Saturday, January 07, 2006

Tom Delay Leadership Resignation Should Not Be the Last Change In Republican Leadership

Tom Delay's resignation as the House majority leader provides a good opportunity for the Bush administration to experience a rejuvenation in its thoughts, initatives, and leadership. After allowing itself to be derailed and sidetracked from its agenda for most of 2005, the Bush team needs something to kick start its efforts to drive change in 2006. With the same team and the same rhetoric, the chances of pushing an agenda this year are slim.

Although the President is a very loyal to his supporters, a noble trait, this loyalty has a downside. Namely, when new ideas and thoughts are needed and new leadership to help propel stalled work, using the same players hinders the efforts rather than propelling them.

The country is heading in the right direction. Unemployment rates hit 4.9% this week, a sign that almost all of the people who seek work are finding employment. Iraq had three national elections this year without the spectre of a mass murderer threatening the outcome. A new Chief Justice sits on the Supreme Court and will leave a legacy of conservative decisions for the next decades to come.

However, the Bush administration has lost the impetus and the momentum that it could have generated with these successes. Rather than controlling and guiding the national discussion, this administration has been repeatedly sidetracked by tangential allegations and claims. Rather than focusing on the whittling down and reduction of al Qaeda, the administration is backpedaling in defense about eavesdropping. Rather than point out the success that joint operations have had in taking and holding former insurgent strongholds and the success that U.S. troop presence has had in creating a professional environment for the Iraqi military and providing backbone for their soldiers, the debate is about the pace at which the U.S. military should withdraw.

By bringing in new and fresh faces and ideas to the discussion, the Bush team can take back the initiative. Rather than trotting out the same discussion points from years past, the administration should look to bring in new people to help frame the debate. Many of the ideas of the administration are meritorious and will help bring about a society that focuses on family, values, and national prosperity. However, using the same faces to try the explanations that were previously unconvincing will yield the same results, the same lack of focus, and the same dissapointment to those of us who believe that those ideas could bring about even further positive change.