Trying to generate GOP optimism

TRYING TO GENERATE GOP OPTIMISM…. The last time Democrats won the White House, Senate, and House, it was 1992, and their majority status was short-lived — 1994 didn’t go well for the party. The National Review‘s Peter Kirsanow believes there’s a similar opportunity awaiting the Republican Party in two years from now.

Rod Blagojevich, $1 trillion “fiscal stimulus”, Harry Reid, expiring tax cuts, Nancy Pelosi, socialized health care, Charlie Rangel, reinstitution of the oil drilling ban, Joe Biden, liberal judicial nominees, Al Franken (maybe), nuclear Iran, John Murtha, car czars, Dennis Kucinich, PC culture, Chris Dodd, entitlement explosion, Barney Frank, entitlement implosion, Barbara Boxer, card check, the Clintons, Russian adventurism.

If Republicans can’t come back in 2010 they should be sued for political malpractice.

Anything’s possible, I suppose, but this doesn’t strike me as much of a gameplan. Indeed, if these are the variables that are supposed to lead to a GOP “comeback,” it’s no wonder Republicans are depressed.

Putting aside the sloppiness (Kirsanow mentions “entitlement explosion” twice*) and factual errors (no one is proposing “socialized health care”), one of the problems that jumps out at me from this list is how backwards-looking it is. Kirsanow’s list includes people and policies that have already been around for a while — Harry Reid has been Senate Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker, and Murtha, Kucinich, Frank, and Boxer are not exactly new to the scene. “PC culture” is not exactly a new sociological phenomenon. “The Clintons” have been political powerhouses for quite a while.

If all of these factors were going to help Republicans thrive, wouldn’t the GOP have scored major victories the last two cycles, instead of getting trounced?

What’s more, some of these issues actually help Democrats — polls, for example, show Americans supporting a massive rescue package and the expiration of Bush’s tax policies.

It’s hard to argue that Kirsanow, whose work I’m not especially familiar with, has his pulse on what drives the strategic thinking of the Republican Party, but his list suggests at least some on the right are still thinking small. As Markos noted:

You’d think they would have learned their lesson after their single-minded obsessions with Wright, Ayers, and “socialism” didn’t lead to a historic John McCain victory.

Republicans have broken our country, both militarily and economically. If Democrats deliver on their promises and start repairing the damage, the talk of “San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi” will be as effective as it has been the last two election cycles. […]

If conservatives want to sue anyone for political malpractice, how about the gang that got us into this mess? Not only have they f’d up the world and the country, but they also destroyed their own party.

A laundry list of conservative boogeymen is not a plan.

* Ah, I see that Kirsanow makes a distinction between “entitlement explosion” and “entitlement implosion.” Duly noted.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation