Q&A Friday #100: Evaluate The GOP So Far And What Will Things Look Like By 2010?

Question: “What do you think the Republican Party will look like by the time the 2010 mid-terms roll around?

I try not to get too excited about the recent show of unity of the GOP in the House, because we all know they would have been more than happy to vote for a $500 Billion Stimulus Package under the right conditions, which is only marginally better than a $900 Billion Package under the wrong conditions.

Do you think the GOP is starting to come around, or are they just playing the foil to the opposition? Is there a difference anymore?” — President_Friedman

Answer: First off, the GOP is slowly but surely coming around. In fact, I think it’s possible that the House may finally be getting pretty close to where they need to be. We’ll find out if that’s really the case over the next few months.

The Senate on the other hand? Not so much. The trend we’re seeing so far is that 3/4’s of them are standing tall on awful legislation and another 6-8 of the squishier senators are as likely to bail as not on just about anything. Furthermore, unsurprisingly, we’ve seen absolutely no leadership whatsoever from Mitch McConnell, who is already turning out to be even more of a failure so far than I thought he’d be when I was desperately trying to convince people that it would be disastrous to bring him back as the Republican leader in the Senate.

So, what I expect to see, unfortunately, is the GOP standing strong in the House, where they aren’t able to stop anything and then we’ll probably watch the Senate Republicans get rolled over and over again because McConnell can’t or won’t be able to organize filibusters. Don’t get me wrong, I do think we’ll be able to stop a few things in the Senate, but I also believe Obama is going to get most of what he wants.

As to how this is all going to play out in 2010, as Harold MacMillan once said, that depends on “Events, dear boy, events.” For example, how will the economy look by then? How will Obama’s foreign policy be playing out? Will we have been hit with another terrorist attack by then? Will the left be thrilled with Obama or mad that he hasn’t done more? Will the American people be freaked out about the almost unimaginable size of the deficit? How popular will Obama be in late 2010? Will the GOP repair it’s horrifically fractured relationship with its base? Will the GOP do enough to distinguish themselves from the Democrats or will they continue the “mushy middle” course that has damaged the party so much? Will the GOP do a better job of candidate recruitment than they have in the last couple of elections? What will the big issues be heading into the election?

In short, we have a lot of questions, but not enough answers to really know what things are going to look like by 2010.

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