All Is Well! All Is Well!

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Need proof that the GOP is slouching towards a drubbing in three weeks? Behold, National Review's symposium on how the party can win the election. I don't know if the Bush era has made NR more sycophantic to the Elephant Party than The Nation is to the Donkey Party, but this page tilts the wheel in NR's direction. After some grumbling about how Democrats have no ideas and the GOP can only defeat itself, there comes a pattern:

Republicans must flat out tell the American people that "Speaker Pelosi" would endanger our country, period. (Cesar Conda)

Pelosi will become hated as quickly as you can say "out of touch liberal." (Robert Moran)

Can Americans really believe that Nancy Pelosi should be shaping the nation's policy on war; our safety; the economy; or nail polish regulation? (Lisa Schiffren)

Let the American public know what a Nancy Pelosi-led Congress will look like and what it will mean for them, i.e. that she represents the San Francisco wing of the Democratic party. (Peter Schweizer)

Summoning the dread Pelosi has become such a rote part of GOP-boosting that I don't think Republican strategists realize how lame it is. For one, outside the city by the bay and the city by Bay Buchanan, no one gives much of a crap about Pelosi. She's not popular, but she's less unpopular than George Bush, Dennis Hastert, Bill Frist, and Dick Cheney. The GOP, perhaps unwittingly, is replaying the rock-bottom strategy Democrats tried in the waning days of 1994, of obscuring their own unpopularity by sacking the other team's quarterback. It's ineffective, and it bespeaks an absolute lack of governing ideas.

One of NR's experts who doesn't knock Pelosi says this:

Republicans can (and I believe will) retain their majorities in both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections by focusing on the three t's: taxes, terrorism, and turnout.

That's Ralph Reed, last seen getting his ass kicked in his first-ever run for office in Georgia.

NEXT: On Second Thought, Maybe We Should Immanentize the Eschaton

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  1. “Pelosi will become hated…”

    All Hail the Party of Ideas.

  2. ‘The current economic boom ? and the fact that GOP tax-cutting policies are responsible ? is as Larry Kudlow often puts it ?the greatest story never told.?’

    Do you think Larry Kudlow would like to buy my magic tiger-repelling rock?

    “Since the pro-growth tax cut was signed in May 2003, the economy has expanded by an average of 3.7 percent per year and added 6.6 million new jobs.” Wow, that’s only a little bit worse than the recovery which followed Clinton’s “Largest Tax Increase In History.”

  3. Gee, I’ve seen lots of football games won by “sacking the other team’s quarterback.”
    I think the GOP will get drubbed, but convincing 2-3% of the voters that the other party is in league with the devil is the margin in 30-40 seats up for re-election.

  4. “that she represents the San Francisco wing of the Democratic party.”

    nice euphemism. why not just come out and say that a vote for a pelosi-led house is a vote for teh gay.

  5. Creech,

    Weigel’s football analogy nothwithstanding, this isn’t a football game. Trying to get voters scared of the other team isn’t exactly going to obscure the failures of your team. Yes, I know that they american people are a bunch of mindless sheep, but I think that the GOP’s massive failures cannot be rescued by “sacking the other team’s QB”. IMHO, dirty campaigning will only hurt them, as their image of corruption, greed and evil will only be bolstered by transparent attack ads, etc.

  6. Pelosi is a dunce for sure, but Barbara Boxer is just plain evil. Seeing her wield the gavel of a chairmanship will make my skin crawl. It will make good C-Span theatre, however. In an Armageddon sort of way.

  7. I’m hoping for gridlock or at least a diminishment of GOP control of the Congress. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that despite the pre-election glee of the Democratic faithful, they’ll find a way to blow it yet again. I emphatically hope that isn’t true, but I will say to you, joe, remember Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner. Celebrate after you win. What makes tracking all of this so freakin’ difficult is that there is no such thing as a national election for Congress. It’s a bunch of local yahoos (I include myself in that assessment, not being a Houyhnhnm) making local decisions–not, for the most part, national ones.

    I like that the Democrats are running on the corruption of the GOP. Too bad that they’ll go back to their arguably more corrupt ways if and when they get control of both houses again. Tsk, tsk. And all that fiscal conservatism we hear about will be so many empty, forgotten words when the purse strings change hands.

  8. The Dems will retake the House. They need to gain 15 seats, but they only have to work for 11: Foley’s seat is as good as gone, DeLay’s substitute (what’s the guy’s name again?) can’t win with a write-in campaign, Sherwood was busted for beating his mistress (not wife, mistress) and the GOP made the bright move of picking a right-wing, anti-immigrant bullhorn to run for retiring Jim Kolbe’s seat.

    The Dems also will retake a majority of governor’s seats, even with Schwarzenegger in the clear.

    The question now is whether or not they can retake the Senate. They would have to screw up pretty profoundly to lose Pennsylvania, Ohio and Rhode Island. There’s still an outside chance the GOP could rally in Montana, but I’m doubting that. Tennessee and Missouri are on the fence; Virginia is most likely to stay with Allen, but who knows. The only really vulnerable Dem seat in the Senate is New Jersey. The Dems could, indeed, regain control of the Senate, but that would a lot of pieces falling perfectly into place.

    Question of the day: When was the last time a political party successfully defended every seat it already held in a congressional election? (Very likely to happen this year.)

