Looking Towards the Booby Prize
On any given day- whether here at RedState, Townhall or any other conservative website as well as any liberal website- the majority of discourse is on either general topics like pending legislation/proposals OR Presidential politics. While we here at RS play pundit regarding the GOP nomination and put our two cents worth forward in support of our particular favorite nominee, there is an equally important battle that cannot be overlooked. I looked at articles here and at liberal sites over a week’s time and found that there is bispartisanship when it comes to the congressional elections in 2012. A mere 10% of articles on either side is dedicated to this subject. I realize that most likely that will change as we get closer to the actual election and that the big news of the day is the GOP nomination process playing itself out now.
Let us look at the importance of the Congressional elections. We currently control the House and we should maintain control come 2012. Yes, there will most likely be a loss of seats, but not enough to bring back the era of Pelosi II (thank God). Despite their public posturing, it still looks that come January 2013, the House will be in Republican hands albeit with a slightly smaller majority (maybe 5-10 seats).
The main battle will be in the Senate. There, unless the GOP shoots itself in the foot and pulls a Delaware/Colorado again, the Republicans are poised to win a majority there and take control of the upper house. Thus far, unless something changes- and there is plenty of time for change to happen- I cannot see the eventual GOP candidate, whether Romney or some other candidate, defeating Obama. Too many things would have to happen. There is no doubt that states like Indiana will revert to red, that Missouri will be staunchly in our corner and we may even flip states like Nevada, Wisconsin, or even Iowa and Pennsylvania. Still, there is too much offense to play while Obama has to play defense. And I do not believe anyone in the field has the tools to play the offense necessary to carry states like possibly Ohio and definitely Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. I am not a pessimist, but a realist and I will most definitely fight for and support the eventual Republican nominee because I feel the alternative- Barack Obama and his policies- does not represent the America I love. In essence, this could be the “none of the above” election and unfortunately that would hand victory to the incumbent.
Besides, let us look ahead a little. Who on earth does the Democratic Party have in the pipeline for 2016? Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton? Perhaps the only other viable name I have heard bandied about recently is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who sounds suspiciously almost Republican of late with his “no tax increase” talk and “high taxes are not conducive to attracting business and jobs” rhetoric. Some other long shots are: Kay Hagan, Tim Kaine (if he wins Virginia Senate race first), Ed Rendell (great for Philly, bad for PA), Russ Feingold (President Feingold? Yeah, right), Mike Beebe (Arkansas again), and God forbid Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Meanwhile, on our side we have Mike Pence (most likely the next Governor of Indiana), Marco Rubio, Susannah Martinez, John Thune, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, and maybe a revamped Tim Pawlenty. All of these names are intellectual heavyweights compared to most of what the Democrats can offer up in 2016. The point is that 2016 may be the better opportunity to win the White House and that a GOP defeat in 2012 should not be a source of consternation.
Some may look at winning the Senate as the booby prize in 2012. That is hardly the case. By winning the Senate, the GOP would set the legislative agenda. Although they would not have a filibuster proof majority, they could still force the President to make some decisions that would clearly pit him and other liberals against the vast majority of Americans- lower taxes, smaller government, repeal of Obamacare, etc. OR, in the alternative, it would force Herr Obama to tack seriously to the center and, in an effort to improve his legacy, actually work more seriously with Republicans rather than be beholden to his liberal base. In either case, a majority in the Senate is a bigger prize than the White House- and more realistic.
In conclusion, it is imperative that the GOP put forward the most winnable nominee in the Senate races. That may involve some compromise on the part of many. For example, an Olympia Snowe may have to be supported because, quite frankly, any GOP alternative simply will not win. We can play the “I’m more conservative than you” game in states like Utah and Oklahoma, but that game is recipe for defeat and disaster, as it was in Delaware in 2008 and Colorado the same year. In fact, I really wish that writers here and elsewhere would agree to an 18 month moratorium on the use of the term RINO.