Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Winning by losing? Not possible

Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review thinks the Republicans can benefit long term by losing control of the House of Representatives because the Democrats will prove incapable of governing, the Republicans will have to smarten up, and conservatives would lose influence in a narrow Republican majority House because moderates would continually throw fits to water down conservative reforms.

Ponnuru has lost his mind.

The first thing Democrats will do if they win the House is seek to impeach the President. Under no scenario is this ever a positive occurrence for the nation. Considering the damage that will do to the current war against Islamofascism, the US's reputation for stability and strength as the government rips itself apart from the inside, and the relations with our allies, this fact alone requires the Republicans to control the House.

Second, Ponnuru's rosy optimism regarding the Republicans' collective ability to smarten up is misplaced. There is no track record for this -- the GOP is not called the "stupid party" without reason. Instead, only rare visionaries within the Republican party (Reagan, Gingrich, Bush 43) have led the party away from merely acting as "Democrats-lite" in the past 50 years.

Third, Ponnuru willfully forgets the media. This Administration has courted media approval in various ways, all ineffective, for six years. Nonetheless, the mainstream media is more strongly anti-Bush than it ever was anti-Reagan (and the latter was a far more conservative president). The media will happily report on the Democrats' efforts to undermine the President and force the Administration into an ever more defensive footing, thereby causing even more weakness in the presidency than would naturally exist in the last two years of a "lame duck" period leading to the 2008 elections.

The House Republicans are awful. The Democrats are worse. Installing the latter as the House majority will have no beneficial effects on the Republicans or the nation.

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