In two years, Blue State Republicans will be talking about the cakewalk environment that was 2006.
First, Tom Schaller writes in this month’s The American Prospect:
[President Bush’s] cowboy foreign policy, coupled with “big-government conservative” spending and governmental intrusions from the start of life (stem cells) to the end (Terry Schiavo), may have appealed to his southern base. The rest of the country, however, wasn’t buying it. This November, since they could only vent their anger about the war in Iraq and the direction of the country on the nearest Republican, the non-Southerners voted out their own. The great irony of … 2006 is that those largely Southern conservatives who were leading the Republican Party’s downfall will survive to legislate another day, while many reluctant Rust Belt Republicans became unwitting victims….
And this piece of an editorial from Friday’s NY Times:
G.O.P. leaders are preparing to walk away from their most basic constitutional responsibility – passing a budget. Instead of finishing work on government spending bills needed for the next year, they’re reported to be planning nothing more than a cut-and-paste, short-term continuing resolution. That will allow them to run out early from their lame-duck session, leaving the mess to the incoming Democrats in January.
Stopgap resolutions create a budget autopilot that does not allow for shifting conditions and costs in education, housing and other major agencies. Administrators warn that it will cause cuts in school breakfasts and shelter for the poor. There is no need for this angst except that Republican strategists plotting a comeback clearly want to pour sand into the Democrats’ agenda even before they take the gavel.
The entire New Jersey delegation of House Republicans should think about what Schaller is saying and what their colleagues are doing.
At times, Republicans like Rep. LoBiondo can be appreciated. He stood up to President Bush and the House Republicans when they repealed prevailing wages and worker protections after Hurricane Katrina. But his efforts took effect almost two months too late. Nevermind the fact that a Democratic Congress would have never let the repeal happen in the first place.
You and others were lousy at bringing your party back from the brink while you were in the majority. Think about what will happen if you are just as ineffective in the minority — if you stand by while your leaders engage in petty antics to make governing the country even harder after the mess you made? People won’t find your ‘moderate’ brand of Republicanism refreshing — they will find it enabling.
If we can only expect more news like this, then call your friends on K Street, because you’re soon to be out of a job.