Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Are Republicans Headed for the Big Victory or the Big Fail?

Let's review the Republican Party objectives for this fall's elections:

(1) Elect an overwhelming number of Republicans to state governorships.

(2) Win control of the U.S. House of Representatives, retiring Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker.

(3) Oust U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by either winning control of the U.S. Senate or tea partier Sharron Angle defeating him in Nevada.

(4) Keep Bristol Palin safe from elimination in this season's Dancing with the Stars.

Republicans seem poised to go 4 for 4 on election night next Tuesday. But then what? Let's look at the three key planks in the Republican platform:

Repeal Obamacare - Several Republican Senators have already indicated a disinclination to repeal Obamacare outright, preferring to make changes to the health care insurance legislation.

Stop the stimulus spending - Past experience suggests Republicans are likely to just substitute their own bridge-to-nowhere projects. The public won't stand for cancelling completion of half-paved roads.

Reduce the deficit - Reducing deficits runs contrary to the campaign promise of extending the Bush tax cuts. Will tea party influence force Republicans to address the deficits before tax cuts?

The big victory expected for Republicans is not expected to be nearly big enough to override Obama vetoes. They may unseat Reid but not win control of the Senate.

So it seems inevitable that Republican voters are likely to be disappointed. And it's quite possible for Republicans to unseat Harry Reid without winning control of the U.S. Senate, and unlikely even if they win control that they will have the 60 votes needed to move legislation through the Senate nor enough votes to override Presidential vetoes.

The big leverage for Congressional Republicans may be the power to refuse to pass funding bills. But that did not work out well for Newt Gingrich when he forced the federal government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996. And that could prove even worse if laid off federal workers add to the unemployment figures in this jobless recovery.

That means this 2010 election may be a no-win for Republicans. Either they come up short of expectations on election night, or they come up short after winning the election.

So, Bristol Palin, keep on dancing.

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