Republicans need strong policies and thoughtful leaders in Congress

We are likely to endure a year of triumphalism among some Republicans in anticipation of the party’s victory in the House and possibly the Senate in November. Part of it is justified; if you project the results in Virginia nationally, it looks like Republicans should win between 40 and 50 seats in the House.

It is also likely that with competitive races for seats held by Democrats in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire, Republicans will find the one seat they need to chair the Senate (although some of the candidates Potential Republicans in the Senate may downgrade a bit).

Will Republican control of Congress be a good thing? It probably depends on whether the Republicans in Congress are prepared to present and push for alternatives to Democratic politics.

We’ve all watched the recent increase in the debt ceiling, in which the Republican leadership in the Senate not just allowed but actually paved the way for Democrats to raise the debt ceiling without any legislative friction. It could be an uncomfortable glimpse into the year to come and the years to come.

Republicans in Congress, especially those in the Senate, seem much more concerned with having the majority than doing anything with the majority. The Republican Senate leadership has previously said it has no intention of clarifying its political preferences if he chairs the Senate.

In the absence of affirmative messages, Republicans, who couldn’t bother to build a platform in 2020, or perform a formal assessment of why they lost in 2020, could by default oppose whatever the other party is doing. It would be a shame. Team Biden will turn that negativity against Republicans in 2024.

Remember, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama managed to win re-election after gruesome mid-term losses by using Republicans in Congress as foils.

Some don’t seem to understand that the days of just being in control are over. Voters, especially Republican voters, expect genuine efforts to push back the current regime and promote an agenda focused on something (security, prosperity, freedom, etc.).

The current composition of Congress should not encourage much optimism either. The current generation of media stars are often the ones least able to conduct coherent thought, let alone a coherent ideology or a coherent legislative agenda.

Fortunately, there is hope, especially in the House. There, several lawmakers, including Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama, chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, and Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, are focusing on positive alternatives to those pursued by the Biden team and the progressives.

I had the good fortune to visit Mr. Palmer recently, and he shared his vision of defining the political differences between Republicans and Democrats. Mr. Palmer is somewhat of a great political thinker; it seamlessly switched between topics such as China, law enforcement, border security, history, and healthcare. His responses and approaches were invariably based on data and facts.

He rightly thinks that Republicans need to focus on national security (China, immigration), local security (think crime), personal security (data, healthcare) and the many and diverse ways in which the current regime has compromised all three. Its approaches are based on strengthening the freedom and responsibility of the individual rather than on the power and authority of the state.

Those who care about these things should keep a close watch on Mr. Palmer and his allies and expect more detailed and detailed explanations of his ideas and ideas soon.

The good news for the republic is that there are still members like Mr. Palmer, who can weave facts, data and principles through thoughtful deliberations into meaningful and winning legislative proposals and, eventually, useful laws and laws. productive.

• Washington Times columnist Michael McKenna is president of MWR Strategies. Most recently, he was Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.