The elections are over (for the most part...there are a few races still to be finalized) and the message has been sent. Time to get to work. I am not going to do like Uncle Jimbo and list everyone I voted for in my state of record. I will say that, even though I tend to fall in line with the Republican party, the majority of my votes did not follow party lines. But who I voted for is a moot point.
It is now time to get to work. President Bush has 2 years left to do his job. This new group of Congressmen and Congresswomen has 2 years to steer this country on to a new, and hopefully better, track. Here is what I want:
1.) Iraq - I want a clear policy on what needs to be done to secure our withdrawal from that country. I want to see our government (and the governments of the Coalition and the International Community) say to the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people that it is time to get their shit together and begin to take responsibility for the future of their country.
I want to see our military given the go-ahead to do what it does best...fight. I want to see them given the go ahead to do so with both hands, not with one tied behind their backs like they are right now.
2.) Immigration and National Security - It was tough for me to make this my #2 issue. I think immigration and the war in Iraq/GWOT are intrinsically linked. I want to see a coprehensive and STRICT policy here. I want TIGHT border control. TIGHT. Not 700 miles of chain link fence with a sign that says "Keep Out" but an honest-to-God, we're not letting ANYONE in, sign-the-MinuteMen-up-for-Border-Patrol and arm-the-National-Guard-to-the-teeth policy. Anything less is not good enough. This policy should also include a way for illegal immigrants to earn their citizenship as well as some kind of temporary guest worker program.
3.) Taxes - DON'T TOUCH THEM UNLESS YOU PLAN TO CUT THEM. Period.
4.) Energy - let's get serious here. There have been a few baby steps made toward making alternative fuels more mainstream but I don't think we've been aggressive enough. Time to step that up. Additionally, I'd like to see the issue of ANWR revisited though I am not holding my breath. However, with a Republican set to take the reins in Alaska, this might be possible. We'll see.
5.) Health Care - I hope and pray that the concept of "national health care" doesn't rear its ugly head again. The idea of socialized health care terrifies me. I have no problem with privatizing it and letting the forces of competition and such keep control of prices but I am NOT in favor of any kind of governmental control on health care. I still say that the government can't seem to run Tricare properly. What makes you think they can do better with a larger concept.
6.) Those pesky things called ethics and morals - It's time for the Republicans to clean house. Booting Dennis Hastert is a good start. Let's keep that momentum rolling. The scandals, the sleaziness, and the bullshit are some of the things that cost the GOP this election. Fix it before 2008.
7.) The economy - Time to start living within our means again. I don't know what the hell happened to the idea that the GOP was the fiscally conservative side of the house but they sure haven't been acting like it. Fix that too.
All in all, this should serve as a wake-up call for the GOP. There are some serious issues within the party and within the leadership. Fix it now. Otherwise you'll have 4 YEARS to fix it following the 2008 election because you'll lose that one too if you don't.
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