Ramesh Ponnuru of NRO, writing as a guest of the NYTimes op-ed page, is not quite ready to throw in the towel on the prospects of the Republican's holding onto the House of Representatives this November.
However, in assessing the implications and likely consequences of a Republican defeat, he opines that it would not be such a bad thing for conservatives. Briefly, (a) the Senate, which he expects the Republicans to hold, will continue to control judicial confirmations; (b) the House Republicans have focused on pork in order to maintain their majority and may view a defeat as the wake-up that sends them back to their conservative roots; (c) empowering the angry, embittered left and putting them on public display could be great advertising for the Reps; and (d) Republicans running for President in 2008 can run against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and blame all of the ills of the country on her - blaming the Dems will be trickier if the Reps control everything (but where there's a will there's a way!). A snippet:
So the policy tradeoffs for Republicans are not especially troubling. They would still be able to set foreign policy and appoint judges. They would be blocked only from making domestic-policy reforms they show no sign of attempting anyway.
Ramesh is a bit gloomy - maybe both Iraq and the economy will be going swimmingly by 2008. Maybe. But somehow I don't think it is the economy that is worrying Ramesh, although I may be simply projecting.
Arkansas Governor and Presidential wanna-be Mike Huckabee has his own thoughts on the pros and cons of a Republican drubbing in 2006:
Gov. Mike Huckabee says his prospects for winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 might actually improve if his own party takes a beating in the 2006 midterm elections.
“Will it be a wake-up call to our party, that we’re going to have to retool the message — not the principles — but the message?” Huckabee muses in an interview with The Examiner. “And will the party start looking for new voices, the ones that aren’t so already established?
“If so, then a guy like me may have a moment,” he adds. “If they say, ‘Well, it’s just McCain’s turn,’ well OK. But I don’t think we’re going to go there.”
Although some polls suggest Sen. John McCain is the early front-runner in the GOP presidential sweepstakes, Huckabee says the Arizona maverick should not start measuring the Oval Office for drapes just yet.
“I have a hard time seeing him being elected president, just because I think, at times, some of his views have alienated very important segments of the Republican Party,” Huckabee says. “I’m not sure he can mend the fences with the evangelical wing of the party, the pro-life part of the party.”
Shall we segue to some McCain-bashing? McCain is a great American with an admirable personal biography, but can he be nominated while evangelicals distrust him and other conservatives always remember that he put the "McCain" in "McCain-Feingold"?
UPDATE: From "tristero" at Hullabaloo:
"Conservatives" Will Benefit If Democrats Win The House
Yes, and I hope they keep benefitting by losing the Senate. It builds character, trust me.
Character, or characters? Groan - I don't want to be rebuilt.