Friday, August 04, 2006
Whither the GOP
Most of the buzz among the great and the good among the Beltway is about whether or not the Republicans will lose control of Congress in the midterm elections. I have no idea, and frankly I don't think anybody else has a definitive handle on it either. In this case there are only guess, some more educated than others.
But whether or not the GOP does in fact lose Congress, it is clear to me that they deserve to. The range of issues where the base can feel faithfully represented in Congress gets narrower and narrower. In particular, the cause of spending restraint prior to the election appears to be completely lost, contrary to some of my helpful suggestions from another post. Congress would like to move on the immigration issue, but the President is unalterably opposed. And then there's national security.
The President's heart is in the right place on national security issues, but his strategic sense seems to be kind of wooden. Even with the successes that US Armed forces have had so far, it's getting harder and harder to suppose the Iraq war will end in such a way that most Americans will think consider it a positive outcome. I actually feel quite a bit of sympathy for the President. He had a difficult hand and played it as best as he could. Unfortunately, after some time, "stay the course" ceases to be a strategy and is merely a platitude. And gradually the American people feel less that the Iraqi war represents their interest and more that it is merely a project of W, Cheney and Rumsfeld.
The GOP still has credbility on judges, and that's just about it.
The point being is, that is a losing hand. Will the GOP establishment in Washington get the memo before or after the American body politic gets fed up enough to get rid of them?