Why Doesn't The GOP Leadership Just Resign?

Patrick Casey
There's a very disturbing article by Martin Kady II in this morning's edition of the Politicio, GOP senators scramble for life boats. Here's a brief excerpt:

Republican Senate leaders -- terrified by the prospect of losing five or more seats in November -- have freed their members to vote however they need to vote to get reelected, even if that means bucking the president or the party's leadership.

On at least four votes over the past month -- Medicare, housing, the GI Bill and the Farm Bill -- Republican leaders haven't even bothered whipping members to toe the party line or back President Bush's veto threats. Instead, a GOP leadership aide says leaders have told vulnerable senators that it's all right to "get well" with voters by siding with Democrats on anything but energy and national security.

It's unusual for rank-and-file members to get a green light to blow off their party leaders. But these are unusual times for Republicans. They are genuinely worried they could get their clocks cleaned in November. The prevailing attitude: It is better to lose some big votes now than big races in November.

The Republican leadership has had more than two full years to reorganize the party along the lines of the one that won the majority in 1994. The two-year figure is probably modest, since it was apparent to everyone long before the 2006 Congressional elections that the party had lost its way. It had morphed from a party that had ideals, character, integrity, and (most importantly) sound ideas upon which to govern to little more than Democratic Party-Lite.

If the GOP leadership was too blind to see it coming before November 7th, 2006, then they surely knew that they had work to do after they were swept from the majority status on that ignoble day. To their credit they stayed strong on the war in Iraq, but that's about it. No new plan, no new leadership, no new outreach... nothing. It's almost as if they were glad not to be running things anymore.

Lately, the GOP leadership has forsaken new ideas for the salve of blame -- they're been assigning guilt to others for their misdeeds. The media gets blamed, of course, but the media is always going to be against the Republicans. It's been that way since the 70s, and it'll continue to be that way at least for the next generation. All that means is that the Republicans have to work harder. Instead, they became lazy and content, wedded to Democratic Party tactics to stay in power. Their elected positions replaced their governing ideals as their ultimate objective.

The other person that the Republicans are blaming freely for their own faults is President Bush. Why? It's true that the President's approval ratings are in the tank, but they're better than those of Congress. And all President Bush did for Congress from 2001 through 2006, much to conservatives' chagrin, was go along with everything that the Republican-led Congress proposed. The GOP wanted to spend its way to keep power, and the President went along with that. He never vetoed a single spending bill, no matter how irresponsible, that was sent to his desk by the Republicans. The GOP now thanks Bush by blaming him for all of their misfortunes.

And now, the Republican leadership has decided that it's every GOP Senator for himself. I'm sure it will be the same in the House, as well. Such an order is an implicit condemnation of their own job performance. The GOP should have had something, other than the war, that they could coalesce around -- something that would make the voters think that the Republicans finally begged, bought, or stole an idea. Instead, they have nothing.

The Republican leadership in the Senate, and probably in the House as well, should do us all a favor and resign right now. Howdy-Doody could do a better job of preparing the party for the fall.

(The "Howdy-Doody" reference is for the benefit of the 'elders' in the party. All others can use "SpongeBob SquarePants" in its place.)
There's a very disturbing article by Martin Kady II in this morning's edition of the Politicio, GOP senators scramble for life boats. Here's a brief excerpt:

Republican Senate leaders -- terrified by the prospect of losing five or more seats in November -- have freed their members to vote however they need to vote to get reelected, even if that means bucking the president or the party's leadership.

On at least four votes over the past month -- Medicare, housing, the GI Bill and the Farm Bill -- Republican leaders haven't even bothered whipping members to toe the party line or back President Bush's veto threats. Instead, a GOP leadership aide says leaders have told vulnerable senators that it's all right to "get well" with voters by siding with Democrats on anything but energy and national security.

It's unusual for rank-and-file members to get a green light to blow off their party leaders. But these are unusual times for Republicans. They are genuinely worried they could get their clocks cleaned in November. The prevailing attitude: It is better to lose some big votes now than big races in November.

The Republican leadership has had more than two full years to reorganize the party along the lines of the one that won the majority in 1994. The two-year figure is probably modest, since it was apparent to everyone long before the 2006 Congressional elections that the party had lost its way. It had morphed from a party that had ideals, character, integrity, and (most importantly) sound ideas upon which to govern to little more than Democratic Party-Lite.

If the GOP leadership was too blind to see it coming before November 7th, 2006, then they surely knew that they had work to do after they were swept from the majority status on that ignoble day. To their credit they stayed strong on the war in Iraq, but that's about it. No new plan, no new leadership, no new outreach... nothing. It's almost as if they were glad not to be running things anymore.

Lately, the GOP leadership has forsaken new ideas for the salve of blame -- they're been assigning guilt to others for their misdeeds. The media gets blamed, of course, but the media is always going to be against the Republicans. It's been that way since the 70s, and it'll continue to be that way at least for the next generation. All that means is that the Republicans have to work harder. Instead, they became lazy and content, wedded to Democratic Party tactics to stay in power. Their elected positions replaced their governing ideals as their ultimate objective.

The other person that the Republicans are blaming freely for their own faults is President Bush. Why? It's true that the President's approval ratings are in the tank, but they're better than those of Congress. And all President Bush did for Congress from 2001 through 2006, much to conservatives' chagrin, was go along with everything that the Republican-led Congress proposed. The GOP wanted to spend its way to keep power, and the President went along with that. He never vetoed a single spending bill, no matter how irresponsible, that was sent to his desk by the Republicans. The GOP now thanks Bush by blaming him for all of their misfortunes.

And now, the Republican leadership has decided that it's every GOP Senator for himself. I'm sure it will be the same in the House, as well. Such an order is an implicit condemnation of their own job performance. The GOP should have had something, other than the war, that they could coalesce around -- something that would make the voters think that the Republicans finally begged, bought, or stole an idea. Instead, they have nothing.

The Republican leadership in the Senate, and probably in the House as well, should do us all a favor and resign right now. Howdy-Doody could do a better job of preparing the party for the fall.

(The "Howdy-Doody" reference is for the benefit of the 'elders' in the party. All others can use "SpongeBob SquarePants" in its place.)