Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who cares about the Senate majority?

From Marc Thiessen of The Washington Post on Sept. 28:
If Republicans fall a few votes short of taking back the Senate in November, the Tea Party's detractors have their headline already written: "Extremist candidates cost GOP the majority." So let me put it out there well before Election Day: Who cares if Republicans win control of the Senate come November? If enough conservative insurgents are elected to put Republicans back in power, wonderful. But if a few falter, and the Democrats manage to keep control, that's fine as well. The Tea Party isn't going anywhere. Better to wait another election cycle and make certain the next Republican majority is a fiscally conservative majority.

The uprising of 2010 is not about a Republican restoration; it is about a Republican reformation. Conservative insurgents are running not only to change Washington but to change the GOP and restore its reputation as the party of fiscal discipline. Ken Buck, the Tea Party-backed Republican senate nominee on Colorado, puts it this way: "Republicans have been a big part of the problem. I'm not going to Washington, D.C., to fit in with big-spending Republicans." Insurgents like Buck recognize that the GOP's imminent electoral success masks a deep-seated problem: Republicans in Congress are even less popular than the Democrats. A recent Associated Press poll found that while 60 percent of the country disapproves of the job Democrats are doing on Capitol Hill, 68 percent disapprove of the job Republicans are doing. If Republicans were to gain the majority and return to their big-spending ways, the damage to the party's reputation could be permanent. That would be a much greater disaster for the GOP than failing to take control this time around.


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