The Republican Challenge

The New York Times has an in-depth story on the National Republican Congressional Committee, and its leader, Tom Cole (OK-4).  The NRCC is facing trouble raising money from a disenchanted base (one donor returned a fundraising letter full of feces), and they're also facing a shift in the electorate.  I thought this take, by one of Cole's deputies, was spot-on:

You go back to the Reagan years, and even before that, and we always had a three-legged stool: anti-Communism, anti-abortion and tax and spend [...] The first leg dropped off when the Berlin Wall fell, and after 9/11 we’ve tried to do the same thing with terrorism, but it’s not as strong. The second leg, tax and spend, was pretty strong until George Bush. Then we had just one leg of the stool, which was social issues, and I think that you look at the makeup of the younger generation and there’s more of a libertarian view on social issues.
The whole article is worth a read, because it appears that the NRCC, which was a factor in the 2006 election in the 29th, is under-resourced and over-stretched for 2008.