26 October 2010

"If Republicans do manage to eke out a House majority, the electorate won’t have provided them with even the illusion of a mandate, and their leaders have already made clear they have no desire for fiscal responsibility. Riding an entirely negative electoral wave created by a weak economy, Republicans will see that they have not have been elected for any particular reason. They will devolve into their usual time-serving habits even faster than before."

Among the many reasons to be skeptical of this whole election business is that there's no clear idea what it is that Republicans would be doing that is somehow different, no reason to vote FOR as opposed to simply present this as AGAINST whatever it is the electorate is supposedly pissed about (basically jobs although people think deficits are related to jobs, they also have no idea what to cut). Sure there's a few wacky candidates out there, but they won't have any real power or influence if they're elected. What you'll get is a bunch of people who are already in Washington with more power and influence from a different party than presently maintains power. My guess is that there are plenty of tea party types who would be happy with that outcome, and a few libertarian types who have no problem with governmental gridlock or divided government, but I'm pretty sure that there won't be much of a good ride for Republicans or conservatives to note out of this.

In fact, I'd almost go so far as to say they're basically guaranteeing they lose the White House in 2012 by winning the House now. Because winning some portion of government does give them some obligation to disclose an actual agenda. As I recall how this played out in 94, Republicans won a wave election, then got bounced around and lost their attempt to retake the White House in '96 with a far less popular President (at the time). Essentially they overreached. On the plus side we got welfare reform and a couple other attempts to pare back government size and spending and even had a budget surplus for a couple years. Unfortunately I haven't actually seen the GOP power brokers proposing ideas that would do anything remotely like this this time around. One major problem is that they have a rhetoric that isn't being matched with the ideas. So good luck selling people that line of bull to keep these seats a few years hence.
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