Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some 70s non-nostalgia

Ed Rollins provides some needed historical perspective amid a crescendo of death-of-the-GOP reports:

In very short order after my arrival in Washington in January 1973, the Nixon administration came apart at the seams with a daily soap opera of criminal charges, congressional hearings, federal indictments and the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew for bribe taking, followed 10 months later by the resignation of Richard Nixon who was about to be impeached by the Congress....

In the aftermath of all this, Republicans got slaughtered in the midterm elections of 1974, losing 48 House seats and five Senate seats. Republicans had only 144 House members in the 94th Congress.

Two years later, Jimmy Carter was elected president and I was convinced Republicans would be in the wilderness the rest of my political life. After the first 100 days, President Carter's approval rating was 69 percent -- higher than President Obama's.

And then things changed. I made some similar points in my has-the-right-hit-bottom debate with Ryan Sager last February (though admittedly, I'd now have to say the right had not quite hit bottom as of then).

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