Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why the Republicans are Positioned to Lose

Yesterday I laid out how the Democrats could still lose the upcoming election. But, let’s be honest, the Republicans are the more likely losers, sure to lose seats and in danger of losing one if not both houses of Congress.

So, if they lose, what will be the reason? Unlike the Democrats’ medley of unfocused vision, weary ideas and poor national organization, the Republicans’ fatal flaw can be summed up in one word: hubris.

In its modern definition (rather than its original Greek meaning) hubris is destructive arrogance, pride run amuck. It is a common trait of the powerful not exclusive to any political party or nationality. But it has unquestionably infected the GOP.

Americans, for all our insatiable interest in the powerful and influential, have little patience for hubris. Whether you are a movie star like Tom Cruise or a politician like Tom Delay, American culture generally punishes those whose arrogance blinds them to their own shortcomings.

For the last few years, the entire Republican party at the national level has given off an air of hubris. Whether it’s overstuffing spending bills with blatantly wasteful earmarks or overstepping their authority with the Teri Schiavo case or forming corrupt relationships with lobbyists or over-relying on one sect of Christianity to win elections and inform policy, the Republicans seem more interested in raw power and the advancement of a few key interests than they are in the common good of the nation—or even in their own proclaimed ideals of small government and fiscal responsibility.

The actions of Congress have only been compounded by a White House that has seemed superciliously inflexible on a number of issues, most importantly Iraq. The total effect is to make the entire party appear out-of-touch.

Twelve years ago, the Democrats paid the price for getting fat and lazy after years of their own hubris. In many ways, the Dems still suffer from a superiority complex that inhibits them from regaining the trust of the voters. But this year it may finally stop being about the Democrats’ problems. Barring another late rally, it looks to be the Republicans who will suffer the consequences of their failings.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an unhappy Republican - I both hope and believe we will win. Not because we deserve to or that we have earned the right to continue to govern but because the alternative of having Pelosi, Dengel et. al. in charge of the circus they have quietly promised (but which Schumer has said they won't declare because then it would be a target - some courage of convictions). In spite of all of the reason the GOP has been embarassment (and I admit there are many) the Dems have not articulated an alternative vision. So the GOP is bad in some ways, but at least I know what I am getting vs. the great unkown Schumer won't share with me and the rest of the American public.

3:40 PM  

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