The return of the Republican Party?

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By Jeffry Gardner

Nothing says “lovin’ ” like winning big on an Election Day.

By now, you’ve probably read every possible spin on Republican wins in governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia. Well, not every one because there remains this one, yes?

There are three sides to every story. Yours, theirs and the truth. In this case, the sides are the Democrats, the Republicans and reality.

Let’s take a quick look at the Republicans’ side first.

It’s undeniable that the two governor wins has given the GOP something worth lifting its head up off the bar and trying, at least for awhile, to sober up. Winning blue, blue, blue New Jersey and reclaiming some respect in predominantly conservative Virginia is like going to Betty Ford.

The question is, will the rehab take? Do the Republicans have what it takes to capitalize on the momentum these races have taken advantage of? Note: These races haven’t provided the momentum. That’s been churned up by the far left and the policies of Barack Obama.

Recent GOP history says the answer to the “take advantage of the momentum” question is, “No.”

Talk of the election victories was still in air when South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, once thought to be a conservative, decided to join with Democrats and “support sound environmental policies.”

Long before the phrase “sound environmental policies” became the radical left’s mantra, it became a contradiction in terms, and polls indicate that Americans know it.

Whether it’s “cap and trade,” the climate bill, or the rush to take over our health-care system, it’s impossible to ignore the shared effort of Congressional liberals and the president to impose the largest big-government agenda on the American people since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

In a New York Congressional race, a highly suspect liberal Republican, Dede Scozzafava, was ushered into the party, endorsed by such folks as Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich, and handed nearly $1 million in direct and indirect funds.

When Republican voters in the district said no to her candidacy, Scozzafava dropped out of the race and endorsed the Democrat. The big time endorsements of the liberal Scozzafava demonstrated just how out of touch Washington’s elite Republicans are with their rank-and-file.

The other major problem Republicans face is their “seniority” system. That’s a polite way of saying state parties are the heart and soul of the GOP and, more often than not, they’re a closed shop. They’re more cliquish than anything else.

New Mexico’s a perfect example. In a year that has seen pay-to-play allegations against the current administration in headline after headline, New Mexico Republican candidates for governor are, well, virtually unknowns – unless you reside in the party’s inner circle. Too bad.

Right now, it’s Diane Denish in a walk. That doesn’t bode well for other GOP candidates farther down the ticket.

For Democrats the harsh reality is that no matter how many government school children, er, public school children, are coerced into singing Barack Obama’s praises, the cat’s out of the bag. There simply isn’t any there there.

In 2008, the Obama blitzkrieg received mixed reviews as to the length of their Emperor’s coattails. The president didn’t even bother with Virginia. But he did have an interest in New Jersey. So what happened there seemed to confirm that the president’s wearing a sweater vest.

In fact, it’s worse. The economy isn’t George W. Bush’s anymore. The plans to take over everything from our auto industry to our health-care system are owned outright by Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. And unemployment is now officially in double-digits.

Now would be the perfect time for Republicans to repent and return to the conservative principles that made this nation great, yes? Don’t hold your breath.

© New Mexico News Services 2009