Friday, May 1, 2009

Okay, Here's the Plan...

What’s the Republican game plan for winning back the Senate? We now have the answer. The NRSC just threw its cards on the table for everybody to see.

In fact, Sen. Lamar Alexander was shouting it out with a bullhorn in yesterday’s press release when he said:

Yesterday a member of our Republican side moved his desk to the other side, potentially giving that side of the aisle 60 votes and raising the prospect that we would have no check and balance on one-party rule – the genuine risk of what de Tocqueville called ‘tyranny of the majority.’

(emphasis mine)


And in addition, there is the prospect of no check and balance on one-party rule, which risks what the perceptive young Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, said in the early 1800s was the greatest threat to the new American Democracy: the ‘tyranny of the majority.’"

Of course, I didn’t realize that what I was hearing was the NRSC’s exciting new 2010 strategy until I heard pretty much the same catch phrases from NRSC head Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX):

the complete absence of any checks and balances in Washington could have a significant impact on next year's midterm elections.


...the dangerous ramifications of unbridled, one-party rule in Washington. Come November 2010, this may ultimately be viewed as a positive development in the Republican Party's climb back to power.

Think I’m putting two and two together and getting twenty? Nope, Sen. Cornyn assures us in plain, straight-forward English that this is, in fact, the big plan:

This is a message our Senate candidates will carry across our great country as we work to rebuild the Republican Party in November 2010.

Good luck with that.

Yes, it’s true that voters often check the power of the executive branch by putting the other party in charge of the legislative branch, or vice versa, but it’s not because they consciously think, “Hey, I’m going check the power of the executive branch by putting the other party in charge of the legislative branch.”

You can't just say "vote for me because I'm in the opposite party" and expect to win. You actually have to play out the election scenario that leads to that outcome, not just announce it as a reason in and of itself.

It's just as ridiculous as if the Republicans strategy was to straight out say, "vote for us because it's an off-year election and the Democrats hold the White House." That's what voters usually do for a variety of reasons, but not because they actually say to themselves, "you know what, I'm going to vote for the party that doesn't hold the White House."

I should also point out that the NRSC strategy is essentially to tell the voters that they’ve been having their way a little too much and it’s time to let Republicans stand in their way.

I wholeheartedly encourage them to pursue this strategy right up until election day. But they couldn’t really be that stupid, could they?

PS: Great big hat tip to Whiskey Fire for collecting those Cornyn quotes -- and for pointing that’s not what "checks and balances" means. It’s all about the three branches of government keeping each other in check, not the two political parties.

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