Magazine November 29, 2010, Issue

Congresses Compared

(Roman Genn)
History need not, and likely will not, repeat itself

Next year in Washington is not going to be a replay of 1995. The analogy is on everyone’s mind in the capital. Many Republicans worry that President Obama will win the public-relations war against Speaker-to-be John Boehner as handily as Bill Clinton bested Newt Gingrich. They should relax.

The parallels are obvious. Both times, a young Democrat had succeeded George Bush in the presidency and then worked with a Democratic Congress to push a liberal agenda. In the next election Republicans ran against big government and won elections up and down the ballot, picking up governorships and seats in the Senate, …

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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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