Four columns in the Washington Post –by Dionne, Novak, Broder and Ignatius— achieve Beltway perfect pitch: The election was a rejection of Iraq, Rumsfeld, partisanship, and pork. The quartet are singing from a Beltway hymnal that has been around forever. We can only hope that the president and his party smile, thank them for their advice, and get back to the war with the realization that history bleeds the party in power after six years, and this time it wasn’t so bad. Embracing Beltway dogma is a return ticket to the ’86 results when America woke up to a loss of eight Republican seats and a 55-45 Democratic Senate, and a Democratic House majorrity of 258 to 187.
Tuesday was part Foley fallout and part GOP fatigue. But it was mostly disgust with the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight on the Hill. The country expected a lot from the majorities it gave the Republicans in 2004, and it got very little. The long explanation is here.Team Pelosi is a high price to pay, but two years is a very short time. If the Republicans elect the right leadership, recruit the right candidates, and select the right nominee for the White House in ’08, they will be back in the majority two years from now. And then they may well be prepared to use it to legislate and confirm as opposed to posture and profit.