Word is circulating around the MSM that Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) is on top of the list of Obama’s choices for Commerce Secretary. The Washington Post is reporting it as is Yahoo News via an AP story.
What is not absolutely clear is whether Gregg would take the position although early indications are he would. This is important for any number of reasons but the following come to mind:
1) Gregg gives Obama cover by making his Cabinet bi-partisan in content and assists the promotion of Obama’s agenda, despite the “R” after his name. Gregg was the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and “… helped devise the $700 billion bank bailout package that passed last year.”
2) Peeling away a Republican weakens the GOP’s minority position, possibly rendering them irrelevant. If Gregg accepts the position, New Hampshire’s Governor, John Lynch (D), appoints his replacement. While it is not guaranteed Lynch will appoint a Democrat to Gregg’s Republican seat, should he do so that would give the Democrats a filibuster proof majority in the Senate to go along with their huge House majority margin. It would effectively mean the GOP could do nothing to stop anything Obama and the Democrats put their mind to doing.
There would seem to be little downside for Obama in the move, assuming Gregg accepts the offer. The GOP loses a Senator to the Cabinet where he would generally be expected to toe the Obama line and not the reality line regarding the value, impact and consequence of Obama policy. If he refuses to play, well, Cabinet members change all the time and any other damage is already done.
If Lynch appoints a Democrat, which he will be incredibly pressured to do by the Obama administration, the GOP loses its ability to stop Obama and Democrats from doing whatever they like. If Lynch appoints a Republican there is still the Coleman/Franken race to fall back on along with any number of other squishy GOP Senators. Obama loses nothing and simply reverts to exactly where he is right now and still holds options. It’s a savvy political move that allows him to behave as if he believed in bi-partisanship and yet, if successful, means there need be no attention paid to bi-partisanhip at all. One need not be politically astute at all to see how Dems, the Left and the MSM will be spinning this.
The only downside for Obama here is if Gregg flatly refuses the offer and goes on to consistently oppose Obama’s ruinous agenda. Even then, Obama gets to say he tried to be bi-partisan.
As those of us here in Tennessee have learned the hard way in recent weeks, the national GOP is learning now. Not being able to count on your troops when you need them is costly. When GOP pols put personal advancement ahead of party, principle and the People, the Democrats win.
Being far more willing to subvert the will of the people any way possible if they cannot triumph at the ballot box, Democrats have an advantage. As Ayn Rand’s classic, “Atlas Shrugged” notes, and Saul Alinsky trumpets in “Rules for Radicals”, those who have no principles should defeat those who do by using their principles against them.
Democrats and Republicans alike should take note. This is a victory for the Democrat’s political elite by any means necessary strategy, not a strategy designed to do what is best for the country or even for their side. It is also an argument the GOP needs to finally go ahead and lose to its less powerful factions. Working to elect and preserve Moderate and Liberal Republicans will only ever provide you a benefit when the stakes are small. When the stakes are big, the Squishies will find the nearest bus and proceed to toss with wild abandon, confident they are doing the right thing.
Perhaps it’s time to take a long look at what the GOP’s ultimate goal is. Do we want a toothless majority which does little to advance GOP principles? Or are we willing to be realistic and say we have more work to do and allow the Squishies to fall by the wayside and work to achieve majorities which can be relied on?