When I first suggested, early this year, that Republicans could take control of one or both houses of Congress, my observation was greeted with disbelief by politicos on all sides. Since that time, my “off-the-wall” prediction has acquired so much credibility that several pundits and political operatives of both parties are now openly predicting a GOP takeover of the House.
At the same time, however, self-styled “sophisticated” political observers, particularly conservative ones, have been expressing “profound” reservations about winning control of Congress in the 2010 mid-term elections. These “sophisticated” operatives argue that if the Republicans control the Congress, this will enable President Obama to run against the GOP much as President Truman did in 1948. So these pundits say they hope the GOP makes significant gains in 2010, but also hope the Democrats remain in control so that the GOP ticket can win in 2012.
Whether or not this is a “ridiculous” argument, it is certainly an irresponsible one. If the Republican Party and its candidates for House and Senate truly believe that the now-controlling Democratic Party and its leaders, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid, are taking the nation and its economy down a disastrous path, then they should be prepared to take charge of the legislative branch now (before even more damage is done), rather than later just for political advantage in 2012. It is true that, as long as Mr. Obama is in the White House, the GOP will not likely be able to enact much, if any, of its own agenda, but they would thus have almost two years to show the country what their alternative agenda is. I would argue this enhances their chances in 2012.
Perhaps there is some political risk in this (obviously I think the risk is exaggerated), but I think the prospects are ominous enough that mere childish maneuvers for advantage are greatly outweighed by the grown-up needs to shut off the catastrophe-prone policies of the current administration, and serve the needs of the whole country, and not just some partisan short-term gains.
Just as the nations of the European Union, ultra-welfare states all, are cutting back on their bloated bureaucracies and other public spending, the United States under Obama-Pelosi-Reid is trying to take the U.S. in the opposite direction. This is a prescription for eventual economic collapse. Merely lowering the margins of Democratic control of Congress will not really halt this dangerous direction. Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid have already demonstrated their willingness, with Mr. Obama’s concurrence, to “work around” the rules. Only control of at least one house of Congress will stem the economic bleeding until 2012 when the nation’s voters will have the option of changing the occupant of the White House, too.
Arguments against taking control, now enjoying some fashion among certain so-called “sophisticated” conservative political analysts, are an implied admission that the opposition party is not willing to take command, now or later. Thesedefeatist notions should be rebuked by party leaders and those GOP presidential candidates who want to rescue the nation in 2010 and 2012.
When an economic and political body incurs serious wounds, and faces even more serious threats, band aids and swabs of hydrogen peroxide will not do the job required.
If children and those without proper training are in charge of the hospital, its time to put adults in charge, and bring in those who can make the body better again.