Glenn Reynolds is asking why the Republicans deserve to keep the House, and he isn’t finding any good answers. To be honest, the only saving grace of the House GOP is that the Democrats are orders of magnitude worse.
Unfortunately for the Republicans (and indeed the country at large), that’s probably not going to be enough.
Reynolds is right, the GOP has been playing down its moral and political capital for years now. Hastert’s idiotic defense of disgraced Rep. William Jefferson was just one sign of a House culture that has become entirely too self-obsessed for its own good. The Foley mess only confirms what most Americans already know: our Congressional leadership is utterly and completely inadequate. In a time of war, our political chattering classes are more interested in fratricide than anything else. The Democrats are foaming at the mouth, and the Republicans are drooling on their shoes, and the nation is rightly getting sick of both. No wonder Congress has the sort of approval ratings usually associated with hangnails and bubonic plague.
Hopefully this nearly-inevitable loss will awaken the Republicans to the abandonment of their principles that led them here. Then again, our political class seems utterly insulated from reality — on both parties. The Democrats are hoping that this will be like 1994 was — except the problem is that now the idea of “throwing the bums out” is less attractive when it would just be replacing them with another set of bums.
There’s an old adage that says that we get the politics we deserve. God help us.