Special Feature: Carrying Out the MandateGreat Opportunity to Revitalize Reagan Republican Party

[Editors Note: The editors of HUMAN EVENTS asked a group of well-known conservative leaders to outline what they believe the public policy priorities ought to be for the conservative movement following last week’s Republican election victory.]

PART 4: The Washington Post‘s David Broder correctly summed up what happened last Tuesday as a "top to bottom" Republican victory. It wasn’t, he said, just the fact that George W. Bush managed to win a second term by a margin of better than 3.5 million votes, but that Republicans were winning Senate seats, House contests and victories at the state and local levels as well. What Broder may not have gotten right away, however, is the fact that these victories will combine to push the country in a far more consistently conservative direction. Leaders of the conservative wing of the party in the House, for example, estimate a net gain of six Republicans in that body and the steadfastness of Senate contenders like Tom Coburn in Oklahoma and Jim DeMint in South Carolina may presage a new day in that body. What’s more, the President, within hours of clinching the election thanks to values issues and the best mechanical voter operation the Republican Party has ever put together, was talking about entitlement and fundamental tax reform and signaling that he will hold the line on domestic discretionary spending as well. These are good signs and could fundamentally remake the way government does business. Solid Court Nominees If he’s serious and combines all this with sound appointments to the Supreme Court, conservatives will be more than pleased and will fight side by side with him in building a legacy as the second great conservative President of our lifetimes. There is no longer a need to trim as he begins his second term with more support than anyone predicted he would have on Capitol Hill. It’s true that a 55 vote majority is not enough to prevent a filibuster, but as a practical matter Democrats haunted by the ghost of former Democratic Leader Tom Daschle walking the halls are going to be far more willing to let the President have his way than would have been the case if Daschle and others had survived November 2. I said before the election that in his second term, President Bush can lead the revitalization of the Reagan Republican Party. He now has a chance to do that, and we are all hoping that he will. More:

  • Part 1: Enact School Choice, Cut Taxes, Improve Cultural Climate
  • Part 2: ‘Ownership Society’ Will Limit Growth of Government
  • Part 3: Fiscal Restraint, Marriage Amendment, Constitutionalist Judges
  • Part 4: Great Opportunity to Revitalize Reagan Republican Party
  • Part 5: Ten Steps Toward Smaller, Better Government
  • Part 6: Keep Moving Toward Lower, Flatter Tax Rates
  • Part 7: A Call For Conservatives to Debate Foreign Policy
  • Part 8: Get Borders and Illegal Immigration Under Control