Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Self Help: Some House Republicans are advocating that their party "clean house" amid the recent corruption scandals and indictments. They hope to show that they can fix their own mess to impress voters enough to keep the GOP in power come November. That's a nice thought, but politically I don't think it will work.

Voters, it seems, don't respond well when politicians admit that they've done something wrong. Voters tend to reward stubbornness over repentance.

Case in point: George W. Bush. Whenever he admits to a mistake, Democrats lambaste him for it repeatedly. But when el presidente holds fast, it almost makes him immune to criticism. Certain segments of the party faithful always stick with him until the end, that is unless he confesses that he goofed.

I'm not sure how voters are going to respond to the DeLay scandals. But I can't imagine a massive Republican leadership overhaul would be helpful to the GOP's election chances. If voters see a shakeup, that will send a strong indication that something is seriously wrong. Plus, voters like consistency. If the Republicans promise something new this year, then voters may have no problem voting Democrat, because there will be big changes either way.

I'm not advocating that the Republicans resist admitting mistakes. I'm just making an observation on the political reality.

The Democrats could have a golden opportunity here to regain control of Congress. All they have to do is create a more hawkish image in the War on Terrorism. Anything less than that, and they'll be on the losing end once again.


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