After Election Day 2008, Republicans weren’t expecting to be in majority any time soon. What we were expected even less was for the Democrat Party to be as incompetent as they have been. Now Republicans look poised to retake the House…but are we ready?
First, let me just say I agree with strategist Mike Murphy…the best way for the GOP to take the house is to STOP SAYING THEY’RE GOING TO TAKE THE HOUSE. If we do, the big question is if our elected officials have learned their lessons from the last time they were in power. 1994 was a great year. 1997 or so the wheels started to come off. 2004 to 2006ish…now we’re getting to why so many people hate us.
Let’s say we do win in November and are back in control. The Wall Street Journal lays out a number of things we need to keep in mind…
Power means visibility. In “Lessons Learned the Hard Way,” Newt Gingrich wrote: “If you are seldom covered by the press, which was the case with House Republicans for forty years, you have a lot of leeway to make mistakes. But when you are in people’s living rooms every evening, your mistakes are magnified.” For the past couple of years, Democrats have gained little from attacking House GOP leaders, since few voters know or care who those leaders are. Once they are in power, they will also be in the bull’s-eye.
Power means temptation. In 2006, Republicans lost their majority partly because of scandals. Their minority status has since been a moral safeguard of sorts, because smart crooks don’t bribe politicians who lack the ability to do anything. When Republicans gain committee chairs and the capacity to pass bills, they will suddenly find lots of new friends offering favors. They will also be tempted to demand such favors as the price of doing business. But sooner or later, bad behavior brings political ruin—or worse: The last time Republicans were in power, Duke Cunningham’s “bribe menu” helped land him in prison, where he still sits.
Power means frustration. Right after their 1994 takeover, House Republicans underestimated obstacles in the Senate and overlooked the little matter of the presidential veto. “Even if you pass something through both the House and the Senate, there is that presidential pen,” Mr. Gingrich wrote in “Lessons Learned.” “How could we have forgotten that?” Republicans talk about repealing President Obama’s health-care legislation. He would surely veto a repeal, and there is practically no chance that Republicans could muster a two-thirds majority in both chambers to override the veto. What would they do then?
He gives more examples in the article, which is well worth the read. I hope the GOP is ready for this, because they have all of twp years to prove to us that they are.