Monday, May 24, 2010

The ghost of Reagan...

...and why it could scare Republicans.

If you've followed the political scene in this country over the past three decades, then you know that Ronald Reagan remains THE MAN in the Republican Party.

Despite not being in the White House for more than two decades, Republican presidential hopefuls continue to drop his name as a means of proving they will be the kind of president he was.

Moreover, there has been book after book written about Reagan and the Revolution he led.

But how many people remember that before Reagan steamrolled to re-election in 1984 that he dealt with a revolt from the voters in 1982? Princeton University professor Julian Zelizer certainly remembers, and in this editorial he reminds the GOP that history could very well repeat itself later this year and in 2010. Indeed, it's not inconceivable that the Republicans will make significant gains in the House or Senate (perhaps both?) and perhaps take majority control of one.

And while the political winds favor the GOP in 2010, the party's leadership acknowledges that it could have a difficult time winning over the electorate. The like-it-or-despise-it attitude about the Tea Party movement also could be a drag on Republicans, and those concerns developed before Rand Paul opened his mouth and inserted foot (and continued all the way up to his calf) last week.

The reality is this -- the indicators are there for Republican success in 2010. But whether that means anything for what happens in 2012 is questionable (and for Republicans the lesson from 1984 might not be one they want to learn.)

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