It seems all but inevitable that the Democrats will now gain control of the United States House of Representatives. That isn’t a huge surprise, and over the long term, it’s probably beneficial to the Republicans in two ways:
The first is that Nancy Pelosi is emblematic of the liberal left, and conservatives outnumber liberals by a significant margin. Even though I can’t stand Bill O’Reilly, he’s been harping on the difference between “San Francisco values” and mainstream American values. Pelosi stands on the wrong side of nearly every issue, and she’s a poor advocate. She’ll give the Republicans a nice punching bag for the next two years. Furthermore, the Democrats are winning based on fielding some very conservative candidates — the parties may have shifted, but the ideologies really haven’t.
Secondly, the Republicans need a kick in the ass. I’m a conservative first, and a partisan second, which is why the loss of the House doesn’t disturb me as much. The GOP lost touch with their Main Street values and got far too involved in the K Street culture. The 1994 revolution was all about cutting the size and scope of government. We have betrayed those values. We ran on improving government, and we haven’t done that.
The GOP needs to rediscover its own values. They need to rediscover the spirit and the policies that drove them into power in 1994. Again, this is not time for partisan whining. We lost, and we lost big. We can’t blame the Democrats. We have only ourselves to blame. We can win, but only by staying true to our values — which is the lesson the Republican Party needs to learn before 2008 when the slate gets wiped clean.