More and more Democrats are dropping out of both Houses of Congress. The two most recent were Patrick Kennedy from the House and Evan Bayh from the Senate. Bayh was in danger of losing the seat in November despite his saying that he doesn't like the way that Washington is being run. He was only up by 3 points in the polls and those didn't include his most serious challenger, Dan Coates.
The Democrats are in trouble in the midterm elections. Yes, the party in power usually loses seats in the midterms, but this year could very well turn out to be more of a massacre than it was in 1994 when Newt Gingrich nationalized the elections and the Republicans took over the House with the Contract with America.
Several months ago, Dick Morris, former aide to President Clinton, predicted that the House and the Senate would go to Republican majorities and was laughed at even by conservatives. He is now looking like a prophet. There are 12 and possibly 13 Senate seats now held by Democrats that could be won by Republicans.
Coast to coast Democrats are in trouble. Barbara Boxer in California is being seriously challenged, as is Patty Murray in Washington. Harry Reid is way behind in Nevada and even his son is saying that it might be good for him to not run again. If Tommy Thompson, former Governor of Wisconsin, decides to run for the Senate, Russ Feingold will likely lose.
We've already seen a Republican win the seat held by Ted Kennedy until his death last year. Vice President Joe Bidens son dropped out of his race for the seat formerly held by his father. There are four Republicans beating Blanche Lincoln in the polls in Arkansas.
But it's not just Democrats that are in trouble. It's anyone that is not Conservative. Charlie Crist in Florida, a Republican, is down to Marco Rubio a Conservative Republican and now John McCain is being seriously challenged by Conservative JD Hayworth in Arizona.
All of this is happening before the Republicans have put out their unified plan that is expected. Similar to the Contract with America in 1994. Should this continue, and I believe it will, what will the pundits say the people are voting for? Likely they will say that the people of this country are choosing gridlock over governing. It's already being hinted at by Obama and the Democrats. They are claiming that the Republicans blocked the "important" legislation of the past year. There is just one problem with that argument. It's been mathematically impossible for the Republicans to obstruct anything over the past 12 months.
The Democrats have the majority in the House where a simple majority passes legislation. They have had 60 votes in the Senate where they need a minimum of 60 votes to pass anything. Yet, the Democrats shot themselves in the foot by holding backroom meetings on Health Care Reform. They couldn't get Cap and Trade passed. Republicans had nothing to do with the Democrats failure because they couldn't stop anything.
This election coming up is now in the Republicans control. They can be satisfied with the gains they've made just from the Democrats failures or they can try to put the Democrats away with a powerful message feeding on the dissatisifaction of the American people and put together a plan similar to the Contract with America and take even more seats than what they seem to be headed for now.
I believe that they should follow the latter plan. If the election were to be held today, they would likely take over the majority of both Houses. They should build on that and shoot not just for the majority, but fight for a veto proof majority. It's a lofty goal and maybe not achievable, but they certainly can't achieve it if they don't try for it. This is an opportunity that they shouldn't pass up.
The Republicans have the ability to pick up as many as 13 seats in the Senate. There are 36 seats up for election in November. All of the House seats are open in November as the House has just two year terms. As it is now, they could gain anywhere from 50 to 65 seats. Again, if they aim for a higher figure, you just never know how many more they could gain.
I hope the Republicans come out with a plan that they can all sign on to and hopefully increase those seats. A veto proof majority should be the goal whether they can reach it or not. You can't reach the impossible if you don't try for the impossible. After all, it was just a year ago that I doubt anyone would have expected to see a billboard of former President Bush asking if he was missed.
You're welcome to comment.