Is this where once-great political parties go to die?

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Is this where once-great political parties go to die?

Lenin returning triumphantly to Finland Station. Napoleon plotting his phoenix-like second act from the Isle of Elba. Churchill drawing up anti-Nazi battle plans from his subterranean War Room in London. To these celebrated, epochal political events we would like to humbly submit one more: Congressman Eric Cantor single-handedly rescuing the Republican Party over crazy bread at an Arlington strip-mall pizza joint.

Yes, our favorite chisel-jawed ambition machine is back at it again, and this time it’s war! O.K., maybe not war, exactly, but at least a well-publicized skirmish that will surely one day be celebrated in story and exalted in song by conservatives everywhere (hmm…what rhymes with “Pie-tanza?”).

To resurrect the party, Cantor summoned a phalanx of forward-looking, untarnished conservative voices that would help him lead his fellow Republicans out of the wilderness. Or he would have, if they’d been available.

After watching his party’s standing in the polls plummet by the day, and seeing the number of congressional Republicans continue to dwindle due to attrition, lost elections and outright defection (thanks a lot, Arlen Specter—you just lowered the number of Jewish Republicans serving in Congress to exactly one), Cantor finally decided that enough was enough. And so, with the bright-eyed alacrity of a true warrior, he summoned a phalanx of forward-looking, untarnished conservative voices that would help him lead his fellow Republicans out of the wilderness.

Oh, wait—scratch that. Those folks apparently weren’t available, so Cantor settled for Mitt Romney, the Mormon Ken doll who totally stunk up last year’s presidential primary, and Jeb Bush, the brother of the guy who destroyed the GOP brand in the first place. Kudos, Congressman Cantor! We’re absolutely certain that the first gathering of your National Council for a New America was rife with the smell of victory. (Or maybe that was a burning sausage calzone—sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart.)

O.K., all joshing aside, we would like to commend Cantor for his efforts. After all, at least he’s doing something. After Senator Specter’s surprise elephant-to-donkey reassignment surgery (which is far more painful than it looks, believe us), the Republicans seemed so dispirited and disorganized, we were half-afraid that the once-proud party would simply give up altogether— thereby reducing our reservoir of crude political jokes to a stagnant puddle.

No, our problem with House Minority Whip Cantor is not his overweening drive or ubiquitous media presence—we love that! To be honest, our chief concern has to do with the man’s follow-through. Just as we winced when Cantor spearheaded the anti-Obama budget battle, and then helped produce a glossy Republican “alternative budget” pamphlet chock full of pretty pictures and completely devoid of actual numbers, so too do we fear for the future of the NCNA when its first event is full of has-beens and also-rans, and its promotional materials prominently feature John McCain, the septuagenarian sourpuss who blew the last presidential race by the largest margin since Bob Dole.

Come on, Cantor—you’re better than this! We beg of you: save the Republican Party before it’s too late, or we’ll be reduced to doing dinner theater for the Stony Point Rotary Club Ladies Auxiliary. Or worse, trying to rouse the carb-scarfing masses at an Arlington strip-mall pizza joint. And we all know what a nightmare that can be.

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