See MyDD here.
Whether the Republicans come back in 2010 or 2012 has little to do with their ability to generate new ideas and everything to do with how Democrats govern.
If Democrats fail to deliver on big promises, the pendulum will swing back. If Democratic leaders succeed, no think-tank generated "new Republican ideas" will prevent a political realignment in our favor.
If only we could explain this concept to the Democrats in the U.S. Senate who are eager to strip from the stimulus bill the government spending that would help the economy by creating jobs (school reconstruction) or increasing consumer spending (more money for food stamps). Those same so-called "centrist" Democrats favor leaving in tax cuts that provide much less "bang for the buck" (tax credits for business, fixing the alternative minimum tax). . . .
In the name of bipartisanship and compromise, Democrats in the Senate may approve a stimulus bill that won't work. That will do more to revive the Republican Party than the think tank Michael Steele axed. Even if a handful of Senate Republicans vote for the stimulus, Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats will pay the price if the economy continues to decline.
President Obama deserves much of the blame for the sad turn the stimulus debate has taken. His negotiating strategy was deeply flawed, as debcoop and Theda Skocpol have explained. He should have started the debate on the stimulus with a much higher dollar number and a clear statement that he would not accede to failed Republican ideology. . . .