The GOP Gets Off to a Bad Start

The Republicans have just taken a beating. They lost the White House, at least six Senate seats, and approximately twenty House seats. They have not a single House member from New England. They have no West Coast senators (other than Alaska).  So what do they do?

Well, in the days following the election they engaged in the same petty, irrelevant. and ultimately self-destructive behavior which got them into the political ditch to begin with.

Let's start with the petty. The RNC spent its time sending out "oppo" memos as word of President-elect Obama's White House staff picks (e.g., Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod) came out. "Too partisan!" screamed the press releases. "He's hiring political people!" Oh, the horror! Not many people in the country, other than staffers at the RNC with too little to do, begrudge the new president selecting competent political advisers, especially ones which proved discreet and capable during the campaign. And even the Wall Street Journal editors were not buying the hysteria -- correctly noting that Emanuel was a free trader and economic moderate.

Next, we were treated to the sight of a group of old Washington insiders meeting at a Virginia estate to discuss the future of the GOP. This hardly seemed the way to refreshen, revive, and enliven the party. And by shutting out young conservative bloggers, they ensured that the most significant impact of the confab was to start another intra-party fight.

But much of the week was taken up by former McCain staffers, snooty columnists, and unnamed sources continuing the vendetta against Sarah Palin.