The National Republican Congressional Committee is technically insolvent, with millions more in debt than it has in the bank. The GOP can’t raise money–Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama each brought in roughly twice as much cash in the third quarter as the top GOP competitors–and can’t recruit candidates. The party’s base is demoralized and threatening to walk if Giuliani wins the nomination. Pete Domenici is just the latest Republican to announce he won’t seek re-election, Larry Craig is back in Congress, and the stench from the Mark Foley scandal remains strong. It would not be surprising if at least one or two once prominent Republicans–Curt Weldon, Conrad Burns, Tom DeLay–were indicted between now and next Fall.
Yet David Broder, the oracle of the Washington Post, has scanned the horizon and concluded, on the basis of insights gleaned from a conversation he had with Republican Congressman Tom Cole, that the 2008 electoral scenario looks promising for Republican congressional candidates. “Cole argues that the House Democratic leadership has made a strategic error by wielding its narrow majority to craft partisan bills that invite a Bush veto,” Broder wrote on Sunday. “Polarization is exactly what the voters hate, Cole said; they are looking for cooperation and agreement.”
Cole sure knows how to sweet talk Broder, who for decades has been pleading for “civility” and against “polarization” (which means that the two parties disagree about policy matters). The words “bipartisan consensus” put most people to sleep. In Broder, they prompt the same reaction that a New Orleans street hooker in high heels and a short skirt gets from Senator David Vitter.
Broder’s latest column has prompted some grumbling in the blogosphere about his being a stenographer for the GOP. But he’s not just a Republican stenographer–he’s perfectly capable of speaking to Rahm Emmanuel next week and concluding that the Democrats will pick up fifty seats in 2008.