Don't Crown the GOP Just Yet
By Doug Patton
October 11, 2010
It may be true that Barack Obama has done the Republican Party the greatest favor since the inept Jimmy Carter handed the presidency to Ronald Reagan, but at some point somebody has to say it: in the 2010 congressional races, the fat lady has not yet sung.
November's elections may look like a rout for the party in power, and there is no question that they deserve it after two years squandering our treasure on a wish list of hair-brained, leftwing schemes my four-year-old grandson could tell you won't work. But the question we have to ask ourselves is whether the left is pulling a classic rope-a-dope on us.
For those unfamiliar with that term, it was a tactic employed in the ring by the great Muhammad Ali. The champ would lean against the ropes and allow his opponent to throw punches until the challenger was so tired the champ could then knock him out. For the purposes of this lesson, liberal Democrats and their friends in the media are in the Ali role, while we, the people, could be the dopes on the ropes.
The classic rope-a-dope. That could very well be what we are seeing this year. I base this on several things.
First, the elite media types are so heavily invested in Obama and his radical agenda that they have lost all credibility. ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, NPR — the entire alphabet soup of American media is now frantic to keep Obama from experiencing the kind of off-year humiliation that befell Bill Clinton when he lost control of Congress sixteen years ago.
Then there is the Democrats' fondness for stealing elections. The practice is not new. In the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon race, the following question was asked in every ward in Chicago: "And just why shouldn't a good Democrat be allowed to vote just because he's dead?" Liberals believe it is their birthright to rule, so they justify any and all means to accomplish their ends. In fact, it has almost become an unwritten rule of American politics in recent years that if an election is close, Democrats will do everything they can to steal the seat. Witness Al Gore in 2000 and Al Franken in 2008 as two contemporary examples.
Finally, there is the GOP itself. John Boehner's "Pledge to America," with its promise to do nothing about earmarks and to take us back to the ridiculous George Bush-Nancy Pelosi 2008 spending levels, is weak at best. (Isn't it amazing how insane spending can make ridiculous spending look reasonable?)
Add to that the fact that some in the Republican establishment are fighting harder against their own candidates this year than against Democrats and/or RINOs turned "independents." Perfect examples are the U.S. Senate races in Florida and Alaska.
In the Sunshine State's GOP primary, squishy Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was getting creamed in the polls by former Speaker of the Florida House Marco Rubio, a true conservative. His massive ego fogging his ability to reason, Crist stuck his tanned finger into the ocean breeze and discovered that lo and behold, he was not a Republican after all! He was an "Independent!" Of course, such Republican stalwarts as 87-year-old RINO Bob Dole are still supporting Crist.
In Alaska, the state's former first daughter, Lisa Murkowski, who had been given her U.S. Senate seat by her daddy the governor a few years back, got her political head handed to her in the Republican primary by Tea Party favorite Joe Miller. Unable or unwilling to accept the will of the voters, Lisa launched a write-in campaign to hold on to the seat. She stands little or no chance of success, but that didn't stop her colleague, Lindsey Graham, from endorsing her effort.
When push comes to shove, never underestimate the willingness of the media to show favoritism, the desire of the Democrats to swindle, or the ability of the Republicans to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at email@example.com/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.