November 16, 2006
Republicans lost the election because they stopped behaving like republicans are supposed to behave. They spent too much; they grew government; some of them engaged in scandalous behavior with pages and with lobbyists; they failed to reform pork barrel spending and earmarks and they pursued power for its own sake.
If they want the power back, they will have to convince enough voters that they intend to use it not to advance their careers, but to benefit the people. That’s the only reason to seek power and it is the best way to use power.
Republicans should elect Mike Pence of Indiana as their new house leader, not John Boehner of Ohio. They need a fresh face and someone with real convictions. Pence has them in abundance.
On the democrat side, John Murtha, Mr. ‘Cut and Run from Iraq’ wants the job. Politically, I hope he gets it. He was an un-indicted co-conspirator in the ABSCAM scandal some years ago. The man they ought to choose is Steny Hoyer of Maryland. If they choose Murtha, republicans will gain by noting the hypocrisy of promising new ethical leadership and then naming this guy as their house leader.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.