11/29/2010 04:07 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Five Questions for the GOP

(1) After their recent "shellacking" at the polls, Democrats can certainly use all the advice they can get. Republican leaders have been more than generous with their advice: accept the will of the people, which they call a "mandate," abandon additional "liberal" initiatives and move toward the center. Why didn't conservatives adopt this advice after the 2008 elections, which put a Democrat in the White House, gave Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate and a 78-member majority in the House? If respect for the will of the voters is paramount, why did the GOP become the party of "no" from the get go of the presidential election?

(2) Republican leaders want to extend tax cuts for the wealthy, arguing that those cuts will create jobs desperately needed in our deep recession. Where is the evidence that the wealthy invested more and purchased more consumer goods in the nearly ten years of the tax cuts than they would have invested and purchased without those cuts?

(3) Conservative Republicans are rightfully suspicious of government. Our founding fathers embedded protections against government over-reach in our constitution. They believe that government bureaucrats are mostly incompetent. Why then do they accept the word of those bureaucrats on who is and who isn't a terrorist? Why keep a suspected terrorist in a prison cell for four years without any judicial review, or even access to an attorney?

(4) Why is the Senate GOP blocking ratification of a new START treaty supported by such Republican stalwarts as James Baker, Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft? Why strengthen Vladimir Putin's hand and discourage Russia's further cooperation with the U.S. ? Even if the treaty provides a minimal reduction in the world's nuclear armaments, isn't that a step worth taking? Is the GOP so intent on denying President Obama a diplomatic victory that it is willing to compromise national security?

(5) Why aren't conservatives as concerned with the billions spent on outsourcing as they are on government spending? Why aren't they concerned about the overcharging on no-bid contracts to feed, clothe and protect our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why aren't they as concerned with incompetence in the private sector, including Halliburton and Blackwater, as in the public sector?

Any answers?

Martin and Susan Tolchin are the authors of "Pinstripe Patronage: Political Favoritism from the Clubhouse to the White House and Beyond." Paradigm Publishers. Susan Tolchin is University Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. Martin Tolchin capped 40 years with the New York Times by founding the Hill newspaper and becoming Senior Publisher and Editor of Politico. He is a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.