Monday, November 19, 2012

For Start, Get The Losers Off The Stage

I am a fan of British politics. Ever since I started watching Prime Minister Question Time on C-Span, I have longed for something similar in the United States. Imagine. A president having to answer questions about his policies and actions on a weekly basis instead of the current system of  press conferences scheduled at the convenience of the White House resident.

A girl can only dream.

There is another aspect of British politics that I also absolutely love. When a party leader loses an election, he or she resigns and moves to the back bench. Imagine. Allowing new faces to rise and possibly lead their party to victory. And winning elections is job number one for any political party.

A girl can only dream.

Despite the drubbing received at the polls, the GOP's leadership is pretty much intact. John Boehner still leads the House Republicans. Mitch McConnell still leads the Senate Republicans.  Reince Priebus has announced he will seek another term as RNC chair and claims to have the support of 130 members - well above the 85 votes needed to secure the position.

I suppose that Boehner can claim victory since GOP was able to retain control of the House. However, Republicans lost seats. Republicans received less votes than the Democrats. Control was maintained thanks to some good ol' gerrymandering. Not through a winning record or message.

Also, let's not forget that both Boehner and McConnell were part of the congressional Republican leadership that squandered their turn at the wheel and damaged the GOP brand. During the Bush years, they turned surpluses into deficits, expanded entitlement programs and lost control of Congress in 2006.

John Cornyn has been promoted to Minority Whip even though he presided over the loss of net two Senate seats. Quite a feat when one considers that the Democrats defended 23 seats while the Republicans only defended 10 seats. According to Real Clear Politics, there were 7 tossups seats and the GOP only won one race. That's not a performance that should be rewarded.

If the embarrassing loss in 2008 and the selection of Sarah Palin couldn't push John McCain off the political stage, nothing will. I have given up on any hope that he will gracefully step aside and let fresh faces have their turn on the Sunday talk shows. His latest attempt to stay visible has been to latch on to the Benghazi tragedy and to push the Senate to appoint Select Committee to look into the matter.

Whether or not Karl Rove survives the stunning failure of his SuperPAC American Crossroads is one of the more interesting developments of this election. But given the GOP penchant for rewarding failure, I think the "Architect" is pretty safe. After all,  Rove was in charge of the strategy that delivered Bush a "thumping" in the 2006 congressional elections.

Ever since Obama has been re-elected, the GOP soul searching has been under way and suggestions have been pouring in from all corners. Some have suggested that the Republican party follow the lead of the British conservatives who returned to power after 12 years in the political wilderness.  At the very least the GOP should follow the British tradition of losers making room for new leadership.

A girl can only dream.