First by pointing out an usually-overlooked truth by the folks who like to yell at the Republican party's leadership, and not talk to them:
...if the President's job approval rating drops much more, the Republicans could score big gains in next year's House elections. This is quickly becoming conventional wisdom. But something else has gone less commented upon: there are different types of Republicans who are known to populate Congress.
There were the Republicans of the 109th Congress - largely inert, happy to keep things the way they were, pleased as punch just to be in power. They're the sort that Thomas Nast would have caricatured 125 years ago, and why Republican voters today still have so little faith in congressional Republicans.
These will probably not be the new Republicans on Capitol Hill in 2011 if there is a GOP surge. Instead, we're more likely to see Republicans who consider themselves "citizen legislators," the kind who take the 10th Amendment seriously, who plan to term limit themselves, who walk around the Capitol with a copy of the Constitution in their breast pocket, and so on. Enough of these true believing legislators could make life unpleasant for President Obama, who need only consider the experiences of Presidents Truman and Clinton if he has any doubts about this.
...yeah, pretty much. Speaking as a quote-unquote RiNO squish, the people that I've been seeing get prepped for next year for the House have been markedly to my right, and unapologetic about it. Speaking as a partisan Republican hack, they're going to be lots of fun to have around. Given whose seats they'll be taking away: twenty of them will be an indigestible lump for Congressional Democrats. Forty will be a nightmare for them. Any more, and Hell will be coming for breakfast.
Jay Cost then goes off and offers five pieces of advice that would be good for the country, if not the short term prospects of the GOP:
- The President starts making the final decisions regarding his Presidency;
- The President actually remembers that he's supposed to be representing all of us;
- The President stops riling up the Right;
- The President takes away the Speaker of the House's newly-assumed powers;
- The President removes Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff.
It's good advice. Unfortunately for the country, the President probably won't take any of it until he's been metaphorically smacked about for a while. And maybe not even then; even looking like he'll try doing #2 through #4 will immediately infuriate his own base...
Crossposted to Moe Lane.