Do we have the right message?
As it stands now, the 2006 Republican message is going to be focused around border security. Granted border security is an issue I feel strongly about, I don’t think this is the issue to win over swing voters come November 2006.
By the 2006 elections, our party will have had control of the House, Senate, and White House for four solid years with some success. During the same time we’ve seen Bush’s approvals tank, record oil prices and the big I-word looming on the horizon. Not exactly the ideal environment for reelection.
Sadly, most Republicans treat the potential energy crisis as the elephant in the room (pun intended). The one Republican tackling energy head on is Gov. Pawlenty. He has been a strong advocate for ethanol-based fuels since being elected Governor. In fact, earlier this week, Pawlenty hosted the Governor’s Ethanol Coalition meeting here in Minnesota.
Our nation, and our state, only stands to benefit from widespread ethanol use. Besides strengthening our rural economies, it would reduce our dependency on foreign oil, which would do as much for national security as tightening our borders. Don’t forget that we’d need to find jobs to replace the one’s we’ve shipped to China and India.
But if the Republican leadership would rather gamble on border security than go with a sure thing, they’d better be prepared to lose a seat or two.