Thursday, August 27, 2009

Reasons for Pessimism

Brad DeLong really hits the nail on the head:
The problem is that Gingrich's "let's block everything Clinton tries to do even when it's good for the country, proclaim that he is a failure, and win the next election" move won the 1994 election. And now they are trying to repeat it. Only a throughgoing shellacking at the 2010 and 2012 elections--a Goldwater-magnitude shellacking--has, I think, a chance of restoring even a modicum of sanity to the Republican Party.
As I've hinted at before, as long as 60 votes is the norm in the Senate, the only way to have sane politics in America over the long run is to have a saner Republican party. And at the moment, the leaders of the Republican believe that they can repeat 1994. Now, there are certain structural reasons why that will prove difficult—the 1990 redistricting gave Gingrich a big assist, and Ross Perot's candidacy had dislodged a large number of voters—but I fear that anything other than total defeat will fail to convince GOP elites that they simply don't have their pulse on the mood of the country.
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