There’s a great editorial in the Wall Street Journal today:
If there is such a thing as a useful election defeat, then Tuesday’s Republican loss in a special House election in Mississippi would qualify. Maybe this thumping in a heretofore safe GOP seat will finally scare the Members straight, or at least less crooked.
Followed by a reminder that many members of Congress need to figure out what it is they stand for:
In the Mississippi race, the national GOP tried to link Democratic candidate Travis Childers to Barack Obama and Reverend Jeremiah Wright. One TV ad declared: “Travis Childers: He took Obama’s endorsement over our conservative values.” But Mr. Childers was well known as a cultural conservative who favors gun rights and opposes abortion. In a year when Americans are mad as hell, such a negative attack strategy merely reminds voters that Republicans have run out of ideas.
The editorial goes on to lay out some good agenda ideas: free market-oriented health care reform, a moratorium on earmarks, tax cuts and tax reform, and increased domestic energy production. Will Republican Congressional leaders inside the Beltway take heed? It may not be too late.
Meanwhile, my friend Jeff at Louisiana Conservative persuasively reminds us that the recent special election defeats are failures of Republican politics, not of the conservative message:
The biggest reason is this, that these Democrats who have won, won by portraying their selves as â€œconservativesâ€ at a time Republicans have been, and their current Presidential nominee is currently doing, moving to the left. Itâ€™s not an open embracement of the Democrat party, but rather a national embracement of conservativism.
The Democrats strategically have taken advantage of Congressional Republicans’ rudderlessness (if that’s a word). Will the cold water splashed in their face make any sort of difference in time? They’ll have to convince me.