With news of George Voinovich’s imminent departure from the Senate, I can relate to the mood in this reader’s missive:
You may feel this to be out of order, but I would love to see you write about the cowardice of the Republican Senators. As early as Monday the 12th, George Voinovich intends to announce his retirement. That would bring the number to four so far with Kay Bailey likely to follow.
Each of these seats was winnable, yet each decided to flee rather than toil in the minority. Have Republicans lost their will to fight? Where is their concern for the party and the country? Is it all about K Street for them? To their credit, Democrats have never accepted defeat and now they own Washington. The new motto of the Republican party seems to be, “When the going gets tough, run.”
I suppose this is more evidence the party has not yet hit rock bottom. Jeb Bush abandoned the party at a time of need and other new, conservative voices like Paul Ryan have decided to remain as back benchers. How do they expect the party to revitalize itself if the leaders have no stomach for a fight? I sense a desire by activists to fight, but not from the party.
Maybe I’m being too harsh, but the Republican party could well be wiped out once again in 2010. Obama might achieve a historic modern majority in the Senate in two years. Are Republican leaders willing to allow socialization and welfare to become institutionalized? Their actions say yes. I, for one, am not, but there seems to be no one willing to fight for conservatism or even liberal Republicanism.
In term of party perception, George W. Bush has been as detrimental as Herbert Hoover was. That’s saying something.
Allow me to offer the upside: In order to achieve something, you have to want to do it first. If Republican senators don’t have the heart, stomach, or what have you to fight for their principles, values, and ideas from the minority, then they, the party, and the causes they fight for are probably better off if they’re retired.
These senators may feel as liberated as Trent Lott, joyously celebrating the expiration of a 12-month ban on lobbying that he faced throughout 2008, bellowing, “I’m free!” (What a noble expression of appreciation for liberty! Why, it’s practically the climax of “Braveheart.”)
Yes, it’s good to have an incumbent running in order to keep a seat, but let’s recall that Deadwood isn’t just a town in South Dakota.