The Corner

The Glass Is 1/16 Full!

A reader dissents from my irrational exuberance:

If Steyn can’t see the damage to the Republican brand, then he needs to take a closer look. Let’s start with the Senate. According to electoral-vote.com and fivethirtyeight.com, the Dems are predicted to pick up seats in New Mexico, Virginia, Colorado, and New Hampshire; Oregon and North Carolina are currently up in the air. Even Minnesota is no sure thing; Norm Coleman cannot even manage to seal the deal against the preposterous Al Franken. The Republicans are reduced to hoping that their man in Alaska, Ted Stevens, can manage to hold the line against the night. I respectfully suggest that when an crooked pork-loving sleazeball like Stevens is the Republican bulwark against a Democratic supermajority, the brand is in trouble.

Then there’s the Presidential race. I have yet to understand why people rely on the overall national poll rather than the estimates of electoral votes, but never mind that now. Just look at the maps and tell me how McCain manages to win. Which states does he flip? Iowa? Pennsylvania? Virginia? Which?Against this, Steyn provides a single example of a House seat in New Hampshire that might–might!–flip back to the R column. (Presumably he is talking about Shea-Porter’s district, which was a fluke in the first place; in any case, New Hampshire Republicans do not quite hold the same views as other Republicans in the country.) Forgive me if that does not seem terribly compelling.No, all the Republican hopes seem to lie with Sarah Palin. Sure, she can’t answer questions about Supreme Court decisions and she parroted Obama’s Pakistan policy–but she’s pretty, she winks, and she shoots moose, and those are much more important qualifications if you want to be the leader of the free world. (I grant that the praise for Palin mostly comes from the more clownish NRO commentators, so maybe there’s something more substantive that I’ve missed.) I assume that she’ll get the nomination in the end; the Republicans will be happy to nominate an inexperienced and ineloquent governor, because of course it worked so well for them the last time around.So that’s the picture from where I sit. Why again are we supposed to think that the Republican brand is in good shape at the moment?

Well, Utah still looks pretty solid…

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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