Wizbang author Kim Priestap fittingly expressed incredulity last week over Rasmussen poll results showing roundly unpopular Harry Reid in a virtual tie with challenger Sharon Angle in Nevada. Today we see liberal Republican turncoat Charlie Crist in a dead heat with conservative Marco Rubio in Florida’s heated Senatorial race. In California, principled conservative Meg Whitman is tied with “Moonbeam” Brown for the governorship and Barbara Boxer has established a lead over Carly Fiorina in another Senate contest Republicans hope to win.
In some races, reasons for the failure of Republican candidates to establish leads in the polls are evident. In Nevada, the Senate Majority Leader possesses the financial capacity to rapidly spread falsehoods about his underfunded opponent. Reid, who has disapproval ratings near 60 percent, recently bombed the airwaves with horrific misrepresentations of Ms. Angle’s positions, evenly shamelessly editing her comments to generate a false perception that she supports massive cuts to Social Security. That ad campaign alone gutted Angle’s formidable lead.
Injustices such as Harry Reid’s litany of lies may be corrected as Republicans have sensed these mid-term elections to be critical and financial support for GOP candidates has begun to increase. The national discontent over the President and liberal Congress is palpable and conservative voters seem far more motivated to turn out this November. However, Republicans are nowhere near ensuring a complete takeover of Congress for a number of reasons.
Most glaring is a lack of galvanization among those already in power. The squishy McCain/Brown/Collins/Snowe crowd in the Senate has eroded momentum and unity among outnumbered Republicans in the Senate. Minority Leader McConell has been a stone on the most important issues and the Senate has been unable to achieve any important victories despite having national support of a variety of issues. Republicans utterly failed to express why ObamaCare was a huge step toward socialism and why the recently-passed Wall Street “Reform” Bill was a dangerous governmental takeover of free enterprise.
Michael Steele has been an unmitigated disaster as RNC Chairman and funding has been rather disappointing for a political party that enjoys a 9-point lead in a Rasmussen poll of generic Congessional candidates. Steele has kept himself in the news for all the wrong reasons and has been an awful distraction from the issues at hand.
However, the most disturbing aspect of the GOP as a whole has been an apparent fear to run with unbridled conservative principles. A few nights ago, prominent House Republican Mike Pence (IN) granted an interview to MSNBC host Chris Matthews who repeatedly framed a scenario whereby Republicans are supposedly against extending unemployment benefits but are supportive of extending Bush tax cuts for the “very wealthy”. I love Rep. Pence and regard him as viable 2012 Presidential timber, but his restraint in responding to Matthews’ badgering exemplified why Republicans have not yet established the enormous support one would expect following the catastrophic results of unfettered liberalism. Pence inexplicably passed on the occasion to tell hundreds of MSNBC viewers that massive tax increases commencing next January will affect all Americans and will cripple business (and hiring). He neglected to opine about how tax cuts eventually result in a larger tax revenue to the government as business expands. While a touchy subject, Mr. Pence passed on the opportunity to explain that long-term unemployment benefits are tantamount to entitlements that adversely disrupt the motivation of some to procure alternative work. These are difficult subjects, but a majority of Americans appreciate the gravity of the dangers our country faces and are willing to listen.
Republicans do have some courageous candidates out there and some will ride a conservative agenda to victory this November. But the GOP remains leaderless in the Senate, House and RNC and the party could very well blow this spectacular opportunity to derail the Obama agenda in just 108 days if they continue to shy away from principled conservatism. Merely standing in opposition to the Obama doctrines will not persuade voters. Republicans need to coalesce around commitments to slash disrectionary spending and balance budgets, establish strategic tax cuts and disencumber free enterprise. If they do not succeed this November, they will fail to fatally wound the Beast and 2012 could end up being a lost cause as well.