It’s started again. Democrats have already commenced a campaign of adversarial, horizontal politics. This campaign doesn’t stand on a platform of new ideas, innovative solutions, or even a trace of the basic Democratic philosophy that supposedly unites the party. Rather, Democrats simply define themselves as opposed to George W. Bush.

A new Democratic Congress shows all the hallmarks of “more of the same” in Washington while failing to enact any meaningful legislation to address the problems of everyday Americans. Most of them lack the courage to assert their “unqualified opposition” to the war in Iraq, frustrate American relations with our ally in Turkey, refuse to distance themselves from attacks on General Petraeus, allowing earmarks to spiral further out of control, and continue the politics of opposition rather than cooperation, Democrats have failed to demonstrate true leadership on any substantive issue. Contrary to the viewpoint offered by Chris Cimaglio and Ryan Guptil (“Republican Candidates a Joke,” THE HOYA, Nov. 2, 2007, A3), Republicans offer a record of experience, accomplishment and courage.

It is difficult to believe that the party of William Jefferson Clinton would dare assert the notion that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s personal life disqualifies him from holding office. Giuliani’s accomplished record and principled stances more than qualify him for the highest office in the land. Giuliani rescued New York from decades of disastrous Democratic dithering disguised as governance and showed true executive acumen cutting the murder rate by 66 percent, the overall crime rate by 56 percent, and turning a $2.3 billion deficit into a multi-billion dollar surplus. Impressed? Well, I’m not done yet. He cut taxes 23 times, created 423,000 new private sector jobs, and sliced welfare rolls by 640,000. In eight years as Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani has a better record of accomplishment than Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama combined.

Cimaglio and Guptil might want to think twice before engaging in a debate about family values with Mitt Romney, whose spotless personal life and impeccable family border on a television ideal. Not to mention Mitt Romney is the very definition of an executive. In 1984, Romney founded Bain Capital, a highly successful venture capital and investment company. Romney took over a 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics in deep financial crisis and controversy. Romney transformed the games eliminating a $379 million operating deficit and organizing an unprecedented security effort following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Romney then took his superior executive skills to Massachusetts as governor and erased a $3 billion budget deficit, balanced the budget each year, lifted Massachusetts out of recession, and enacted wide-reaching education reforms. He offered bold and innovative solutions for healthcare and successfully passed legislation that has since halved the number of uninsured in assachusetts without raising taxes or interfering with private industry. The fact is Romney brings to the table executive experience, bipartisan leadership, and a record of accomplishment far beyond that of Clinton, Edwards and Obama.

Just when it seemed that Cimaglio and Guptil could sink no lower, they attack the respectability of John McCain, calling him an “aging figurehead.” It seems some Democrats need to be reminded that McCain is an American hero. His sacrifice for this country and five decades of public service is far more valuable than a John Edwards haircut, the weight of BS in a Hillary Clinton debate answer, and the number of dictators Barack Obama will meet without pre-condition combined. John McCain is a man who thinks it is more important to win a war than an election campaign and who will sacrifice his own political life to fight for the causes he thinks are right, even when those causes go against the Republican mainstream. The Straight Talk Express is not broken down. The Democrats just do not deserve a seat on board with a man like John cCain.

Fred Thompson, although a definite contrast to John Edwards – who has been running for President since his transformation from mill worker’s son to million-dollar trial lawyer – is surely no upstart candidate. In the face of huge amounts of scrutiny, Thompson offered a display of political courage not often found in presidential politics by offering tough, but necessary solutions to the Social Security crisis in this country. Democrats, who have buried their collective heads in the sand on this issue, have no such courage.

Not one of the three top Democrats running for president has ever run a state or a city. Their near identical healthcare plans are bloated with uncontrollable and unforeseeable costs. Both Clinton and Edwards have changed their stance on Iraq – Edwards for the anti-war left, and Hillary so she can be a Clinton with no decisive stance so as to offend no one and go nowhere. And while Obama has remained consistent on Iraq, his potent lack of experience on foreign policy issues is troublesome.

In direct response, yes – the Republicans do believe it is important for the United States to exit in a responsible fashion from Iraq by leaving behind some stability that will not force even more Americans to come back in the future and spill more American blood. Yes – Republicans believe that working with the market instead of against it will help lower the cost and improve the quality of healthcare in the United States. Yes – Republicans understand that the tax cuts implemented in 2001 and 2003 that pulled the United States out of an inherited recession have yielded record revenues and have put the nation on pace to eliminate the budget deficit by 2012.

It is about time the Democrats turn inward and start asking what it is their candidates have done to show this nation they are ready to assume the highest executive office in the land. The Republicans, even in a battered state, still have the Democrats looking like they are applying for a White House internship.

Dustin R. Walker and Carlos Hernandez are freshmen in the School of Foreign Service.

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