April 7, 2010

At least he got one thing right

David Frum, a CINM (conservative in name mostly) had an interesting article in Canada's National Post yesterday discussing the implications of a shadow Republican National Committee that aims to raise comparable amounts to the RNC itself, and act as an independent 527 group (which it is, no subterfuge involved).  The group has some big names on board.  What is interesting, is Frum's assessment of the implications of this group.  I hate to say it, but the fact is they mostly make sense.

In the article Frum draws four distinct conclusions;

  1. Micheal Steele, head of the RNC is safe in his job for now.
  2. McCain-Feingold has failed (was Frum saying this about MoveOn.org?).
  3. Does 2010 mark the comeback of Karl Rove?
  4. 2010 is looking like a nationalized election.
It's this last point that's worth taking a closer look at;
2010 is shaping up as a nationalized election. Large central organizations will bombard the country with messages designed in Washington D.C. That approach worked for Republicans in 1994 Interestingly, however, Democrats took exactly the opposite approach in their big triumph in 2006. Democrats that year allowed local candidates a lot of leeway to establish their own identities, distinct from the national party. Question: will a national campaign suffused by Tea Party themes help or hurt plausible Republicans running in blue states, like Mark Kirk in Illinois and whoever emerges as the GOP standard bearer against Barbara Boxer in California?
[Emphasis added.]

Democrats had to allow a lot of leeway in 2006 to allow local candidates play to conservative audiences.  But health care, cap and trade and the massive bailout changed things.  The reason this has become a nationalized election is because those same candidates who ran locally, voted nationally - as a voting bloc.  In doing so they proved socially conservative Democrats, fiscally conservative Democrats, Blue Dog Democrats and moderate Democrats are all myths.  When push comes to shove, they march lockstep into more centralization of the economy and society.  That the elections are nationalized are a result of Democrat representatives' collective behavior.

To answer Frum's question, yes a Tea Party theme will help.  It's a nationalized theme and addresses the issues created by Democrats willful and misuse of its political hegemony and its disdain for the electorate's concerns. Will it mean the defeat of every Democrat that the Tea Party targets?  Of course not, but it will have an impact, and Blue Dog seats will be lost.  Remember Scott Brown?  To think otherwise is to either see something that has not yet happened or to deliberately disregard the direction the campaign is taking.  Furthermore, Democrats are going to do exactly that if predictions hold true, by focusing their national campaign theme on blaming Bush.  They are out of campaign ideas this  cycle if that's the best they can do.  They may not be the party of no, but from a campaign perspective they are starting to look like the party of no real ideas. That combined with the bump conservative candidates will feel from the nationalized concerns election, is good news for Republicans.

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