October 14, 2010

Are You Cautiously Optimistic Yet?

Obama's recipe for Democrats' midterm disaster
Listening to conservative pundits talk about how well the Republicans are going to do this election cycle runs the gamut from the cautious who are projecting a possible take over Congress to the unbridled enthusiasm of a Dick Morris who has in the past mentioned 100 seats in Congress and more than 10 in the Senate.  Let's all hope he's right, but as some have argued, there could be a danger in setting the bar too high.  Anything short of 60 might now seem like a failure of conservatism.  I don't see how, but then again it would give the media a chance to try to knock the wind out of Republican sails and go back to the mantra of "it's an anti-incumbency election, not a knock on the Democrats or President Obama".  But at some point you have to get past the worry over some October surprise, over the worry  that most every poll is wrong and over the worry that some sort of self-induced mass Republican collapse is going to happen.  It's okay to be cautiously optimistic now.

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer.

Okay, maybe that's a little too optimistic.  There's still the need to scrap for every single possible seat.  There's still the urgent need to donate, to advertise, to canvas, to talk.  But there's no need for gloom at this point.  Apparently the Democrats have nothing in the tank.  Jim Geraghty appears to concur that they've given it their best already and it isn't working.  It's still too quiet, but it just might be because they've got nothing. Even if they do, how much difference will it make now? Including today there's what, 20 days to the election?

There's more.  The Republicans have a lot of work to do.  They have had a dismal year for generating donations.  It's a good thing that groups like American Crossroads and the various Tea Party efforts and the likes of Glenn Beck have picked up the slack for them.  Not only in fundraising but in outreach and organization.  Republicans have also got to demonstrate their listening skills.  They will be sent to Washington en masse because of a public outcry.  They cannot under any circumstances go back to business as usual.  To do so would spell doom for the party.

There's still more.  Not only does the GOP need to be productive in solving the problems of the economy that the liberal policies of the Democratic party have deeply worsened, they have to do so in a way that clearly shows that it was their efforts that have returned the economy to strength.  They have to differentiate themselves from not only the previous Congress, but they also have to be sure that they receive credit for any successes in fixing the economy and scaling back government reach.  They have to differentiate themselves from the President in a clear and demonstrable way by 2012.  They have to elect the most conservative electable candidate to run against President Obama in the 2012.  That's a tall order and a short window.

There's much to be optimistic about, but there's a lot to be cautious about too.  Keep that in mind, and hope that the Republicans that get elected do so too.

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