CEI Mourning the Loss of "Green" Republicans

Wed, 2006-11-08 18:51Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

CEI Mourning the Loss of "Green" Republicans

That Myron Ebell: what a noble environmentalist. Here he is, weeping crocodile tears over the “green” Republicans who were among the losers in yesterday's mid-term elections.

It's funny because green is not usually Myron's colour. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy, Ebell is the brainy deceiver who brought us the CO2 is Life” ad campaign, promoting the indiscriminate burning of fossil fuel as a means to keep (some) Americans wealthy.

Certainly, all Republicans are not created equal, and if we at the DeSmogBlog could trade Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee for Oklahoma's James Inhofe, well, that would have been a good deal.

Alas, we'll have to satisfy ourselves with the House (and perhaps the Senate) under new management and hope that Ebell's “moderate” Democrats will be a little more responsible about setting climate change policy.

Comments

As the Membership and Development Director for Republicans for Environmental Protection, I couldn’t agree with you more. 19 of the 28 candidates we endorsed this year won…including landslides by Schwarzenegger and Snowe…who demonstrated pragmatic leadership on conservation issues. Contrast that to Wyoming, that rock solid conservative state that had one of the highest percentage of voters flipping to the Democratic side…largely due to the Republican led raping and pillaging of that magnificent landscape for short term oil and gas profits. Following is our analysis of the election: The Road to Republican Recovery By Dave Jenkins, Government Affairs Director Republicans for Environmental Protection Tuesday’s election debacle shows clearly that the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan has lost its way. Party leaders have fallen prey to a toxic combination of shrill ideological extremism and venal pandering to special interests. To regain the electorate’s trust and find a clear path to electoral success, the Republican Party must rediscover traditional conservative values and focus constructively on solving the pressing problems, especially energy and climate change, that have vast ramifications for America’s security, economy, and quality of life The foundation of recovery must be the party’s rediscovery of true conservatism - the ideals articulated by conservative thinkers such as Edmund Burke, Michigan native Russell Kirk, and Richard Weaver. Conservation and environmental stewardship are central to conservatism and are based on fundamental conservative tenets - thrift, prudence, humility, restraint, piety towards creation, freedom with responsibility, and our moral obligation to leave a healthy inheritance to future generations. The Right Diagnosis Republicans lost because too many of the party’s elected leaders poisoned the well for them. The Republican Party was justifiably perceived as the party of excess and arrogance that pandered to greedy special interests, let cronyism and corruption cloud their judgment, failed to deal constructively with the nation’s most pressing problems and trampled on traditional conservative values – including the conservation ethic that is central to true conservatism. Voters, especially independent-minded citizens, were fed up with the corruption, radical ideology, and grubby machine politics of our party leaders. They took out their dissatisfaction on all Republicans, even those incumbents who had records of integrity, had resisted poorly conceived legislation, and had conscientiously represented their constituents. This toxic political environment unfortunately cost some of our most conscientious, responsive, and conservation-minded Republican lawmakers their jobs. Still, it is worth noting that Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP) endorsed 28 incumbents for the House and Senate, and the incumbent Republican governor of California. Nineteen of the REP endorsed incumbents in Congress won, most without difficulty. The Right Cure The most spectacular win among REP-endorsed candidates was that of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who defied the “blue wave” and secured re-election in a landslide. His electoral triumph demonstrates for Republicans the right way to build trust with the electorate, broaden their political appeal, and govern effectively. Schwarzenegger impressed his constituents with a results-oriented performance that skillfully blended conservative principles and political pragmatism. Schwarzenegger bargained constructively with the Democrat-controlled Legislature and compiled a breathtaking record of environmental achievement - for example, ocean protection, forest conservation, solar energy development, and the most sweeping policy in the United States to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are destabilizing the global climate. Schwarzenegger himself pointed to his record of putting performance above partisanship, including his environmental achievements, as the key to his wave-defying victory. The broader lesson of Schwarzenegger’s triumph for the Republican Party is that a return to traditional conservative values, including a strong conservation ethic, and a willingness to work constructively with Democrats on solving urgent national problems will appeal broadly to citizens who are increasingly worried about global warming, oil dependence, and the risks they pose to our nation’s security, economy, and quality of life. By turning away from the corrupting influence of special interests and returning to a spirit of principled public service, the Republican Party will take the right lessons from 2006. We know that the party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Reagan can do better, much better than what citizens have seen in the last few years. REP wants to help our party find a clear path to renewed vigor, principled commitment, and electoral victory in 2008 and beyond.
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