  9. panurge,

    The “guy’s” name is Shelly Sekula-Gibbs. She’s been active in Houston-area politics for a decade or so. They’re sending out tons of campaign materials about her, explaining the process of writing in her name. You actually have to vote for her twice for her to win, on two different sections of the ballot, and the write-in part involves turning this little wheel and picking each letter one by one on the computer screen. It’s complicated and a hassle. I think Lampson, the Democrat, will win, but my only hope is that the Libertarian candidate comes in second.

    I don’t think the NJ seat is all that vulnerable. They’ll vote for anything with a “D” next to the name out there.

  10. Creech, I’m with you about the demonization of certain voters. I think we can do without the ?evil? and ?fascist? characterizations thrown about at every turn. We?re all grown up now. I’m still trying to figure out what exact day a difference in policy opinion become ?evil,? instead of just ?wrong.? (Jan 20, 2001, I assume)

  11. Pelosi will become hated as quickly as you can say “out of touch liberal.” (Robert Moran)

    But will she be as hated as an “out of touch conservative”?

    Can Americans really believe that Nancy Pelosi should be shaping the nation’s policy on war;

    Well….since the Republicans aren’t doing it, somebody certainly should. I don’t like Pelosi, but Republicans holding the majority wouldn’t be in doubt if they had a clue in the first place.

    our safety;

    I think the whole point is that lot’s of folks don’t see the Republicans plan for ensuring U.S. safety as a particularly good one.

    the economy;

    Not real keen on Democratic prospects for the economy, esp as regards taxation. But since the Republicans have already historically outspent any Democrats, it’d be pretty easy to notch it back a little and look real good.

    The race is less about Democratic pluses than about Republican shortcomings. The Republicans have out-spent, out-debted and out-corrupted the Democrats in 1/3rd of the time. They’ve lost their values, their standards and their freakin’ minds.

    Sad these monkeys can’t figure that out.

  12. See, I want the craziest moonbats to take over the house. I want investigations, hearings, impeachment, more hearings, and more investigations. I want every two-bit crook and grifter and tyrant hauled up to testify or take the Fifth. I want endless fighting over subpoenas. In other words, I want nothing to happen.

    My only fear is that Pelosi might be too nice. So I’m hoping Al Sharpton gets the nod for speaker.

  13. The DemocRAT message is so watery. As I’ve suggested before, why isn’t Murtha writing the talking points for his colleagues? Why doesn’t Howard Dean say, if we win the impeachment proceedings can begin?

  14. I’m with Brian… What I’d REALLY like to see is the most vicious, partisan, backstabbing routine in the history of Congress. One where the Donkeys and Elephants go after each other to the bitter end. With any luck they’ll wind up wiping each other off the political map.

    The only problem with this scenario is the reality that after the elections those newly minted incumbents will just retire to their separate corners and go back to the status quo “gentleman’s agreement” to sweep each another’s dirt piles under the rug.

  15. What’s the life span of a speaker such as Pelosi would be: former minority leader turned speaker?

  16. This is how far politics have fallen. The fact that Pelosi is the best the Democrats have and will be the next speaker… YEEESHHHH

    I just find it hard to believe that there is no one in the Democrat House that is better than Pelosi.

    Its just another sign that we are no longer voting for the best person for the job, we’re voting for the people who suck less than the other guys.

  17. “I don’t know if the Bush era has made NR more sycophantic to the Elephant Party than The Nation is to the Donkey Party…”

    Um, Dave, do you even read The Nation? It’s well to the left of the Democratic Party, and it doesn’t hesitate to call Democrats out when they’re trying to out-Republican the Republicans. In the Bush era, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Naomi Klein, Eric Alterman, etc. have been far more critical of the Democrats than Rich Lowry, Kathryn Jean-Lopez, and Jonah Goldberg have been of the GOP. And yes, when Clinton was president the same was true.

    But feel free to try and get as much mileage out of the preening a-pox-on-both-their-houses posture as you like…

  18. Summoning the dread Pelosi

    would be a great name for a band.

  19. “””Trying to get voters scared of the other team isn’t exactly going to obscure the failures of your team. “””

    Seemed to work for Bush in 2004.

    I think your betting on an intelligence population. That’s a losing bet everytime.

  20. Actually, the writers in the NRO piece don’t seem to be saying “Everything’s fine!” so much as “We’re screwed, what are we going to do?”

    Goldwateresque, Johnsonesque commitment to principle in the face of defeat doesn’t seem to be high on the list. It certainly ranks below “Democrats will let terrorists kill your granny” and “Isn’t Nancy Pelosi freaky?”

  21. All right, this is really bugging me: where does that “All is well” photo come from? I remember seeing it in its original context, but damned if I can remember what that context is.

  22. Jennifer

    I think the pic is from “Animal House.”

  23. Animal House, the parade scene, natch. With a Kevin Bacon score of 100 🙂

  24. Yeah, it’s from the end of Animal House, when John Belushi and the boys unleash havoc on the streets and pompous Kevin Bacon and company can’t handle the pandemonium.

  25. Eat me.

  26. Further evidence of how out of touch the NR crowd has become.

    Nancy Pelosi (and Howard Dean) were warning about North Korea as a threat at a time when all we heard from Bush was “Saddam’s nukes” etc. And Pelosi has criticized Red China when the GOP big business class was all over how great China’s low wages are.

    Obviously, Pelosi is for big government domestically, but I think she opposed No Child Left Behind and the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit. So why would anyone be worried about Speaker Pelosi, when George Bush is running things the way he has?

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