Elizabeth Dole is in the running for head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. She'd be the first woman in the post, and Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts are behind her. Her challenger is Minnesota's Norm Coleman, who has Jim Talent in his ranks. (Brownback, BTW, is being cited as a promoter of an Orwellian conception of censorship, according to LA Citybeat.)
We've seen a lot of celebration among Republicans (some in this blog) of the new heights of their party -- but a word of caution to their party comes from The Weekly Standard, of all places. It envisions this scene at the Democratic Convention of 2008 and ties it to the current debate on where moderate Republicans like Kansas-raised Pennsylvanian Arlen Specter play in the party:
Fast forward four years. The Democrats have convened in late summer in Cleveland to nominate former Virginia governor Mark Warner and Senator Barack Obama. It is the third night of the convention, and the Democrats have chosen as their keynote speaker . . . Arlen Specter. Or Olympia Snowe. Or Chuck Hagel. Or some other GOP big who has grown disgusted with his or her inability to have any influence on Republican deliberations. So they have bolted, bringing a message that their party breached its pledge to govern with the interests of the entire country in mind.
The prevention of just this sort of scenario is at the core of the debate over Senator Arlen Specter's rise to the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. A national party would welcome the visibility of a member whose views are not always--or even often--in step with the majority's ideology. A national party intent on a generation of authority would avoid the mistake Democrats made when they drove every pro-life official from its leadership ranks.
Exactly. The temptation of any majority is for subgroups to start purges. The Democrats are paying for some moves they made a generation ago, and if the GOP doesn't watch it, they are in danger of becoming the caricature their enemies make them to be. Your ball, Elephants. Be careful.