AN EXAMINER EDITORIAL on the Republican leadership:

The GOP majority’s electoral fate was sealed by the corrupt political culture embodied in the Bridge to Nowhere and the congressional leadership’s inability or unwillingness to put a stop to anonymous earmarking.

So what now? The first order of business is fresh leadership. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., has announced for House Minority Leader. Pence is a charismatic Reaganaut who has often led the conservative majority of the GOP in opposition to the Bush administration’s Big Government Republicanism on issues like spending and entitlements.

Pence clearly understands the GOP’s problem. . . .

On the Senate side, nothing would better demonstrate a new GOP commitment to its conservative principles than the promotion of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who more than anybody else in the Senate in recent years demonstrated an unswerving devotion to advancing conservative principles and programs.

Coburn particularly makes sense when it is understood that the Senate minority leader is not so much a legislative position as it is first and foremost a bully pulpit for articulating the case for reducing federal spending and intrusiveness, shining more light in the dark corners of Washington’s entrenched bureaucratic corruption and projecting creative ways of expanding individual choice and freedom for all Americans. Coburn has some rough edges, to be sure, and Old Bulls like Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Trent Lott, R-Mo., have fought him at every turn. But listening to Old Bulls in great part is what got the GOP in its present straits.

Old bulls spouting old bull . . . .