Thursday, February 02, 2006

Republicans dip their toes in the reform water

It's Boehner, by a fairly large margin. Interestingly enough, McCain's having come out for Shadegg appears to have gotten the latter no traction at all. So much for last-minute, triangulated support. If McCain was serious about reform, he'd have tossed his hat in the ring more than 24 hours before the vote, when everybody had already effectively given their promises.

What does this mean? One, it means that Republicans in office might actually start listening to their constituents... but not in any really meaningful way. Just like Sessions here at home, the Republicans are perfectly willing to listen to bad news, if they've already decided that it's in their best interests to do so, for a specified number of minutes. Whereas Blunt was K street's darling, and Shadegg the voice of real reform, Boehner is anti-pork, but in a mild sort of way... basically representing feelings amongst Republicans that they need more than a band-aid (that's Blunt), but that they're uncomfortable with the notion of putting Congress under chemo (that's Shadegg).

Electing Blunt would have been suicidal. Electing Shadegg would have instantly energized the base, and gotten the party respect. In short, the Republican leadership knows that going too far to ignore its believers will lead to a disaster this November... but they want to try to limit the scope of that to as much "business as usual" as humanly possible.

Is it any wonder that Republicans are the only people who hold the Republican political machine in more contempt than the leftist Democrats do?

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! We don't have any blenders, but I'm sure there's something I've written around here that desperately needs correction....

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