Kathryn Lopez

I'll be honest, I'm a geek. I've been a political junkie for years -- since, well, since longer than I care to remember. I was watching C-SPAN when I really should have been doing normal kid stuff. I cried the night Bill Clinton won. But even I can't get myself that excited about this November's elections. Even the traditional scare tactics aren't really motivating me. Nancy Pelosi for Speaker! Impeachment hearings! If even I can't get fired up by this stuff, there's little hope for others; they may just fall back on a "throw the bums out" strategy. It's a depressing reality.

Even Republicans talking about the war and explaining the stakes might not do it. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., has emerged as a valuable voice of clarity on the war. Americans are discouraged by the violence in Iraq, so talking about Iran's nuclear threat can be a bummer on the campaign trail -- but Santorum talks about it, like an adult.

What a contrast to the likes of Pelosi and her fellow Democrats. Indeed, the one thing that may break the midterm election fatigue/indifference/malaise and put Republicans in a winning position is the contrast the Democrats offer to Santorum-style maturity. Turn a microphone on some Democratic leaders: That might be what makes the difference and keeps the GOP in power in Washington. The president's Sept. 11, 2006, speech may prove to be a brilliant political move. Not directly because of anything he said -- but because of what they said afterward.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.