The GOP decline starts Phase Two

Republicans seem to be enjoying their August delirium and perhaps they should. For them, it only gets worse from here as the economy improves and Democrats ride growth—and their enactment of health-care reform—into the midte

History does repeat itself—its central plot is recognizable even if the details of the drama are different. In a classic New Yorker cartoon of 1936, a gaggle of the affluent, including women in fashionable fur, stop outside a tony Manhattan residence where a tuxedoed butler is serving drinks. They tell their friends inside: "Come along. We're going to the Trans-Lux to hiss Roosevelt."

The legendary cartoonist Peter Arno perfectly captured the ideological frustration of the right wing as it watched an activist government, led by a president on course for a second electoral triumph, usher in economic recovery and major reform, including Social Security, which gained the support of only one Republican on the crucial vote before final passage.* (Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same: See this year's vote on the economic stimulus bill.)

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