Jay Reding.com

Does The GOP Deserve To Lose?

Cait Murphy argues that a Republican loss in the midterms would be a good thing for the GOP. In a way, she’s right. The GOP has lost its moorings and has become too comfortable in power. Many of the mistakes that have been made have been due to the slow corruption of the Republican Revolution of 1994 to the K Street culture. As Murphy observes:

The Republicans are a tired party right now, in need of a good internal shake-up. The evidence for this is overwhelming. Take Congress – please.

According to a recent poll, only 16 percent of Americans approve of its performance. This, of course, is not entirely the GOP’s fault; after all, there are lots of Democrats filling office space there, too. But fish rot from the head down. Leadership means accepting responsibility, and this is about as incompetent, dysfunctional and trivial a Congress as this proud nation has ever seen.

Then again, does anyone really think that a Democratic congress would be any more competent, and less dysfunctional, or any less trivial? Remember, this is the party that elected Howard Dean as their chairperson.

On the other hand, I do think that the Democrats will take the House, if by a narrow margin. Two years of Speaker Pelosi, the virtually inevitable round of pissant “hearings” pointing fingers at Bush, and the possibility of the Democrats doing what they really want to do and impeaching Bush make one wonder just how low the opinion polls for Congress can go. When Congress has the sort of approval ratings usually reserved for plague rats, one would think that they can get no lower. Well, as a great man once said, “baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

However, there has to be more than political concerns at stake here. The effects of two years of Democratic “leadership” could have disastrous effects at a crucial moment in our national history. We’re at war with an implacable enemy. Our government is taking us all too far down the road to serfdom. World trade is becoming increasingly important to our economy and global stability. The Republicans have done an unspeakably poor job of advancing our interests in these areas. The Democrats stand against them. Yes, a loss would perhaps make the GOP revisit their own core ideas. The question is, will the damage be so great as to erase the gains?

Divided government may help shock the GOP out of complacency without harming the national interest. The Senate can provide a check on the House, and the President will have to use his veto pen less sparingly. However, having the Democrats take over Congress at this point is just too dangerous to the Republic, if not the Republicans.

8 responses to “Does The GOP Deserve To Lose?”

  1. Mark says:

    “Cait Murphy argues that a Republican loss in the midterms would be a good thing for the GOP”

    When Republican operatives leak to the media “on a condition of anonymity” their predictions of losing Congress, be assured you’re being spun. But when GOP cheerleaders start suggesting a Republican defeat “would be better for us in the long-term”, you know things really are dire for the GOP.

    “Then again, does anyone really think that a Democratic congress would be any more competent, and less dysfunctional, or any less trivial?”

    Apparently, 15-20% more Americans “really think that” in comparison to the Republicans. You ask the easiest questions sometimes.

    “When Congress has the sort of approval ratings usually reserved for plague rats, one would think that they can get no lower. Well, as a great man once said, “baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet.””

    Oh, please. Congress typically gets its highest approval ratings when it acts as a check on the President rather than a rubber stamp. Furthermore, the Democrats, if they take over the majority, will not be the kind of monolithic cluster of like-minded ideologues that the current majority party’s House delegation is. There are far more conservative Democrats in the House than liberal Republicans….and there will likely be even more if the Dems win back the House vis-a-vis Brad Ellsworth, Ken Lucas, and Heath Shuler, among others. The Dems will not be able to lurch to the hard-left like you suggest if they want to hang onto the weakest links of their coalition like Jim Marshall and Dan Boren.

    “The effects of two years of Democratic “leadership” could have disastrous effects at a crucial moment in our national history……However, having the Democrats take over Congress at this point is just too dangerous to the Republic, if not the Republicans.”

    That rhetoric, which Keith Olbermann correctly points out as meeting the definiton of terrorism, does not seem to be flying this year, even in crimson red areas like Idaho and Wyoming.

  2. Jay Reding says:

    When Republican operatives leak to the media “on a condition of anonymity” their predictions of losing Congress, be assured you’re being spun. But when GOP cheerleaders start suggesting a Republican defeat “would be better for us in the long-term”, you know things really are dire for the GOP.

    How typical of the Democrats these days to accuse someone of being a “GOP cheerleader” without a single shred of justification, even when they’re criticizing the GOP. Then again, that’s what passes for “thought” with the Democrats these days…

    Apparently, 15-20% more Americans “really think that” in comparison to the Republicans. You ask the easiest questions sometimes.

    If that were true, why aren’t Republicans down 15-20% in the polls? If the generic ballot question were even close to relevant, it would match with the polls in all the races — yet in nearly every district where the Democrats are challenging, the margin is only a few points. If you’d bother to look at things logically rather than being a DNC cheerleader, you’d quickly realize that the generic ballot question is never an accurate predictor of anything.

    Oh, please. Congress typically gets its highest approval ratings when it acts as a check on the President rather than a rubber stamp.

    Of course they are. Remember when they passed Bush’s Social Security plan? Remember when they approved Harriet Miers? Remember when they approved the Dubai Ports deal? Calling Congress a “rubber stamp” for the President is another Democratic distortion of the record.

    Furthermore, the Democrats, if they take over the majority, will not be the kind of monolithic cluster of like-minded ideologues that the current majority party’s House delegation is. There are far more conservative Democrats in the House than liberal Republicans….and there will likely be even more if the Dems win back the House vis-a-vis Brad Ellsworth, Ken Lucas, and Heath Shuler, among others. The Dems will not be able to lurch to the hard-left like you suggest if they want to hang onto the weakest links of their coalition like Jim Marshall and Dan Boren.

