Carol Platt Liebau: Missing Tom DeLay

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Missing Tom DeLay

Republicans today found themselves unable to eke out a bare majority for a package of spending cuts and policy changes -- despite having made major concessions to moderates in an effort to pick up their vote.

It's hard to read news like this and not miss the organization and discipline that Tom DeLay brought to the Republican caucus. It's also hard to understand what the holdouts are thinking when they fail to come to terms. After all, moderates have a stake in their party retaining the House majority -- a task that becomes infinitely harder unless something is done to pull disaffected conservatives back into accord with the party.

Senseless pandering -- pulling stunts like pummelling oil companies, while ignoring CIA leakers who really need to be called on the carpet, just isn't going to get the job done (if the companies have broken the law, prosecute 'em. If they haven't, then leave them alone). It's bad policy -- and it opens a "soak the rich" front in the political battle that Republicans will never be able to win.

As Michael Barone points out in his analysis of the New Jersey and Virginia elections, turnout was down generally. Low turnout in conservative areas also helped cost Arnold Schwarzenegger dearly in the California elections.

Granted, they were off-year elections -- but people stay home when they're demoralized, and right now, a lot of Republicans across the country are demoralized. It's up to the Republicans in the House to get it together; without a significant morale boost, things will look uglier than they need to, this time next year.


Blogger stackja1945 said...

Bush is not being helped.

2:47 AM  

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