Saturday, November 11, 2006

Our ideas are fine, really

That's the new meme from the Republicans now that they were soundly trounced in the elections last Tuesday. That was the tenor of David Brooks' remarks on the Jim Lehrer News Hour on Friday night. There have been several other examples of the meme in recent days.

The war in Iraq was really a good idea; it's just that our execution was lousy. A more competent bunch would have won it going away. You think? Well, so says Tom Friedman. And so says Ken "Cakewalk" Adelman and the Prince of Darkness himself, Richard Perle.

The ever fatuous Jonah Goldberg tells us basically the same thing today:

Philosophers and partisans will debate for years the question of whether Democrats deserved to win the 2006 elections, but let us agree that the Republicans deserved to lose.

Through its own crapulence, jobbery and malfeasance, the Grand Old Party lost the House of Representatives, the jewel of the Republican revolution, the engine of conservative policy reform and home to the much-maligned freedom fries. The Democrats needed 15 seats to capture the House, and they passed that mark handily, like a running back carrying the ball through the end zone, into the bleachers and all the way to the concession stand -- and then ordering a hot dog. Then, twisting the knife and mangling this metaphor beyond all human decency, the Senate fell into the Dem column like one enormous hanging chad.

Wise man Jonah's prescription for the GOP? More ideology, stupid:

In other words, just as Democrats insisted, the GOP's drubbing had more to do with competence and scandal than program and ideology.

Indeed, if the conservative base hadn't been disgusted with Republican management, and if so many Democrats hadn't run as social conservatives, the GOP might have done just fine in this election.

Republicans lost because they behaved like self-indulgent politicians, not purists. Conservatives care a lot about ideas, so that's where we'll try to assign blame. But the ideologues aren't to blame. The Republicans are.

Not pure enough. Yeah, that must be it, Jonah.

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