The Corner

The Good News in the Bad News

Republican victories last night were amazing judged by any standard other than that of the inflated expectations some conservatives had in the days leading up to the election. But the upside of the high-profile disappointments Republicans have just experienced is that they will nip any triumphalism in the bud. If Republicans had swept all before them, they would have entered the 2012 cycle overconfident. Now they’re more likely to remember that picking strong candidates matters, merely standing for conservative principles is not enough to guarantee success, and no cycle is good enough to justify making unforced errors.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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