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Jewish World Review
Nov. 9, 2006
/ 18 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767
Republicans pay for arrogance
Dick Morris & Eileen Mc Gann
The Democrats seem to have taken over the House. That means that, regardless how the cliff-hanger races in the Senate turn out, the key question is whether the Republican leaders will shed their arrogance and understand that they need to listen to the American people.
Even if recounts and razor-thin margins deliver the Senate into Republican hands by the narrowest of margins, 2006 is a major defeat for the GOP and only a fool would deny it.
In Iraq, obviously, America is delivering a message that if we keep shedding blood to battle for democracy in Iraq, the GOP will lose to the Democrats in the United States. President Bush has asked Americans for patience but their patience has run out. They see a mess in Iraq and aren't prepared to put up with it any longer.
But if the GOP leaders in Congress had been steadfast to their agenda apart from Iraq, they might have done far better last night. It was, ultimately, their failure to produce when they held the White House and both houses of Congress that led to Tuesday's losses. Had they passed Social Security reform, immigration reform and tougher measures for homeland security, they might have survived Iraq.
Instead, they squandered their lead through an orgy of self-indulgence and narcissism. The lobbyist travel scandals, the Foley affair and earmarking of funds for every last piece of pork in their districts cost the Republicans their virtue and their House majority.
It is cruel that it is the House leadership that is unhorsed by the election. The House passed all the legislation it had to enact. It was the Senate that failed.
So Senate Republicans need to get their act together. The Bill Frist leadership couldn't produce. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is the likely new Senate GOP leader. But former Majority Leader Trent Lott (a former client of mine) is determined to resurrect his career and run for the Whip post vacated by Rick Santorum (a victim of the Democratic tide). Lott knows how to make the trains run on time; he could team well with McConnell. Perhaps Republicans will start to demonstrate that they've begun to get the message of Election Day.
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