Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Two observations. First: things are looking up, a little, for the Republican party. Barack Obama’s administration didn’t hit the ground running like he planned—there were a lot of corruption issues, and Obama’s Cabinet is still not filled. (Most glaringly, Timothy Geinther is alone in the Treasury department—Obama hasn’t appointed anyone else to any Treasury positions yet).

And voters aren’t responding to Obama’s economic policy the way he wanted them to. The stimulus package had a lot of supporters, but also a great many detractors, and it represented a big target for anti-pork Republicans. The omnibus bill was even worse—it seemed to exist solely for the purpose of providing pork.

There is evidence that voters are responding to Obama’s mistakes. Recent polls from Rasmussen and Pew show Obama’s approval rating slipping (though it remains high). And a new Rasmussen poll shows Republicans with a small lead on a generic congressional ballot. So if the situation is not quite ideal for the Republican party, it is at least better than it has been for some time.

Second observation: many, probably most, conservative strategists agree that the Republican party needs to rebrand. They agree that too many voters see it as out of touch, corrupt, and without principle, and that in order for the party to remain viable, it must fundamentally change its message.

But it is not inconceivable envision a scenario in which the GOP doesn’t change, and still remains viable. If the economy doesn’t improve, and Obama and the Democratic Congress make a few more missteps, well, it’s not impossible to see a case in which Republicans pick up seats in 2010. It’s even within the realm of possibility that they could pick up a lot of seats. (A slim chance, but still a chance). Such an event would still have to be classified as improbable—but is still very plausible.

The question is: if the Republican party finds itself in a position to win elections, will it still find the will to change? If, as a result of Democrat bungling, the GOP managed to pick up seats in 2010, that wouldn’t mean that any of the criticisms leveled at the party by reform minded Republicans would be any less valid. The problems would only be hidden. Change usually includes some trouble and pain—could the Republican party change to make it stronger in the long term, even if there were some adverse effects in the short term?


At March 18, 2009 at 4:19 AM , Blogger My Daily Rant said...

I think that honeymoon is just about over for Barack Obama. Just look at the “tea parties,” all over the country...the people are angry and they are protesting with tea parties by the thousands. We have never seen this before with a democratic president.

At March 18, 2009 at 5:52 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"Second observation: many, probably most, conservative strategists agree that the Republican party needs to rebrand."

If by rebrand you're referring to a return to their conservative/libertarian roots then I concur.

However, if by rebrand you're referring to conservative with any number of modifiers before it (i.e., moderate, compassionate, Neo, et al.) then God help them.

Lest we forget, we had an 8 year experiment of such a variety and without question it did not bode well for the party. If even the Republicans were to be rewarded with some sort of upward tick, what exactly would they be winning when their principles have become so diluted that they fail to speak with one voice? A "win" by mere default is hardly a win.

At March 18, 2009 at 7:25 AM , Blogger Loves To Debate said...

People are getting wise to him. Obama received a $101,332 bonus from American International Group in the form of political contributions according to Opensecrets.org. The two biggest Congressional recipients of bonuses from the A.I.G. are - Chris Dodd and r Barack Obama.
I just blogged about this myself today. Obama has completely lived up to what most of us thought he was going to be.
So maybe the honeymoon IS over. and times may be a changing? People are realizing this administration is taking screwing over the American People to a new level.

At March 19, 2009 at 6:00 AM , Blogger Beth said...

The only logical change the Republicans can make is to get back to the principles of conservatism. Right now their opposition to the Democrats can be construed as pure politics or they could be finding their way back to their principles. But having the Republicans just be a Democrat Lite is not a change, that's where most of them have been for too long now.

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