It is all but a given that the GOP will take control of the Senate this November. I'm in no way suggesting that we be complacent, rather we must redouble our efforts to elect true conservatives who will begin to restore sanity to our government.
But it is a worthwhile exercise to begin to contemplate the make-up of the next GOP Senate caucus, and what it portends for the furtherance of the conservative agenda.
The GOP now has 47 senators. I believe that all GOP incumbents will win reelection. Also, the GOP will flip the following SEVEN seats:
Florida, Missouri, Montana, N. Dakota, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin.
In addition, I believe we can take one or two of the following states:
Michigan, Minnesota, W. Virginia, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Mexico
But we won't assume any of these. Thus, the next GOP caucus will consist of 54 members. It will take 28 to elect the next majority leader.
So let's divide the caucus into two camps, and let's call them the "New Breed" and the "Old Guard" based on their voting histories and establishment ties, and their perceived willingness in the past to "just go along.." ( including loyalty to McConnell)
Old Guard: McConnell, Blunt, Cornyn, Shelby, Murkowski, McCain, Chambliss, Isakson, Grassley, Roberts, Collins, Brown, Cochran, Wicker, Graham, Alexander, Hatch
New Breed: Thune, Barasso, Sessions, Boozman, Rubio, Crapo, Risch, Kirk, Coats, Moran, Paul, Vitter, Johanns, Heller, Ayotte, Burr, Hoeven, Portman, Inhofe, Coburn, Toomey, DeMint, Corker, Lee, Johnson, Enzi
We can likely assume that the 7 Dem seats that will be turned over will also fall into the "New Breed." And the seats of the four retiring GOP senators, from Texas, Indiana, Arizona, Nebraska, will all be filled by conservative "New Breed" Republicans.
That makes the "New Breed" total 26 + 7 + 4 = 37
Now, not all these races are going to go as I've predicted here ( though we could actually win MORE seats) and some I have classified as the "New Breed" may be loathe to go against McConnell, but hey, it doesn't take the CBO to tell us that 37 is a LOT MORE than 17.
And I suspect that McConnell, and a few other senators, like DeMint, are also doing the math every day.
To be blunt, if McConnell doesn't stand up to Reid at every opportunity, for the rest of this term, and in the all-important, and inevitable lame-duck, then McConnell will NOT be the next Majority Leader.
No "partial" repeal of Obamacare. No aquiescing on radical judical appointments. Absolutely NO increase in the debt ceiling unless we get everything we want as far as spending cuts and tax reform. Force votes on entitlement reform. THE WHOLE NINE YARDS.
If McConnell won't. then we will find someone who will. In my list of 37 "New Breeders", there is almost a simple majority ( 27) of the caucus by itself who can force the issue.
I can easily see someone like Ron Johnson ( who famously told his fellow GOP senators that "..he didn't come to DC to 'get along' he came here to fix things.." getting exasperated enough to go to DeMint and say that he will run against McConnell unless DeMint will do so.
In short, my fellow conservatives and Tea Party members, there's the potential for mutiny in the air, and the total shake-up, and possible eradication of the GOP Establishment that for so long has been part of the problem, and NOT the solution.
And one last happy thought to ponder:
If you think that 2012 looks bad for the Senate Democrats, well, 2014 looks even worse.
There are 20 Dems up in 2014, and 13 Republicans. Every GOP seat looks quite safe, even if a few senators choose to retire.
Not so for the Democrats:
I will flat out predict that at least SEVEN will announce their retirements:
Landrieu, Baucus, Hagan, Johnson, Warner, Rockefeller.
Some are guaranteed losers. Other might win a difficult, but expensive race, but why, WHY go to all that trouble just to sit in the MINORITY Dem caucus. Far better to retire and earn the BIG lobbying $$$. And here are a few more Dems are are potentially vulnerable..Levin, Lautenberg.
Can you say 60 seat GOP supermajority in 2014?
( And you wonder why the Dems are all of a sudden willing to consider ending the filibuster...now you know)
Personally, I don't know if Mitch McConnell has the cojones for the battles ahead these coming months. We will find out, and more importantly, McConnell will find out if his troops will allow him to lead them.
Right now, I'd say it's even money either way.