For those of us who love politics, this week leading up to the midterms is putting a spring in our step. This has got to be the most unusual midterm election any of us remember. Byron York highlights the phenomenon that makes it so weird: the Republican comeback so far ahead of schedule.
Usually, when a party is walloped as badly as the Republicans were in 2006, they slink off to the wilderness to meditate and regroup. Not this time. York notes:
Normally, we should be in the early stages of that process. Instead, it appears that Republicans are about to retake one, and perhaps both, houses of Congress. The normal cycle of defeat and renewal has been speeded up considerably.
To speed it up to this degree, voters have had to overcome a certain reluctance to put into power the very party that made such a mess before the last election cycle. A newfound love of Republicans is not the key factor here. York says that this insta recovery has only happened because “Democrats have been screwing up faster than Republicans can recover.”
As for the Democratic screw-up, I think National Journal has hit the nail on the head:
Just over half of Americans likely to vote in next week’s midterms want the next Congress to repeal this year’s health care overhaul if Republicans gain power on Capitol Hill, according to a new poll, a dramatic rebuke to a sitting president and freshly minted statute.
Are Republicans ready? That’s the big question, and, if they aren’t, just remember, we have another election in two years. I do think that, once in power, they have an advantage they’ve never had before: the public isn’t just theoretically against big spending. They have now seen it on such a dramatically increased basis, that they are appalled. I bet they can cancel a few programs and the public will just laugh at the media outcry. If not…
(Hat tip to the Weekly Standard for spotting the National Journal story)