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.