Here is a list of some things not to do if you are a Republican:
1. Speak platitudes about controlling spending and limiting government. You clowns didn't deliver when you had the chance, so why should we give you another? If you give a specific proposal or two, I'll listen. Otherwise, I may heckle.
2. Make Sarah Palin your next Presidential candidate just because she's an engaging speaker and a "Caribou Barbie." I'm fed-up with imagery. Four of the last five presidents have been long on image. I'd rate one as good and another as fair. Can we have substance, too?
3. Talk about values. I'm tired of values-talk. I want to hear concrete, achievable proposals that will implement those values. If I like a given proposal I'll support it. But you double-talking borrow-and-spenders don't get any more passes because you say you have values. In the last eight years much of your values have been negative, as measured say, by my portfolio.
4. Keep trying to take over the Federal judiciary in order to stop abortion. Abortion is only one sub-heading under a main topic called "Justice." All you have achieved is the longest backlog ever in the appointment of Federal judges, resulting in backlogs of federal cases.
5. Call for reform. You wouldn't know what to reform if it ran over you like a truck. Consider something minor, like the way Congress spends most of its effort in influence peddling rather than legislating. Or the way everyone in the US House of Representatives comes from a gerrymandered district. Together these two things paralyze our politics in a "Culture War" that serves only to distract everyone from anything too complicated. Again, specifics are welcome: tell us what you want to reform, how you want to do it, and what will be the effect of the reform. And make sure that reform starts with you.
6. Claim to be strong on defense. Military procurements can take 20 years and cost more than some of our recent wars. This is because military procurements are intimately bound up with Congressional influence peddling. And it threatens our ability to defend ourselves because it makes our defense technology unworkable, obsolete, and unaffordable. You didn't fix this when you had the chance - instead you made sure to benefit from it, as measured by contributions to your campaign coffers. I'm not saying that the Democrats didn't do it, too. But they aren't smug about being perceived as strong on defense.
7. Wrap yourselves in the mantle of religion. My favorite example of a politican who wrapped himself in his religion was Saddam Hussein. So, let's say you're a Christian. I'm glad of it. So am I. So what? There are over 2 billion Christians on earth to choose from. What I want to know is why I should vote for you.
I could go on, but it's late and my dog needs to be let out to pee. She is big, beautiful and very conservative. You may pet her, but you may not make her your standard-bearer.