From Opinion Journal: “GOP wake-up call”: “About the best thing Republicans can say after Tuesday's election debacle is that at least it happened in an off-off year. This was a Democratic rout any way you look at it, from the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey to the ballot initiatives in California. If the GOP learns the wrong lessons, it'll happen again next year, when a lot more will be at stake.”
The WashPost has an editorial titled “Lessons of 2005” along with an analysis by Dan Balz: “For GOP, 2006 now looms much larger”
With a little perspective, here’s my abridged take on Tuesday’s tea leaves. I’ve criticized the Democrats as a party without ideas, but now it’s the Republicans who are lost in the wilderness. The GOP used to be the party of Reagan and limited government; now we have record deficits even before massive entitlement spending kicks in over the next decade. As I type this, reports are coming over the wires that Congress can’t find the spine to cut a couple tens of billion dollars over a multi-trillion dollar
The Republicans gained control of Congress and the White House by establishing their principles and allowing the American people to choose (think 1994). If they don’t want to assert these principles, they should prepare for significant losses in 2006.
Update – Red State has more on the Deficit Reduction Act: “This is the biggest vote of the 109th Congress – period. It is the first time Republicans are attempting to seriously address out-of-control spending since 1997 by reducing its rate of growth by saving $50 billion over five years. However, this vote has become far more about symbolism than substance (although the substance is good), and it is now about the soul of the House Republican majority.”