BIG OPPORTUNITY: An Open Letter to Republican ‘Winners’

Written by Chuck Gruenwald on November 8, 2014

Dear elected and appointed leaders of the GOP,

This election season, you wished for control of both houses of Congress, without expressing to us Americans why you deserve it, or how you will use it to repair the damage caused by six years of Democrat control of the Executive and Legislative branches. Well, your wish has come true.

Remember back in 2013, when you blamed the actions of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz for costing “your” party control of the Senate in the 2014 elections when the federal government had shut down? Actions that he had taken to try to defund Obamacare: the law that you had promised to try to repeal or defund? Many of you had done your best to equate Senator Cruz with that shutdown.

Well, your prediction – or hope — that Ted Cruz had caused irreparable damage to the GOP couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, there is an argument that the actions of Senator Cruz helped lay the foundation for what had happened on Tuesday night.

Obviously, your public chastisement of Senator Cruz since then runs counter to your mandate that Republican voters support all Republican candidates – even if those candidates have more in common with Democrats.

What had happened on Tuesday is not a vindication of Republican policy, since the GOP hasn’t shown an interest in expressing its policies and agenda since the 1994 Contract with America. Instead, think of the chance that you have been given over the next two years as a job interview, or a chance to seek forgiveness for the harm that you had seemingly allowed to happen to many Americans in the form of your refusal to fight the implementation of Obamacare.

The course of action that you had taken regarding the implementation of Obamacare is puzzling: instead of trying to prevent an economic crisis that would affect every American – especially those who have already been hit by this weak economy, you decided to allow the pain of this destructive law to financially and medically hurt as many Americans as possible. In other words, you have acknowledged that you believe in the evil philosophy that “the end justifies the means.”

Now, you have no excuse to not undo the damage that you are complicit in allowing to happen. Will you fulfill your promise? Or, will you hide behind the tired Karl Rove excuse that you will be in a better position to fulfill this and other promises “after the next election?”

I have no reason to celebrate the Republican wins on Tuesday, since past history indicates another two years of pacifist, one-sided negotiations with Democrats and blatant cronyism.
Much to your dismay, conservatives are not one-party voters. In other words, we are not going to vote for a candidate based on the (D) or (R) in front of his or her name – Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk is proof that party affiliation is only a tool for those who are self-serving in nature.

You expect unquestioned loyalty to the party from us conservatives, yet there was no outrage or condemnation when “Republican” Senator Kirk refused to endorse fellow Republican Jim Oberweis in his bid to replace incumbent Democrat candidate, Senator Dick Durbin. Instead, Senator Kirk endorsed Dick Durbin. And to add insult to injury, Jim Oberweis had to run a campaign with no support from you. When 2016 rolls around, I will show the same loyalty to Senator Kirk that you had shown to Mr. Oberweis, if the Senator chooses to run for re-election.

The votes that were cast for Republican candidates may not have been votes of confidence in current Republican leadership as they may have been an investment in future party leadership.

Between your abandonment of Senator Cruz when he tried to fulfill a campaign promise, your Democrat-like tactics against independent-minded challengers to career incumbents during the primary elections – especially in Kentucky and Mississippi – your “we’re not the Democrats” non-message to explain why you deserve another chance at majority status in Congress, and your abusive treatment of conservatives – who also happen to be your strongest supporters and voters — you somehow ended-up with what you wanted.

If you really wished for power without the responsibility, and complacency and cronyism over accountability, then be careful what you wish for, since minority status is always an election away.



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Born in Chicago and raised in northwest suburban Cook County, Chuck Gruenwald developed an unfavorable opinion of machine politics quite early in life. In addition to cars, electronics, law enforcement, and politics, Chuck enjoys writing, and is also a horse racing fan. He has recently written op-eds for