Saturday, October 19, 2013

Let's Not Write Those Obituaries Yet

Trey Smith

All the recent headlines sound dire. We're told that, after another failed attempt to block the Affordable Care Act, the Republican Party is in complete disarray. They have caused themselves a serious self-inflicted wound. Their poll numbers are so way down that they might be unable to recover in time for the 2014 mid-term elections. Yes, the federal shutdown debacle could mean that the GOP might lose control of the House.

Come on now, let's get real! Political amnesia is rampant in this country. Political mistakes and miscalculations of today are easily forgotten by tomorrow. Remember back in 2004? President George W. Bush's hold on the White House was said to be in jeopardy. His administration had been caught illegally eavesdropping on Americans and the "certain" Weapons of Mass Destruction had been exposed as a grand hoax. Early in the campaign season, a lot of pundits were ready to write Mr. Bush's political obituary.

And yet, Bush won. Not only did he handily carry the Electoral College tally, but he won the popular vote by almost 2.5 percent. Despite all the controversy that surrounded his first term, the American voters handed him a second one and gave control of both chambers of Congress to the GOP.

Look at recent political history. Officeholders have been involved in sex scandals, bribery, campaign finance shenanigans and a host of other controversies and yet, time and time again, they get reelected. One year or months before the election, the pundits declare certain candidates dead in the water and yet those campaign don't drown.

So, let's not write those obituaries for the GOP yet. What took place these last 3 weeks will be all but forgotten when the 2014 campaign season rolls around. Sure, the GOP still has time to muck things up even more, but that still doesn't necessarily spell their doom. It hasn't before and it probably won't next year.

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