The Republican loss in the special election for Louisiana's Sixth Congressional District last Saturday should be a sharp wake up call for Republicans: Either Congressional Republicans are going to chart a bold course of real change or they are going to suffer decisive losses this November.
The facts are clear and compelling.
Saturday's loss was in a district that President Bush carried by 19 percentage points in 2004 and that the Republicans have held since 1975.
This defeat follows on the loss of Speaker Hastert's seat in Illinois. That seat had been held by a Republican for 76 years with the single exception of the 1974 Watergate election when the Democrats held it for one term. That same seat had been carried by President Bush 55-44% in 2004.
But... what about John McLame? There's all those Chaos Agents who have voted for the Hill-debeast in the Democratic primaries, and all of her supporters who claim they can't vote for a black man in November. We'll win by division just like always, right?
Senator McCain is currently running ahead of the Republican congressional ballot by about 16 percentage points. But there are two reasons that this extraordinary personal achievement should not comfort congressional Republicans.
First, McCain's lead is a sign of the gap between the McCain brand of independence and the GOP brand. No regular Republican would be tying or slightly beating the Democratic candidates in this atmosphere. It is a sign of how much McCain is a non-traditional Republican that he is sustaining his personal popularity despite his party's collapse.
Second, there is a grave danger for the McCain campaign that if the generic ballot stays at only 32 % for the GOP it will ultimately outweigh McCain's personal appeal and drag his candidacy into defeat.
Bu-bu-bu ... can't we win by tearing down Barack Obama for being a socialist liberal Muslim who sat listening to his radical lunatic preacher for twenty years without wearing his flag pin?
The Republican brand has been so badly damaged that if Republicans try to run an anti-Obama, anti-Reverend Wright, or (if Senator Clinton wins), anti-Clinton campaign, they are simply going to fail.
This model has already been tested with disastrous results.
In 2006, there were six incumbent Republican Senators who had plenty of money, the advantage of incumbency, and traditionally successful consultants.
But the voters in all six states had adopted a simple position: "Not you." No matter what the GOP Senators attacked their opponents with, the voters shrugged off the attacks and returned to, "Not you."
The danger for House and Senate Republicans in 2008 is that the voters will say, "Not the Republicans."
The majority of Chron.com posters -- angry white men (with computers, in the suburbs) -- no longer represent the majority of opinion in America, in Texas ... or even in Houston.
Harris County, and Texas, is going to elect dozens and dozens of Democrats in 2008. And the United States of America will have a black president.
I Have Changed My Middle Name to Hussein