serving as chairman of the Intelligence Committee and handling our top national-security secrets?
When national security, economic prosperity, and political leadership hang in the balance, Democrats just aren’t good enough. The American people expect more and deserve better. It really is too bad that D.C.’s talking heads don’t get it.
— J. Dennis Hastert is Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.