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GOP did little to head off election thumpin' page 3
GOP did little to head off Election Day disaster.

 If Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld had left sooner, would the results have been different on Election Day?
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Date published: 11/19/2006

By Richard Amrhine


Politics is one of those odd enterprises in which achieving success becomes a recipe for disaster. Good governing occurs as a result of moderation and partisan cooperation. Unfortunately, as soon as one party gains an upper hand, it often claims a mandate to govern as far to the right or left as it is able.

How quickly it forgets that the voters are always willing and able to yank it back to the center, starting the process all over.

Some observers of this election say that many voters took the party labels for granted. In fact, some moderate Republicans were kicked out in favor of Democrats who have leaned to the right on some issues to attract disillusioned conservative voters.

Don't forget, for example, that Virginia's senator-elect Jim Webb is a former Reagan-administration Republican--a background not unnoticed by Virginia voters looking for change but not complete political reversal. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania's governor-elect, is an anti-abortion Democrat.

If anything of substance gets done over the next two years, it'll be refreshing after six years of Republican-led gridlock. The least we should take away from this election is a glimmer of optimism.

Richard Amrhine is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star.

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