As President Bush prepares to address both Congress and the American people in his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, the conservative wing of the President’s base held a press forum Friday at Washington’s Free Congress Foundation on the “Conservative State of the Union.” Leading figures of the conservative movement addressed the state of the movement’s multiple facets, and their disappointment with the current Republican president and Congress over its abandonment of the conservative agenda.
Perhaps the most dismayed panelist at Friday’s press forum was Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a leading force in the mobilization of values voters in the 2004 election campaign. These voters made an indispensable contribution to the reelection of George W. Bush.
However, Perkins argued that the conservatives whom the American people sent to Congress in 2004 on the promises of protecting religious freedom and safeguarding traditional values have become enablers of Washington’s biggest liberal lobbyists, namely Planned Parenthood and the tyrannical ACLU, which, despite their disdain for all the values Middle America holds dear, continue to receive millions in taxpayer funds at the hands of a Republican Congress. House conservatives have kept their promises to the American people by protecting the unborn, a parent’s right to know, making permanent pro-family tax policy, as well as traditional marriage, the foundation upon which civilization has stood for eons.
Unfortunately, a disgraceful Senate refused to take up all pro-family legislation that the House passed in 2005. The legislation passed by the House includes the Federal Marriage Amendment, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, a ban on human cloning, the permanency of marriage penalty relief and the child tax credit, as well as the protection of property from redevelopment efforts, all of which the Senate refused to take up for a vote. All of these are matters of doing what is right for America’s families.
Perkins also noted “history will not judged us on whether we had a victory for conservatism, but whether we used that opportunity to extend conservative principles.” President George Washington said in 1796 that, “Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.” It is past time the Republican Congress stand on principle and recognized this fact before the Constitution and other sacred institutions are destroyed by Planned Parenthood and the obnoxious ACLU.
Frank Gaffney, former member of the Reagan Defense Department, chided the Republican Congress for its lack of action on energy policy. Citing the fact that the current conflict in which the United States is engaged is not only a war for Iraq, but a war for the free world, Gaffney advocated policies to alleviate our dependency on the Middle East for energy resources. Our dependency on and payment of Middle East regimes for oil funds terrorism against the United States and makes the U.S. a hostage to those who are the enemies of the free world.
Gaffney urged the Republican Congress to enact policies that encourage investment in alternative fuel sources, especially for the transportation sector, so that the United States can cease its funding of the enemies of freedom throughout the world. This action, as well as real immigration reform, Gaffney argued, is essential to the preservation of our liberty, as well as our success on the War on Terror. The United States cannot continue to entertain the “civil liberties violations of suspected terrorists and illegal immigrants” argument that the ACLU proffers and become indifferent to matters of national security. The Republicans have dropped the ball on this, and it is time they step up to the plate and bat.
Former Governor John Engler (R-Mich.) offered words of wisdom for economic policy at Friday’s Free Congress Foundation event. Now president of the National Association of Manufacturers, Engler provided good news about the economy in spite of the media’s revival of its Reagan-era effort to spell doom and gloom for the economy. In the past four years, the economy has added millions of jobs. Congress has ended frivolous lawsuits with several bills, including the “Cheeseburger Bill,” and production levels are at record highs. However, despite significant economic achievements, Engler said that the U.S. still haS a long way to go in economic reform. Energy reform must be a high priority, as rising energy prices increase production costs for all enterprises.
Additionally, Engler voiced support for the founding of a federal asbestos fund to compensate victims that promotes the flow of compensation into the hands of victims and out of the hands of trial lawyers.
Finally, Engler gave support for healthcare reform in the model of Sarbanes-Oxley, which was designed to encourage corporate accountability. The overcharging of individuals for procedures that wouldn’t have been necessary had physicians and insurance companies utilized preventative medicine is bilking American businesses and individuals alike and must be stopped.
The “Conservative State of the Union” likely differs greatly with that of the speech President Bush will deliver Tuesday night. It is long past time that the GOP lives up to its standards as the party of economic reform, national security, and traditional values. If the GOP wants to keep the ball in its court, it must learn to dribble, shoot, and score.