Barney Keller - September 26th, 2014
In today’s Wall Street Journal Peggy Noonan has a column on the GOP and the elections that’s well worth reading. Here’s an excerpt:
Both parties in Washington use stasis as a strategy. I suspect there are Republicans on the ground who intuit the Republican version of this. Republican inertia was outlined to me this spring, ironically, by a GOP congressman:
The 2010 election, he explained, was about winning the House, don’t rock the boat. Twenty twelve was all about the presidential—again don’t rock the boat, don’t mess things up with anything controversial, win the presidency to effect change. In 2014, he said, it’s all about the Senate—win it, hold the House. Then in 2016 it’s going to be all about the presidential and holding the Senate. In 2018, he said, it will be all about holding Congress for a Republican president or against a Democratic one. Then in 2020 it will be all about the presidential.
After that, he said, we might do something!
His point was that party professionals think the party has to keep winning, so—wait. For what?
Republican political professionals need to get the meaning of things back. Otherwise, if Republicans do take the Senate, their new majority will arrive not having won on the basis of something shared. They will not be able to claim any mandate for anything. That will encourage them to become self-driven freelancers in a very pleasant and distinguished freelancer’s club, which is sort of what the Senate is.
It’s good to win, but winning without a declared governing purpose is a ticket to nowhere.