Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) thinks that President Bush is "absolutely radioactive" and that any Republicans close to the him will suffer electoral consequences.Yes, replacing Rep. Cole with someone who had an ACU rating of 60 last year is exactly the move that would energize the base. What? Was Rep. Chris Shays unavailable?
"Republicans, I think, have time to turn it around to some extent," Davis tells the network.
"But, if they don't, we're cruising for a bruising."
Davis has been mentioned as a possible replacement for current NRCC chair Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) following three straight special election defeats for the GOP. The Virginia Republican is not seeking reelection.
I'm just going to write off 2008 right now. As Sean Hannity would say, "conservatism in exile".
UPDATE: I spoke too soon, the GOP now has two standard-bearers:
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger created shock and awe in the Republican Party when he warned years ago that the GOP was in danger of "dying at the box office" by failing to make the sale to a wide swath of voters.Yes, let's abandon the party to the center. You know, the voters who don't donate, don't volunteer, don't canvas. The ones who just show up and vote. Ya know. If they feel like it.
And with the presidential election looming, the Republican governor of the nation's most populous state - a decidedly blue state - has now found a chorus of agreement. The Republican "brand" - thanks to an unpopular president, a war, gas prices, foreclosures and deficit - has become such damaged goods that GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia groused last week that "if we were dog food, they would take us off the shelf."
The answer for GOP presidential candidate John McCain: take a page out of the Schwarzenegger playbook and sell a product that is "counter" to the current GOP brand on issues like global warming, spending and even immigration reform.
"The Republican idea is a great idea, but we can't go and get stuck with just the right wing," Schwarzenegger said. "Let's let the party come all the way to the center. Let those people be heard as much as the right. Let it be the big tent we've talked about."