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What Gay Groups are Taking Responsibility?

In the immediate aftermath of Republican losses in the 2006 midterm elections, Ken Mehlman announced his resignation from the chairmanship of the Repubilcan National Committee.  It is commonplace in politics for leaders of such organizations to resign in the face of electoral defeat.

Two weeks ago today, citizens in three states approved amendments to their respective constitutions to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  Nearly every gay group across the nation rallied to defeat these ballot measures.  This was not the first time they had failed to sway voters.

Only one leader of gay organization committed to defeating such initiatives has stepped down since November 4.  (That leader is the head of the only national gay Republican organization.)

Instead of clearing the decks and making way for new leadership and new strategies, the other national gay organizations (as those in the Golden State) are retaining their current leadership and have so far given no indication that they intend to develop a new strategy to promote their agenda.

Since the institution of marriage involves assuming certain responsibilities in order to receive benefits from the state, shouldn’t gay organizations show their understanding of this concept by taking some responsibility for their failure to defeat these propositions?

Will we ever contain the size of the federal government?

I first begin to feel disappointment with President Bush in the spring of 2003 when my friend David Boaz of the Cato Institute alerted me to an Op-ed he had written detailing the Republican’s spendthrift ways.  Instead of containing the size of the federal government as our party had long committed to do, Bush had expanded it — and not just for national security.

I had initially hoped that with Republicans in control of the executive and legislative branches of government for the first time in two generations, we could finally start cutting a federal government which had grown so rapidly during decades of Democratic legislative dominance.

And now with Democrats returning to power, controlling the executive as well as the legislative branches, it seems they’ll continue to push the growth that my party failed to contain.  Even after the GOP’s brief sojourn in power, they didn’t succeed in eliminating any significant federal programs.  Instead of Democratic policies restoring some kind of status quo ante, they’ll just build upon the growth long since in place.  Our government will be bigger than ever before.

So, herewith the great irony of the 2008 elections.  We’re about to have the most left-wing government in recent history, elected to replace one perceived as conservative but which was, in practice, particularly on domestic issues, anything but.

The problem is that while Democrats (and sometimes even Republicans) succeed in expanding the size and scope of the federal government, Republicans (when they are at their best) succeed only in containing its growth, not reducing its size.

With the media on the side of the Democrats and bigger government, it seems we’ll never succeed in returning to the Jeffersonian ideal of limited government.  Alas for our economy, for our nation, our freedom.