Over the past week, I'm sure that many of you have seen me take Senator Cornyn's side in the Crist-Rubio endorsement debate. Specifically, I've pointed out the difficult questions that Cornyn must tackle, given, (a) his specific responsibilities as NRSC chair and (b) the overwhelming constraints he faces leading a 40-seat GOP coalition.
I'm disappointed that, IMO of course, many Redstaters seem to be ignoring Cornyn's responsibilities, and especially the constraints upon him. After twenty-plus years in the military, I've learned that decisionmakers often adopt an unpalatable Course of Action, if they feel that the alternatives are worse.
Many of you have expressed your desire to see Senator Cornyn succeed in his efforts to revive GOP fortunes in the Senate. OK, then: help him out by giving him some idea of what risks you're willing to accept elsewhere, in order to run Marco Rubio for Senate in Florida.
I'm sure many of you will disagree with the assumptions behind this scenario---but, play along with me. I think these assumptions accurately reflect the constraints upon Senator Cornyn, and how those constraints impact his choices of action options.
Rubio isn't nearly as well-known as Cornyn is. He also doesn't have the experience Cornyn does. Therefore, he's going to have to work harder to gain the acceptance, and then the support, of FL voters.
FL is a big state, so TV ads are important in a political campaign. Rubio will need lots of ads, not only so FL voters get to know him, but also so they decide he's worthy of election to the Senate.
The Dems will be flush with cash. They'll blanket the state with ads. Those ads will not only introduce their candidate; they'll tell all sorts of tails about this fellow Rubio, whom few Floridians really know. Cornyn will then have to spend extra money on defense, rebutting the tall tales the Dems and their allies are telling.
Enter Barack Obama. Expect him to spend lots of time in Florida, raising money and generating PR. If the Florida local media is as addicted to Hopium as the rest of the MSM is, expect fawning coverage.
From all that, I can see where GOP leadership would conclude that it's going to be a lot more expensive to elect Marco Rubio than Charlie Crist.
IIRC, in 2010 several currently R seats are viewed as on life support, if not doomed. Off the top of my head: Voinovich's in Ohio, and perhaps Gregg's in NH. In those Northeastern, union-friendly states, expect Team Obama to flood those D election efforts with cash. If it's at all possible to hold those seats for the GOP, it's going to be very very expensive.
Pretend you're John Cornyn. Your staff has crunched the numbers and determined that, if the NRSC has to commit large amounts of money to elect Rubio in FL, it has to be ready to lose another GOP seat elsewhere. The resources simply aren't there to win both fights.
Which do you pick?
For me, I pick Rubio. I accept the risk that I'm going to lose a Senate seat for six years in OH or NH, in order to have the chance (not the "guarantee") of electing a bright future GOP star in Florida.
BUT, I accept the risk that I may lose that seat to a concerted Dem election efforts that outspends me. I also accept the risk that I'll lose another Senate seat elsewhere in the country, and be that much less able to fight cloture efforts.
I also accept the risk that I'll be less able to influence treaties, executive branch appointments and judicial appointments. I accept the risk that, when the GOP does return to national power, it is more likely to find:
- a lifetime federal judiciary united in opposition to conservative ideals.
- a regime of international treaties---to which the US has agreed to---that impinge upon our soverignty and make us weaker abroad
- a depleted Federal treasury
Those are big risks to take. Is it worth it?
What say you? It's easy to criticize. Pretend you have to make the decisions Cornyn has to make, facing the challenges he faces. Is it worth it?