Election Day 2006 will be remembered as a turning point in American political history. Twenty-five years after the Reagan Administration came to Washington with a conservative agenda of limited government, the American people chose a different course.
It is the duty of the losing party in a free election to humbly accept defeat and to acknowledge that the people are sovereign in the People’s House.
As we examine the results of this election, it is imperative that we listen to the American people and learn the right lessons.
Some will argue that we lost our majority because of scandals at home and challenges abroad. I say, we did not just lose our majority, we lost our way.
While the scandals of the 109th Congress harmed our cause, the greatest scandal in Washington, D.C. is runaway federal spending.
After 1994, we were a majority committed to balanced federal budgets, entitlement reform and advancing the principles of limited government. In recent years, our majority voted to expand the federal government’s role in education, entitlements and pursued spending policies that created record deficits and national debt.
This was not in the Contract with America and Republican voters said, “enough is enough.”
Our opponents will say that the American people rejected our Republican vision. I say the American people didn’t quit on the Contract with America, we did. And in so doing, we severed the bonds of trust between our party and millions of our most ardent supporters.
As the 110th Congress convenes next year, Republicans must cordially accept defeat and dedicate ourselves to advancing our cause as the loyal opposition knowing that the only way to retake our natural, governing majority, is to renew our commitment to limited government, national defense, traditional values and reform.