Q&A Friday #52: Can The GOP Rely On The Lesser Of Two Evils Tactic Again In 2008?
Question: “IF the republicans pull this election out of their backsides, and IF they go back to their ways and do not seriously address immigration and spending.
Do you think they will be able to use the “vote for us because the other guys are just awful” excuse again?” — KyleN
Answer: This year, given the number of vulnerable Democratic seats, the GOP should have been in a position to gain seats, not lose them. And the House? Normally, even in a somewhat unfavorable environment, given how gerrymandered it is, the GOP shouldn’t have been at risk of losing more than a handful of seats.
So, if there are any Republicans up on Capitol Hill who were unaware that what they’ve been doing isn’t going to fly with the American people (Cough cough, President Bush and the Senate, cough, cough) they’ve gotten a real education about how unhappy the base and the American people are with them during this election cycle.
Since that’s the case, win, lose, or draw, I think you’re going to start seeing some real changes for the GOP in Washington after this election because undeniably the whole, “Vote for us because the other guys are just awful,” tactic isn’t working very well now and if they have to rely on that again in 2008, the approval rating for Republicans in Congress will be in single digits.
PS: Yes, this means that the GOP needs to have a strong, conservative agenda not just on foreign policy, but on the domestic side, on issues like spending and illegal immigration, to show the American people the difference between the parties. Some people may be skeptical that the Republicans can do that, but after the sort of beating they’ve taken in this election cycle, they’ll be motivated to make changes whether they hold or lose Congress.