Now it’s the GOP’s turn

Now it’s the Republicans’ turn. Again.

True, the signs seemed to favor a Republican recapture of the White House, given the state of the economy, deteriorating situation in the Middle East, the murder of an ambassador in Libya and constant barrage of criticism of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

That didn’t happen and now Republicans seem trapped in a destructive funk.

Yet, it wasn’t that long ago that Democrats were in the wilderness, looking for a way to be politically relevant. That was 10 years ago, to be precise.

Then, Republicans held the White House and the House of Representatives and in the midterm election of 2002, captured the Senate, giving the GOP total control of the federal government.

From there, Democrats staged a comeback, building plans that culminated in recapturing Congress in 2006. Two years later, the Democrats took complete control of the federal government, which they maintained until 2010, when Republicans seized control of the House.

The GOP held the House in November, providing a bit of light in what Republicans have come to see as a bleak outcome so laden with disappointment that some, as Charles Ashby reported in Monday’s Daily Sentinel, see the nation at a “tipping point.” Blogger Jerry Hunsinger called for sedition and the establishment of a new country that would somehow insulate the GOP-leaning areas of the nation from the blue ones.

That prompts us to advise Republicans as gently as we can: Get a grip, people.

State Sen. Steve King, the county’s highest-ranking elected official and a Republican, said it a bit more gently when he advised Republicans to catch their breath and regain some sanity.

“Right now, it still hurts, it still stings,” King said, urging patience and the perspective of a little time from the November election.

In 1964, the Republican Party was declared DOA when Barry Goldwater was crushed by Lyndon Baines Johnson. Ditto 1976, when Democrats stormed GOP strongholds in the wake of Watergate.

November’s election left the United States in the hands of a divided government. We’re not persuaded that outcome was entirely accidental. Americans have seen in recent years the excesses of unfettered control of government by one party or the other and they seem to have opted for give and take.

Republicans in Mesa County should be particularly retrospective in the coming months. The November election returns underscored the fact of GOP control of the most populous Colorado county west of the Continental Divide.

Despite Mesa County’s deep red tinge and enthusiastic turnout for Mitt Romney, the county will have absolutely no heft in the Legislature, given the Republican Party’s minority status. Just as significant, the Mesa County GOP’s failure to field candidates capable of appealing to the center will have far-reaching consequences, none likely to be beneficial.

Republicans nationwide indeed have much to think about, but we suggest that listening to the counsel of Steve King will pay off long before the histrionics of modern-day secessionists.


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