Queen Elizabeth II in St. Georges Chapel Windsor
for the funeral of her husband Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh

Saturday, September 02, 2006

GOP Election Chances Looking Up?

Jim Geraghty
National Review Online:

[Do] Democrats get to win back Congress this year, based on the performance they’ve turned in lately?

When their plan on Iraq is essentially, “pull out and hope it gets better,” and their most prominent spokesman wants a rapid-response force based in Okinawa?
When a potential committee chairman said he doesn’t want to take sides for or against Hezbollah?

When they object to the term “Islamist Fascism,” essentially arguing that the guys we’re fighting can’t be fascist because they don’t have spiffy uniforms and a distinctive march? What, are they worried that the label "fascist" will unfairly tarnish the reputations of al-Qaeda, Iraqi insurgents, Nasrallah and Hezbollah, and the Iranian mullahs?

(Judging by the reaction to Dick Durbin last year, Nazi comparisons are okay for U.S. troops guarding al-Qaeda prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, but not okay for the actual terrorists that these guys are guarding.)

When they knock out the one undisputed hawk in their caucus and replace him with a guy who pledges, “America is stronger when we work with our allies and negotiate with our enemies?”

When they’ve spent much of the year beating the drums over a crime that didn’t occur? When they had to abandon the “culture of corruption” argument because members of their caucus had cash in their freezer and took a swing at a Capitol Police officer?

When there’s no chance whatsoever that these folks would really crack down on illegal immigration, and they not-so-subtly suggest that wanting immigration laws enforced is de facto racism?

Look – I can see losing to Bill Clinton. The guy could sell ice to Eskimos, always had the perfect touch on television, and campaigned as the most noncontroversial welfare-reforming centrist ever to kiss a baby. (And, er, uh, other people.)

But these guys? The GOP is going to lose to Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, John Murtha, Ned Lamont? The crowd that shares its stages with Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cindy Sheehan?

Maybe my inclinations are blinding me. And there’s still a lot of campaign season to go. But I just don’t think it’s likely that this crowd is going to seal the deal with a majority of the American people.

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