Wall Street Journals meget indsigtsfulde (og generelt klassisk-liberalt lænende) politiske redaktør John Fund har mandag en syrlig kommentar til, hvorledes Republikanerne klarer sig p.t., og som vel bedst kan sammenfattes med det farverige og rammende udtryk, af man er ved at “snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory”.  Her er et uddrag af Funds klumme:

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the GOP majority is losing its team spirit, and many in Congress are going their own way as they eye a tough re-election climate. Back in 1994, that kind of behavior over a crime bill that failed to garner enough Democratic votes to pass on the floor was an early indicator that Democrats were in serious political trouble. They wound up losing control of both houses of Congress that year.

No one quite expects a tsunami of those proportions this year. Incumbent-protection devices and gerrymandered districts are likely to minimize GOP losses. But Republican strategists are now openly talking about the parallels between 1994 and 2006. …

Panicked politicians are not a pretty sight,” says GOP pollster Whit Ayres. “They usually run in the wrong direction”.

So far that’s exactly the direction that Republican have chosen to run in the last year as their national numbers and President Bush’s approval ratings have softened. From their scramble to ram through a national legislative solution to Terri Schiavo’s plight, to their overreaction to Hurricane Katrina, to their failure to recognize the public’s disgust with pork-barrel projects, to the Dubai Ports deal, Republicans have appeared to the world to be as unprincipled and rudderless as the politicians they campaigned against back in 1994. Unless they change course dramatically in the seven months between now and Election Day, they may well find themselves facing the same fate as the Democratic political dinosaurs of that year that they replaced.”