    Which coincidentally argues for the fact that the nation is rejecting liberal ideologues — which is hardly good for a party that is represented by Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, John Kerry, and MoveOn.org…

    That rhetoric, which Keith Olbermann correctly points out as meeting the definiton of terrorism, does not seem to be flying this year, even in crimson red areas like Idaho and Wyoming.

    Anyone who quotes Keith Olbermann without irony is in desperate need of a reality check. Olbermann makes Bill O’Reilly look like William F. Buckley,

  3. Seth says:

    Democrats take over and we’ll see a raise in the minumum wage, something done to get health care costs under control, and some real accountability. I think it’s the last one that scares you neocons the most. But it’s pretty cute when a guy from the party that brought us DeLay, Hastert, Gingrich and Frist starts criticizing war heroes like Kerry and Murtha.

  4. Seth says:

    Also–
    An “internal shake-up” would be pretty disastrous for the GOP. The coalition is basically the religious conservatives–who want government to help their causes–and the Wall Street conservatives, who want to destroy every semblance of fairness in the economy. Start cutting popular programs and you lose voters. Start moving towards the right on social issues and you lose the fiscal conservatives. Start moving towards the Ayn Rand faction of the party and you lose the religious moderates in a time of anxiety in the economy. The GOP is basically reaping what it has sowed.

  5. Jay Reding says:

    Democrats take over and we’ll see a raise in the minumum wage,

    Which at best will have no effect, and at worst will put minority workers out of their first jobs. Call it “welfare for spoiled teenagers working at McDonalds” but if the Democrats truly wished to help the poor they’d be pushing for an expansion of the EITC, which actually does work and effects only those who truly need it.

    something done to get health care costs under control

    Read: ration it.

    and some real accountability.

    AKA, a stream of incresingly asinine “hearings” pointing fingers at Bush while the real needs of the nation go unmet. The sort of petty, vindictive crap that is all the Democrats seem to care about these days…

    I think it’s the last one that scares you neocons the most.

    Actually no, because such idiocy would probably ensure a Republican victory in 2008. There’s nothing this nation hates more than sore winners (see Clinton’s impeachment).

    But it’s pretty cute when a guy from the party that brought us DeLay, Hastert, Gingrich and Frist starts criticizing war heroes like Kerry and Murtha.

    Whatever heroism those two may have had 30+ years ago is eclipsed by their current cowardice. Last I checked, being a former war hero doesn’t insulate oneself against criticism.

    An “internal shake-up” would be pretty disastrous for the GOP. The coalition is basically the religious conservatives–who want government to help their causes–and the Wall Street conservatives, who want to destroy every semblance of fairness in the economy.

    Wow, up until now I’d never seen anyone create two fields of strawmen…

    Start cutting popular programs and you lose voters. Start moving towards the right on social issues and you lose the fiscal conservatives. Start moving towards the Ayn Rand faction of the party and you lose the religious moderates in a time of anxiety in the economy. The GOP is basically reaping what it has sowed.

    The Republican platform could fit on a notecard: keep taxes low, keep government small, strong national defense. The idea that there’s this broad rift between social conservatives and fiscal conservatives ignores the fact that there’s very little disagreement between the two. Social conservatives want lower taxes, a strong national defense, and still favor limited government, merely preferring regulations in a few limited areas. Fiscal conservatives want the same thing. There’s nothing that says any particular voter must be in one camp or the other — social conservatives tend to be fiscally conservative, and fiscal conservatives don’t necessarily support unrestricted gay marriage, abortion on demand, or are particularly troubled by socially conservative positions.

    You assume a dichotomy that is far larger than the one that exists in reality.

  6. Seth says:

    You say we’re helping spoiling teenagers working at McDonalds I say Wal-Mart will have to treat the majority of its employees a little less like trash. I won’t bother you with little things like facts about who the majority of workers making under $7 an hour are because it wouldn’t have any effect.

    Health care is rationed right now–the rich get it and the poor don’t. Except now only a few people get it and it’s ridiculously expensive. I guess your solution is to give a few billion more to pharmecuticals and wait for the wonderful free hand of the market to sort everything out. No wonder your party is losing.

    Another part of what Pelosi wants to do immediately? Implement all of the recommendations of the 9-11 commission. Which the supposedly “strong on national defense” party has failed to do.

    You missed the point about Kerry and Murtha: the guy who votes for the party whose leaders are all under indictment or have resigned in disgrace looks a little silly when he criticizes the leaders of the other party as being ridiculous.

    Your “Republican platform” says nothing to the social conservatives. Go ahead and tell the evangelicals that there’s nothing in the GOP platform about gay marriage or abortion. I dare you. The bottom line is that the Republican coalition is not sustainable and it’s going to be a long, painful lesson for your party.

  7. Mark says:

    “Which at best will have no effect, and at worst will put minority workers out of their first jobs.”

    For the better part of a century now, Republican ideologues have been preaching fire and brimstone on the topic of the minimum wage….yet the share of minimum wage jobs in our economy has went substantially UP over the time in which the minimum wage has been instituted. Never have the Republicans’ dire predictions come to fruition when the minimum wage has went up. Not once! Ever!

    “Call it “welfare for spoiled teenagers working at McDonalds””

    This is the kind of talk that ensures your party will never win over minority voters no how much you hate on gays. Your despicable comment implying that the only working people in this country earning the minimum wage are teenagers who drive into the McDonald’s lot in daddy’s Porsche is a bright red reminder of what disgusting filth you people are. I strongly recommend you continue proving this point by telling low-income workers that they in fact don’t exist.

  8. zzx375 says:

    Instead of strawmen, how about a straw poll, actually a fill in the blank: The minimum wage should be raised to____ dollars per hour.