Thursday, May 11, 2006

Do the Republicans Need to Lose?

Peggy Noonan
Peggy Noonan, over at the Wall St. Journal, argues that a loss in November may be good for Republicans. They need it in order to remember why they were put in power in the first place. She writes:

Power is distancing.

When you've been in Congress for a while, or the White House for a while, you both forget too many things and learn too many things.

You forget why they sent you. You forget it's not that you're charming and wonderful. You forget it's not you. You become immersed in a Washington conversation, a political conversation, that is, by definition, unlike the normal human conversation back home. To survive and thrive, national politicians have to speak two languages, Here and Home. Actually it's more than two languages, it's two cultures. It's hard to straddle cultures.

But even as you forget a lot, you learn a lot. You get crammed into your head the political realities on the ground around you--how big the minority Democratic bloc in the House really is, how many votes the other team has in what committee, where to go for legal money, how the press will react to any given decision or statement.

In time you know a lot of things the people who sent you to Washington don't know. And you come to forget what they do know. It used to be easy for you to remember that, because it's what you knew too.

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