At this point in time, November 2010 is looking very strong for Republican gains in both the House and the Senate. Takeover of the House is likely. Amazingly, takeover of the Senate now appears at least remotely possible. However, as conservatives, not every Republican gain would be a gain for the conservative cause. Rather, a 2010 Republican takeover of the Senate could destroy the emergence of conservative governance we so desperately need to occur in 2012. We need patience, wisdom and possibly even restraint.
Simply stated, Mitch McConnell (or any other R leader) would be effective on most issues as the minority leader of 48 Senators (filibuster opportunities against poor D leadership), but horrible as the majority leader of 51 because that majority includes Collins, Snowe, Graham, McCain, Lugar, and the like). Given the likelihood of a Lieberman (or other) defection, either 50 or 51 elected Republicans would absolutely be the worst possible outcome for 2011-2012.
Let’s be careful what we wish for and work toward. Each 2010 race needs to be purposefully developed as either a conservative Republican gain or no Republican gain. In the euphoria of all of the possible gains in 2010, some gains would do great harm. The Supreme Court, our national security and our future economic condition remind us that we need a 1980 in 2012 much more than we need a 1994 in 2010.
Best case scenario: +32 in House and +7or8 in Senate (Obama and the thoroughly weakened, smallest of Dem majorities are primed for 2012 removal.)
Workable scenario: At least 50 House seats (significant House takeover) and +7or8 in Senate (the frustrations with the Senate may still be laid at the feet of the Democrats and Obama)
Likely long-run conservative failure due to short-run Republican gains: +40 or more (House takeover) and +9or10 (Senate takeover)
Currently: 41 Republicans
Hold these R incumbent seats (but replace a couple R incumbents with conservatives in the primaries?): AL, AK, AZ, GA, ID, IA, LA, NC, OK, SC, SD, UT (best replacement opportunity here!)
Hold these open R seats – choosing the closest thing to the Rubio in each: FL, KS, KY, MO, NH, OH
New Republican seats that could come, in order of likelihood (choose :
42) ND (who is the Rubio here?)
43) DE (looks like this pickup is a given)
44) IN (Go Marlin Stutzman!)
45) AR (who is the Rubio here?)
46) PA (Toomey takes down Specter)
47) NV (who is the Rubio here?)
48) CO (who is the Rubio here?)
49) CA (Chuck Devore is worthy of support for #49. Otherwise, no.)
50) IL – Is a 51 seat majority with Mark Kirk and Joe Lieberman in the mix really a benefit to the conservative cause? That’s a movement killer.
But what happens if we were to develop a way to run the table by replacing CT, NY, MD, WA and WI as well? Who knows? I doubt that will develop, but I did not anticipate saying bye to Bayh… Stay tuned…
Cross-posted at www.ruminationsaspirations.blogspot.com