Assuming they lost on November 4th, what is next for the Republican party? Culture 11 writer Conor Friedersdorf argues over at The Next Right that the best Republicans can hope for is an overambitious Obama administration that would usher in a 1994-style Republican revolution.
Friedersdorf argues that while an Obama administration may bring a better (in his view) foreign policy and unifying domestic policy, there is an opportunity for Republicans to regroup in the future:
Overall I’d say the best case for conservatives is an Obama Presidency whose overambitious agenda provokes a GOP backlash in the 2010 midterms, causing a chastened Obama Administration to focus on bipartisan entitlement reforms that only a Democratic president could pass. As I think about it, what I’m saying is the best we can hope for is another Clinton Administration sans the affairs while the right regroups, casts aside the corrupt yes men who enabled the Bush Administration to do so many un-conservative things, and develops a coherent, appealing domestic agenda. My assumption is that such a process could not proceed with John McCain and Sarah Palin in the White House.
This is also what I think needs to be done. It is pretty clear to me that a near-supermajority of Democrats in Congress and a Democratic president will bring the country in too far of the wrong direction if left unchecked too long. Although I don’t think we’ll see the out and out socialism that some conservatives clearly fear (given the economic crisis) in two years time, the Democrats will do all they can to pursue their agenda, and they’ll have an easier time doing it.
In this atmosphere, assuming the Republicans can get their act together by 2010, they’ll have a strong argument to take back one or more chambers in Congress. Then divided government can return, as it should be in a democracy.
The Republicans need to answer for this last eight years, but I don’t think they’ll be putting the dunce hats on and sitting in the corner for too long. Give it a couple years, and they’ll be back. After all, they too were booted out when it became clear this country was going in the wrong direction. The Democrats have to mess up some time (because that’s what major parties do), and they’ll pay for it in a loss of seats.
Even if they lose this year, the Republicans will return, and I think they’ll return stronger than ever, and committed to actual fiscal conservatism. Just give it time.