Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Worth Reading: GOP Done?

Worth Reading: Cool It with the ‘Whigs’ Rhetoric. By Charles C. W. Cooke
I have no desire to downplay the disaster that the GOP has brought upon itself this cycle. Presented with a “change year” and given the gift of an opponent who is far weaker than she seemed, Republicans have chosen to commit electoral suicide. Had they played their cards right, they could have had it all: unified government, a chance to replace Justice Scalia, a golden opportunity for real reform. As it is, they are going to lose the White House for the third election in a row, and to exacerbate the demographic and reputational problems that keep the party’s chiefs up at night. This has not, let’s say, been a glorious eighteen months. That said, I think we ought to be a touch careful before writing the party’s obituary. As damaging as Donald Trump has been — and may continue to be after the election — the GOP has proven pretty resilient, all told. Currently, the Republican party is having serious trouble winning the White House — trouble that started with the normal swing of the pendulum, and that, this year at least, has been continued by the party’s penchant for self-destruction. But is that endemic, as the doom and gloom merchants insist? Possibly not, no. Indeed, if the GOP had chosen somebody good this year — anyone other than Trump, really — the landscape would now look very different indeed. Probably, the GOP would be winning. And then what would the headlines read? “Republican comeback,” mostly likely. Maybe even “Unified government.” Put a Kasich or a Walker or a Rubio at the top of the ticket this year and, of the last four elections, the GOP would have won half — two out of four. Is that what is meant by extinction? The rest of the American system isn’t proving too toxic for the party, either; 

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