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    Storming the Senate

    Storming the Senate

    According to Larry Sabato’s “Crystal Ball,” Republicans are likely to take control of the Senate in 2012:

    As we take a fresh look at next year’s Senate races, one thing is clear: Barring an unexpected reelection landslide by President Obama, Republicans are at least slightly favored to take the Senate. It’s just a basic matter of numbers.

    Republicans need to pick up either three or four seats, depending on whether they have the vice president’s tie-breaking vote in 2013. North Dakota is all-but-switched to the GOP already. Besides North Dakota, the hardest states for Democrats to hold will be Nebraska, Montana and Missouri, in that order, because it’s hard to imagine Obama winning any of those states. Nebraska will probably feature a runaway GOP presidential victory, further damaging Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D) chances of reelection.

    It’s still early, and anything (read: scandals, a changing economy and international events) could happen to alter the basic dynamics of 2012. Yet the Republicans have so many tempting Senate targets that Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could trade “minority” for “majority” in his leadership title quite easily.

    Don’t take anything for granted.  But this reminds us how important it is to protect the majority in the House and to take the Senate.

    Regardless of the current polling, the likelihood is that Obama will get reelected.  The mainstream media will not have it any other way.

    Think of the House and Senate as an umbrella insurance policy, protecting us in the case of another presidential electoral catastrophe.


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    One of the problems with most hardcore Republicans is that they fail to understand that perfect is the enemy of good. Stay away from social issues like abortion and gay marriage and focus on the real problems that affect every day Americans such as jobs, out of control spending and excessive regulations. The Tea Party movement understands this but hardcore Republicans fail to grasp this. With all of the candidates in the pool, no one candidate is perfect, so we divide up into small groups who fight among ourselves for a bit of the pie. And we lose.

    Cowboy Curtis | June 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    The Tea Party is the hardcore of the republican party. If you remove social issues from the mix, you gain a small portion on independents yet alienate over half your core support base (the people that volunteer for your campaigns and spend weekends knocking on doors). How does that put you ahead? McCain tried a variation of this in ’08, and it didn’t play out well.

    Abortion and gay marriage aren’t my big issues, but really, if they were such losers, then their supporters would actually have legislative victories to show for it.

    Subotai Bahadur | June 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Chuck Skinner | June 24, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Hi Chuck Skinner,

    I grant that I may be wrong on an individual Senator or two, but allow me to run down my chain of logic.

    1) IF there is a Republican takeover of the Senate, it is not going to be based on a sudden infatuation of the country with the Institutional Republicans. It is going to be based on the efforts of the Conservative base and the TEA Party, who are standing in opposition to the Obama regime and not trying to come to an accommodation with it.

    2) Keeping in mind that the Senators listed are all late 20th Century, early 21st Century party hacks; with the possible exception of Brown, who is still trying to fit into the Democrat template in Massachusetts. If they were bitten by a principle other than enriching/empowering themselves and their cronies; they would use their deluxe Congressional health care plan to run screaming for a shot of anti-venom.

    3) The atmosphere and balance of the Republican caucus is going to change drastically if they take the Senate. The listed Senators are going to have their prestige and power severely degraded. Also, if there is Republican control of both Houses, and especially if there is a non-RINO Republican as president; it is going to be extremely busy. If the country is to be saved, it is going to be like the British surrender at Yorktown; where the British Army band played “The World Turned Upside Down”. The things that are going to be changed, are the sources of their past power and wealth. They will have to stand against their friends across the aisle, and with those they despise. If they don’t go along with the program, they know that the new power in the Republican Party will be openly at war with them.

    3) Looking at the individuals:

    McCain: 75 years old. Term expires January 2017 regardless of what party he is in. He will be 81 years old, and he has more than a few health issues based on his treatment as a POW. He is in his last term, and is immune from the voters. He is primarily known in the Senate for stabbing Republicans in the back, and the Kerry campaign asked him to consider becoming the Democrat candidate for VP …. and he took weeks to say no.

    Graham: already on the TEA Party and Conservative Republican hit list to be primaried out of office when he comes up in 2014. He has nothing to lose in changing parties.

    Collins: same as Graham, except for putative change of gender.

    Snowe: same as Graham, except for putative change of gender and she may have that primary opponent in 2012. If she survives that challenge and the election, she will not have any reason to be loyal to those who are undoing the things she voted for.

    Note also, that there have already been media rumors of both Maine Senators considering a party switch because of the mutual dislike between themselves and the TEA Party.

    Brown: Professor Jacobson has had a few words about Brown.

    Murcowski: Not a principled bone in her body. Already willing to go Democrat.

    Can I assume that since you did not mention John Cornyn [up for re-election in 2014 and openly hostile to Conservatives and the TEA Party to the point of being willing to sabotage their campaigns when they are nominated] and Richard Lugar [up for re-election in 2012, no love lost between him and the TEA Party] who were on my list; that you do not rule out their switching?

    I would also hope that the voters in the individual states would rise up and demand whatever recall process (if applicable) be instituted to try to force any turn-coats from office.

    I really wish that we could. However, there is no Federal right of recall in the Constitution, and the only court decision I know on point is the Senator Bob Menendez recall attempt where on Nov. 18, 2010, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that even though New Jersey statutes specifically allow for such a recall, Federal law pre-empts.

    Hi Subotai Bahadur

    Your overall logic is sound. I would quibble with the following ideas, but they’re for the most part opinion, not necessarily factual:

    1.) I think that McCain has at least one more Senate campaign in him. I hope that he loses, if he does, or chooses to retire before his term is up, but I can see him taking the Robert Byrd / Strom Thurmond approach to the Senate and trying to die in office. Yes, his POW treatment is catching up to him, but I don’t think his overall health is so bad yet that without some major health issue he won’t be able to run for one more term. That being said, McCain can’t win in Arizona if he runs as a Democrat unless the Republican nature of Arizona is severely damaged by the 2016 cycle.

    2.) Senator Gramnesty I’m hoping will think that he can’t possibly win running as a Democrat in South Carolina, and that the independents will save him in the Republican Primary as an open primary state. This may cause him to moderate his more liberal leanings. If he does jump, I think he’s doomed, because the Liberals won’t vote for him. If I were one of his advisers, I would be telling him this.

    3.) Lugar I’m hoping will be defeated in a 2012 primary by the Tea Party candidate (or will decide to retire sometime between now and then if his polling looks awful enough).

    4.) Cornyn, I have a feeling, will end up getting on the right side of the TEA Party after the 2012 election. He is openly hostile to them NOW, but if he doesn’t get his act together quickly he will find his reelection chances VERY badly damaged given the electoral changes that are going on here in Texas. The Legislature is moving a solidly pro-Conservative agenda over the howls of the liberals, and the people of Texas resoundingly approve of it. If he’s not VERY contrite to the Conservatives by mid 2013, he will find himself on the wrong end of a very nasty primary fight which he will lose badly. I’m convinced that’s why Kay Bailey Hutchison is retiring, rather than risk a nasty primary which she very well might lose, especially after her poor showing in the primary election for Gov. of Texas against Perry.

    As for recall, there wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) be a federal procedure. It would have to be state-specific. The New Jersey Supreme Court decision can’t bind any other state which may or may not have a recall procedure (hopefully in their state constitution) where it would be controlled. The Menendez NJ Supreme Court decision is ridiculous on its face, and citing U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton*, 514 U.S. 779 (1995) as making term limits the same as a recall is absurd.

    Further, the suggestion that U.S. Term Limits’ argument that the Tenth Amendment doesn’t apply to such cases that “the states can exercise no powers whatsoever, which exclusively spring out of the existence of the national government, which the constitution does not delegate to them. . . . No state can say, that it has reserved, what it never possessed” is patently absurd as WELL as being a complete misreading of Federalism and a Constitution of LIMITS of Federal Power not of GRANTS of rights to states. The footnote where they specifically note the Convention’s rejection of the “Virginia Plan” which allowed states to recall Senators doesn’t PREVENT the recall, it just means that it is 10th Amendment DELEGATED to the States rather than having a Federal procedure for it. This is not a power that the people have ever expressly given up, nor would they give up willingly.

    I would much rather see a SCOTUS decision (or to see them demur to make a decision by expressly saying “that’s a political issue, take it to Congress” on an appeal from a State Supreme Court ruling one way or the other). Now, the New Jersey Menendez decision may actually give them that opportunity, and I’m REALLY hoping that SCOTUS says something, ANYTHING about it in order to give some clarity.

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