The article starts by suggesting that the Republicans have an advantage in terms of taking the Senate in 2014 because 20 of the 32 Senators up for re-election are Democrats. Sounds great, right? Moreover, we only need to win 6 seats and 12 of those 20 Democrats are in “a state that is red or swing.” Gee, that sounds really great! What are those red/swing state? Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia.
Uh. . . no.
Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota and West Virgina are reliable blue states. So scratch them off the list. Moreover, states like Virginia and North Carolina are trending blue. And don't forget, we lost red states North Dakota and Montana in the last Senate election cycle, and we lost Alaska before that. In fact, reaching back, we lost both Montana seats, both Virginia seats, both West Virginia seats, both Colorado seats, and both Minnesota seats in the past few years. Not to mention the Democrats in Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and South Dakota are long-time incumbents, and the Democrats are very good at picking people who play well in those states. So what we're really looking at is maybe two vulnerable seats. Hence, forget winning.
But wait! This article also assures us the issues are on our side. Which issues? Well, Obama’s gun control push will force Democrats either to “back the President’s gun control agenda or risk handing their GOP opponents an effective talking point.” Really? What if the Democrats just do what they always do. . . they go home and talk about the need to save us from guns while simultaneously swearing they will protect the Second Amendment. Then they watch the House kill Obama’s proposal and the issue dies without them ever taking a stand. Huh, didn't see that one coming.
Wait, there's more!
“If the Republicans play their cards right,” the debt-ceiling debate is another “edge” the Republicans hold. Ha ha ha ha! Ok, first, the Republicans never play their cards right. Secondly, there is no right play here.
(1) You can’t play chicken with someone who wants you to hit their car, which is what the Democrats are. They want the Republicans to appear to wreck the government and the economy. . . it gives them cover.But more fundamentally, do you notice anything missing here? Yeah, the actual goal. This is Underwear Gnome Theory again: STEP ONE, hold country hostage... STEP TWO, _____... STEP THREE, profit. Seriously, this person is telling you the fiscal cliff holdup will win the day for us and they don't even realize there's no actual demand, there's just the holdup and the assumption of victory.
(2) Do you really think anyone cares if the debt ceiling is $14 or $15 trillion? No. This is not an issue that you die for. And die it will be because the Republicans will be tarred with claims that (i) Social security will stop making payments, (ii) Medicare will stop paying doctors, (iii) soldiers won’t get paid, (iv) unemployment benefits will stop coming. . . all because the Republicans are trying to score political points to extract some worthless, meaningless promise of cuts that will never happen.
And they aren't done. Apparently, the evil Democrats in the Senate have “refused to pass a budget for the last four years. (Why aren’t we hearing more about this !?1?!)”. Good grief. We aren’t hearing more about this because it's technocratic bullship. Taxes get collected. Agencies get their share. Money gets spent. Programs continue. There is no substance to this argument, it's all procedure.
So look at what you're being sold here. You're being told there is the promise of a takeover of the Senate because 12 of 20 Democratic seats are vulnerable. The reality is we're talking about two. You're being told the Democrats will be forced to admit they want to round up guns, which won't happen. You're being told the public will magically fall in love with us if we disrupt the government for some goal to be named later. And you're being told the public will suddenly love us if we make the Democrats fill out Form A instead of Form B. This is delusional. Please do not believe this crap.
But even putting this aside, do you see the real problem? Ask yourself, what is our agenda? What are we offering the public? The answer which this pundit thinks is so wonderful is: (1) Stop Obama from doing something about guns. (2) Stop Obama from spending more money. Translation: vote for us so nothing changes!
If the Republicans ever want to win again, they need some actual ideas. They need to tell people how they will make the job market grow. How they will fix the housing market. How they will fix the student loan problem. How they will make the country safer. How they will make kids smarter and less ugly. “Vote for me and I’ll make sure nothing changes,” simply doesn’t work, and we need to stop accepting it.
Here are three names that are at least making moves in the right direction. Bobby Jindal is trying to eliminate the income tax in Louisiana. The same thing needs to be brought to the national level. Marco Rubio is talking about immigration reform. Again, we need to stop the bleeding on this issue and admit the inevitable. Rand Paul is talking about a foreign policy that involves a strong military, but dropping the idea that we should bomb everyone on the planet.
These ideas are a good start. They barely scratch the surface of what we need, but they at least are something more than “Vote for me and I’ll make sure nothing changes.” The truth is, we need an agenda that will create jobs, that will make people more secure financially and protect them from ill-health and old age, an agenda that helps people get out from under their debts, send their kids to college, and provides genuine protection from bad guys. And we need an agenda that promises personal freedom. I'm hoping to start unveiling such an agenda in a couple weeks, but in the meantime, start thinking about conservative solutions to problems people actually care about. Until we do that, more and more states will turn blue.
In the meantime, don't believe this garbage that everything is going great.