This temporary truce owes much to the disarray of the Democrats and the near-panic among their ranks as The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin and Ashley parker. The ongoing collapse of Obamacare into chaos and transparent lawlessness is accelerating dismay among even some of the president’s core supporters and certainly among the ranks of the independents. Try as they might, Democrat can’t postpone all of the terrible impacts of the law past November. The premium hikes are in the pipeline since the enrollments have been so low and not demographically as screwed towards young people as was necessary keep premium shock a one-time deal. A second premium shock is on the way, as are many more doc shocks.
“One Democratic lawmaker,” the Times notes, “who asked not to be identified, said Mr. Obama was becoming ‘poisonous’ to the party’s candidates.” Continued failure at home and abroad isn’t going to give a lift to him or the party he leads, and the absurd attempt to turn page to minimum wage talk is seen for exactly what it is –a dodge, a ruse, a head fake.
Meanwhile, the Obama foreign policy epic fail rolls on and on, with a feckless and weak president retreating before very international challenge. All the GOP need do is (1) not launch really stupid and controversial initiatives (2) emphasize additional DOD spending to counter Russian adventurism and rising PRC militarism, and (3) not go out of there way to clip each other. The Speaker could also help energize GOP troops by announcing he won’t be standing for re-election as Speaker, and Leader McConnell could add some fuel to the midterm effort by laying out some basic rules of what a GOP Senate majority would pursue, including protection of the Supreme Court and appellate courts from more ideological extremism and as payback –necessary in politics– for Harry Reid’s reckless destruction of the filibuster.
There are 14 Senate races involving seats presently held by Democrats. Six wins of those are the big prize for the GOP, and more makes for a better governing coalition in 2015. Invest in these races first and often. Getting more than half of the 14 will be a political tsunami, and a higher number is not out of the question. There is no parallel for a party heading into a midterm in a second presidential term with such an enormous and expensive domestic policy failure occurring just as voting commences. The president’s incasing isolation from his party and his obvious contempt for his critics does nothing to encourage the electorate from doing anything except punishing him politically for acting unlike any other president of modern times: As his failures have mounted, the public perceives greater, not lesser arrogance. Not a wonderful recipe for an election.
Still, don’t count out the GOP shooting itself in the foot between now and November. Often. Dave Camp’s vanity tax plan is just one example of the politics of personal advancement trumping the best interests of the party. There may be other such “look at me” sideshows ahead. The GOP should focus on the deep disgorgement of facts about Obamacare, and on the case for a rebuilt American military, beginning with the sea services. Beltway sharpies tell themselves that Americans aren’t interested in such things. But they are. Deeply so. If the GOP hawks can breath some life into their arguments, this issue could add to the momentum coming into the fall. Repeal Obamacare and rebuild the Navy –short, sharp and instantly understood.
British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli had a rule about politics: “A majority is better than the best repartee.” The late Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, had a similar rule: “Just win baby.” The country badly, indeed desperately needs a GOP Congress, with the Senate and House coordinating the beginning of the recovery of national economic and military power. There are some hopeful signs out there. Pray they continue to mount, and pick some of the 14 to get behind financially.