Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Obviously, the Republicans have absorbed one basic bit of conventional wisdom about 1994 -- that Newt Gingrich's arrogance was a bad idea -- but I don't think that's the only explanation for their humble act:

...Many Republicans acknowledged the electorate's dour outlook in their victory speeches Tuesday night. "We make a great mistake if we believe tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican Party," Marco Rubio, a tea party favorite who won Florida's closely watched Senate race, said Tuesday night. "What they are is a second chance -- a second chance for Republicans to be what they said were going to be not so long ago."

In Washington, [John] Boehner took the stage at a House GOP watch party where the mood was notably less celebratory than it's been during election-night festivities in years past. "This is not a time for celebration," Boehner somberly warned. "This is a time to roll up our sleeves and go to work." He called the election results "a repudiation of Washington, a repudiation of big government and a repudiation of politicians who refuse to listen to the people."

I think it's also an effort (by people like Boehner and Rubio, at least; I'm not sure how successful they'll be in a wingnut world that also includes Palin, DeMint, Limbaugh, Beck, etc.) to set themselves up as the thoughtful, responsive servants of the people as they approach a possible government shutdown, in which (as I said a couple of days ago) they'll probably try to blame Obama for the crisis. They want Obama to look out of touch, which equals "arrogant" and "elitist" and basically "uppity." I don't know if he'll step into the trap, but if he avoids it, it'll be because he's showing greater political cunning than he's had for the past 21 months.


By the way, Maureen Dowd has the smartest take on the question of how different Boehner 2010 is from Gingrich 1994 -- and I'm not being sarcastic. Be sure to read her column all the way to the end.

No comments: