Paul Jacob

While many Democrats recognize the stark climate for the coming elections, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) thinks there may be a silver lining. The House Democrats’ 2010 campaign leader assured his fellow incumbents that “this is not 1994 déjà vu.” Why not? Simple: Hollen could point to dozens of polls showing the public doesn’t much trust or care for the Republicans, either.

At their retreat, congressional Republicans floated the idea of another “Contract With America,” combining a number of policy proposals actually popular with the American people, as they did to sweep to the majority in the 1994 elections.

This likely won’t work. At least, it seems dead on arrival . . . if proposed by the same old Republican congressional leaders, anyway. American voters may not have long memories, but they don’t have amnesia.

Republicans still haven’t accounted for their bad behavior when they had control of Congress. The same leadership heads the GOP in both chambers. Worse still, that same leadership exhibits the same disconnect with the people.

So, rejoice in today’s revolution against the Democrats. Just I rejoiced in the Republicans being sacked in 2006. And the Democrats being sacked in 1994.

But as much as sacking seems always and everywhere warranted, it’s too much like an old Monty Python skit.

If Republicans learn nothing from the current repudiation, they will serve as nothing other than the Democrats’ most valuable asset, another chance — or excuse — for the ancient party’s quick revival. Indeed, the Republicans, today, are to the Democrats what the Democrats are to the Republicans: The best thing they have going for them.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.