Republicans have every reason to feel cocky today. My advice? Get over it tomorrow.
Because if history is any guide victors’ glow can be fleeting. Think about it. Remember that it was only two years ago that the Grand Old Party was in a grand old funk, all but written off by the likes of Time Magazine and so many others, for blowing off a presidential election it should have won.
"...it’s good for Republicans to remember that this election was more about voters hating Democrats than loving Republicans."
Media pundits bemoaned a party that had failed to get out the vote, maybe because its message was stale and dry. Just two years prior to that, in the last mid-term elections, Republicans were on a roll, and having taken control of the House of Representatives, were setting their sights on the White House and all but guaranteed to make Barack Obama a one-termer.
My only point in mentioning these three instances is to remind Republicans and Democrats now that life is kind of like a snap shot -- once snapped, then shot. Then life moves on, and today’s glorious victors are tomorrow’s ignominious losers. Democrats are experiencing that now, just as they did 20 years ago this very month. Remember November 1994, and the Gingrich revolution, and the humbling of another Democratic president for whom the media had similarly written his political obituary?
Or go back to Richard Nixon’s landslide re-election in 1972. Not even two years later, he was out of office. Such are the vagaries of political life. And Republicans would be wise to grasp the volatility that is increasingly a political rule of thumb. The only way for Republicans to break that cycle of feast and famine is to first recognize the political pendulum always swings between feast and famine. Things change, a lot, and fast.
That’s why it’s incumbent on both parties to not just seize this moment for the good of the country, but for the good of themselves. Hubris has killed more fast-rising political stars and party fortunes than any scandal ever could. Victors get complacent. Losers get depressed. Until the victors stumble and the losers seem to catch a break.
I think it’s good for Republicans to remember that this election was more about voters hating Democrats than loving Republicans. That doesn’t mean Republicans shouldn’t celebrate. It just means they shouldn’t get drunk with power assuming they always will.