Kathryn Lopez

November, November, November is the song so many right-of-center voters, activists and politicians are singing. But the road to this year's mid-term elections is no cakewalk for anyone who voted against or opposed the highly unpopular socialization of health-care. Even before that weekend vote on Capitol Hill, if that November song was playing, there would be a political veteran in the crowd grumbling under his breath: "If we don't screw it up." By we, he meant Republicans. And somewhere a pessimist has bought nails, not screws, with which to seal the Grand Old Party's 2010 --and 2012 -- political coffin shut.

This bleak outlook is not called for yet. But, someone somewhere had better be making the phone call to key Republicans to scare them about the prospects.

There are plenty of signs that a good streak for the Republicans is winding down. The health-care loss was a big one, of paradigm-shaping proportions. But it was also a long time in coming. The Democrats talked and talked and talked about it, amidst a constant chorus of warning from the legislation's opponents. The only real surprise, frankly, was that it took the Dems as long as it did to pull it off, given the numbers they have in Washington. But, politically, the tide should turn a bit for the GOP. The Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts should be a precursor to many more victories in likely and not-so-likely places.

Sean Hannity FREE

Republicans, those in office and those aspiring to it, know that they have to have something to offer besides just being the opposition. They've got to be able to communicate a principled worldview tied to constitutional principles that have been a beacon for the life of our young nation thus far. They've got to pull off what Marco Rubio in Florida and Paul Ryan on the floor of the House have -- they've got to inspire people to believe that there's a reason to want them in Washington.

Recent headlines about Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, are not so cheering. This is what the predictive grumbling I mentioned earlier is about. The real problem facing the Republican National Committee right now is not some good publicity for the Democrats' poor fiscal decisions. The real threat facing the RNC has to do with tea.

Kathryn Lopez

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