``The American people know we can't tax and spend -- or bail our way out -- to a better economy,'' says Pence, who as House Republican Conference chairman is responsible for shaping and selling his party's agenda.Yeah, Pence is a great guy all right: he alleged that Valerie Plame wasn’t “a covert operative” here, he said that public disaffection over the growth in government spending under the GOP-controlled Congress paved the way for the election losses in ’06 here (uh huh – forget about that pesky Iraq war and the Republican culture of corruption having anything to do with that), and – best of all – he said that that infamous visit by he and John McCain to the hastily-assembled-for-the-media Baghdad marketplace “was just like any visit to an Indiana marketplace in the summertime” (except, of course, that Pence and McCain were accompanied by 100 soldiers, three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache attack helicopters) here (and I almost forgot about Pence and his "rock n' roll" quote over a spending impasse here).
With Democrats ascendant in Washington, poised to control the White House and Congress, Republicans are taking a long look in the mirror.
Pence's rise to the leadership is ``an indication of the power of conservative Republicans in the House, and it's a sign of his stature as an eloquent spokesman for the conservative position,'' says John Pitney, a political-science professor at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California.
Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says Pence's rise suggests Republicans may become more combative, and their party may view the ballot-box losses in November as a matter of not being ``ideologically pure.''
``I respect Mike Pence for the consistency of his views, but they are consistently to the right of the American people,'' Van Hollen says.
And the Yahoo News story tells us of Pence’s ascent under the headline of “a return to the Reagan roots,” which is ironic given his opposition to embryonic stem-cell research here (advocated by Reagan's widow Nancy).