Like you, I was frustrated and disappointed by the election results. We all know that Republicans need only look in the mirror to see who is to blame for our failure. By abandoning principle, we allowed the Democrats to capture the electoral high ground. Specifically, the electorate believed that Barack Obama and the Democrats would do a better job controlling taxes than John McCain and the Republicans. Yes, you read that correctly.
The silver lining in Wisconsin was the Senate Republicans. Going into the election, the Democrats held an 18-15 majority. We were able, through principled campaigning and hard work, to hold every seat held by a Republican incumbent and elect Randy Hopper in the seat previously held by Carol Roessler. This effort, ably led by Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, places Republicans in solid position to regain the majority in 2010.
That effort, and efforts like it around the country, are the reason why state elections in 2010 will lead the Republican Party out of the wilderness. The battle of ideas has begun. Last week, Democrats floated that our worsening budget crisis, caused by overspending and lack of economic growth will be balanced by higher taxes. In one weeks time, Democrats cited the Hospital Tax, the Corporate Income Tax and the Sales Tax as the first targets for increases. Remember, that was before ever seeing a budget document.
Republicans here are committed to fighting the fight. I have not spoken to one colleague who has not echoed the position that higher taxes are not the answer. We understand that our economy cannot withstand further assault from a government that asks too much of taxpayers and delivers too little.
So keep your eye on the ball. Republicans will be releasing alternative plans to the tax and spenders. We will be there for you.
(I wrote this for Rick Sense's e-newsletter: The Inside Scoop)