It may be a bit too early to celebrate, Republicans

Normally, I’m not a big fan of Politico.

The MSM-ish, all-the-politics-all-the-time Web product once occupied a place on my blogroll when I was using Blogspot. But I tired of their cable news-like approach to political reporting. That approach is basically summed up in one word: drama. If there is no drama, create some. Plus political gossip is found there more often than not. I don’t like that. But that’s just me, the old-time newspaper guy who had to count headlines and paste-up pages in the early days of his career. I’m certain there are those print guys much older, or who started before me, who really are the old-timers. I’m just being half-ass facetious.***

With all that blather I speak of Politico because there is a very good article on it today which cites reasons the Republican Party isn’t as well off as many believe it to be. Politico founder and executive editor Jim VandeHei and writer James Hohmann report that a few unexpected victories, including that most recently of nude model Scott Brown who took the Kennedy Senate seat, have the GOP riding high.

But while some Republicans lick their chops at the prospect at taking over Congress in November, other GOP-ers are saying not so fast.

VandeHei and Hohmann point out that the poll numbers show what everyone including Republicans should know, that the public is not crazy about the Grand Old Party. The speculation mentioned in this article gives the GOP an outside chance at re-taking the Senate and a fatter chance at ruling the House. The article also correctly points that this is January and November will be in November.

Republican leaders say part of their problem is getting their agenda out there. Other party leaders fret that the GOP lacks a brand. Meanwhile, party minority whip Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia wrings his hands over a lack of diversity among candidates.

Other formidable problems also puzzle the GOP elite. The public likes President Barack Obama, for one, and, correctly, feel like he inherited a big financial mess from Gee Dubya Bush. Money, or lack thereof, is perhaps the biggest problem facing Republicans, according to VandeHei and Hohmann. We’re talking campaign cash and not a Washington bailout.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle for the Republicans to overcome is not mentioned in the article, as informative as it is. That is the party has a big case of see no evil, hear no evil, fear no evil.

For instance, the perceived agenda problem. What agenda are they talking about? I suppose if they had an agenda other than being super-obstructionist, then that would be a problem. They have no problem promoting their agenda if it is attacking everything done by the Democrats.

And as for lacking a brand, why the GOP has unfortunately branded themselves already as the Obstructionist-Pig-headed-Bassackwards-Reactionary party. Cantor does see the forest for the trees at least for the diversity problem. But — and perhaps fate is involved here — everything the Republicans do turns to feces. The same can be said of their diversity hire program. I give you exhibit A, Republican party chairman Michael Steele.

The GOP needs money yet they always seem to find some spare change lying around. However, the whole animus towards Republicans today is based on the fact that most folks who are not Republicans and even many Republicans themselves think the party and its leaders — whomever they are — stinks to high heaven.

The Politico article is a great read and will only take up a few minutes of your time. I think whether you are Republican, Democrat or Save the Bluenose Rat partisans you will find something instructive on what the GOP looks like at the moment. If you are a Republican you might come down off your high from winning in Massachusetts a few moments, but that could be a good thing to think about which way your party is headed. If you are a Democrat you might be a bit encouraged, but not too much.

As for as the Independents and Bluenose Rat lovers, well you can take what you will from it. All in all, the piece is one Politico could use more of instead of the gossip and faux drama that too often fills up the site.

***In reality I shouldn’t be so hard on Politico. VandeHei is a longtime journalist who covered the White House and other political matters for The Washington Post as well as other distinguished newspapers. The site is doing something new and I give them a B for effort. But I give them a D for overall content for the reasons to which I alluded.