Monday, July 19, 2010


Great piece by Joshua Green in The Atlantic today, Has the GOP Hit a Wall?, that basically argues that the Party, which last week had all but declared victory in the House even though November is more than three months away, has no place to go but down in the polls:
When a single party holds power, that party appropriately tends to be the focus of attention. But when the possibility that the other party might take over becomes real--and we're certainly at that point--the attention starts to shift. This always struck me as a potential problem. I don't really imagine that Republicans plan to repeal health care or the new financial regulations (although, who knows?). But they haven't offered up much in the way of a compelling alternative agenda.

Case in point, National Republican Congressional Committee chair, Rep. Pete Session (R-TX), could not even remotely answer the normally milquetoast David Gregory on Sunday morning when asked what hard decisions the GOP were prepared to make, as policy, to make good on all their grandstanding. It truly is something to behold:

Zero. As in, great big. Add to it that Sessions "thought" to articulate that America is somehow nostalgic for the policies of George W. Bush...well, hilarity ensues, including the walk-back. Not before the Dems pounced -- sure, let's make this election a referendum on the President who ended up losing millions of jobs, creating a bubble, crashing the markets, bailing out the banks, not to mention starting two wars (and, I'd add, failing to deal seriously with the intelligence foretelling the 9/11 attacks):

"We need to go back to the exact same agenda that is empowering the free enterprise system rather than diminishing it," said NRCC chairman Pete Sessions on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning.

For Democrats, the comment was a gift -- one that they plan to use repeatedly between now and the fall.

"We could not have made the case any clearer than Pete Sessions did that Republicans only want to go back to the failed policies of President Bush," said DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer.

It's a daring strategy for Republicans -- one which includes explicit arguments for Social Security cuts, deregulation, and the repeal of a broadly popular Wall Street reform bill. And it's one they hope they can ride to victory.

Added a GOP colleague of Sessions:

"Look, I think President Bush's stock has gone up a lot since he left office," Cornyn said. "People appreciate his resolve and commitment in the face of a national security threat like 9/11. He had his challenges no doubt. We have learned a lot about things we could have done better as Republicans in terms of fiscal responsibility...I think a lot of people are looking back with a little more -- with more fondness on President Bush's administration, and I think history will treat him well."

I think not. In any case there's two new items that point to Joshua Green being correct.

First, President Obama appears to have put together the votes he needs in the Senate to extend unemployment benefits to help keep alive those left jobless by the Bush/GOP policies of the previous eight years, shaming the Republican obstructionists in the process.

Second, for the first time since generic ballots in the fall races have been polled, the Dems are on the rebound.

Can you say...surge?

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