In the aftermath of last Tuesday’s elections, a new generation of conservatives has stepped forward in the House, challenging the leadership that presided over the loss of the party’s majority. These conservatives are led by Indiana representative Mike Pence and Arizona representative John Shadegg, running for minority leader and minority whip respectively. They are backed by some of the most principled and talented young conservatives in the House: Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake, and Jeb Hensarling. We wish them well in their push to bring fresh blood to the top of their caucus. …
…we think Republican interests would be best served by having at least one member of the top leadership who represents the post-2006 party and whose existence in the leadership depends entirely on the reformist members who are not part of the GOP’s “comfortable caucus.” It is important to understand that the definition of these leadership jobs changed after Nov. 7. They are no longer about management so much, since there is no longer a majority to manage. Instead, they will require finding and effectively advocating issues that discomfit Democrats and make them vulnerable in 2008. That task will require both a clear sense of the issues that divide the parties and a sure political touch.
Last week, Republicans suffered their defeat. Now it’s time for them to begin their renewal.
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