There are two things that all Republicans know today: that you lost the mid-term election, and that the loss was a repudiation of President Bush's policies. What you must now figure out is why. Why did Americans vote as they did? What specific policies did they reject? The answer you accept will determine whether you discover a road to victory for your country and your party, or whether you stumble further into defeat.
You have heard—and will continue to hear—many explanations for the election results. You have been told, for instance, that Democratic obstruction stymied the president, and leftist defeatism undermined support for the war. These answers will not cut it. Republicans held a political majority in Washington for six years, and the President was given all the resources and authority he asked for—including a solid re-election two years ago.
You have been told that Democrats wanted to spend like crazy on domestic programs, and that they turned on Bush because he sought to allow Americans greater choice in how they spend their money. But the president has increased spending to a degree not seen since LBJ and FDR, and has not vetoed a single spending bill.
It has been said that the election was about values—meaning, religious values—and that you lost because you were not "Conservative" enough. But what does this mean? That you did not lobby strongly enough for government intervention in family affairs, education, and science? Religious conservatives—such as Senator Santorum—were also soundly defeated. The American people expressed no desire for more religious values in government.
It remains telling that the American people were solidly on the president's side when he promised a reduction in government coercion at home, and a victory in the war overseas (over 80% supported the invasion of Iraq)—and that they withdrew their support only after he failed to follow through on his promises. . . .