A.J. DiCintio
A Republican Senate?
By A.J. DiCintio
May 21, 2011

Although the political news these days is fixated on the coming presidential election, folks who understand the realities of our system of government are keeping a hard eye on the nation's Senate races, which right now stand a very good chance of banging the Democratic Party with a blow so forceful it will knock the halo liberals have placed around Barack Obama's head into the ridiculously cockeyed orbit where it belongs.

To understand why such a resounding whack is highly likely, consider that with the Senate currently composed of 51 Democrats, 47 Republicans, and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats, Republicans need to pick up only four seats to take control (only three, of course, should the VP be a Republican).

Next, realize that of all the Senate races next year, most independent pundits agree ten or eleven are competitive, with just two of those seats currently held by Republicans.

Finally, shine a bright light upon the competitive races.

Here, in alphabetical order by state, is some light you may find interesting.

Massachusetts — According to Carl Hulse (NYT), Democrats "have high hopes" of unseating Senator Scott Brown (R). And given history since The Bay State became a bastion of America's power loving New Puritans, the hopes are warranted. Yet no one should be surprised if Brown dashes them; for history also shows that once a culture is introduced to Jeffersonian libertarianism, more than a century must pass before a majority of its citizens can be snookered by a pointy-headed fraud who admires the genius contained in a certain "manifesto" authored by a pompous liar and disgustingly dictatorial buffoon.

Missouri — In the vernacular of Missouri's impeccably honest Huck Finn, citizens of this swing state "don't take no stock in" the abomination called Obamacare or politicians who don't pay their taxes. That's why Show-Me state voters are almost certain to show first term incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill the door.

Montana — Whatever else happens under Montana's big sky, first term incumbent Jon Tester (D), who enthusiastically supports not just Obamacare but Obama's very un-Western top-down approach to government, is certain to learn that while voters were simply in a bad mood in '06, they are boot stomping mad as hell this time around.

Nebraska — All that need be said about this race is that in addition to answering questions about jobs, energy, deficits, debt, and a hoggishly power-devouring federal government, incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson will have to explain why voters shouldn't regard the "Cornhusker Kickback" (along with the "Louisiana Purchase") as one of the most demeaning, selectively dishonest pieces of rotten pork with which a group of power-grubbing politicians has ever insulted not just honest, fair-minded Nebraskans but every last one of their counterparts across the nation.

Nevada — In 2010, Silver State voters gave Harry Reid a five point victory over Sharron Angle, which is exactly why it's a good bet they'll keep incumbent Republican Dean Heller on the job as an antidote to a shameless political hack who slimes Tea Party Americans as "evil mongers."

New Mexico — The Land of Enchantment may be a swing state, but it is most certainly not a state populated by irresponsible, trendy swingers, giving a conservative/libertarian who talks common sense about jobs, fiscal sanity, and limited government an excellent opportunity to pick up the seat currently held by retiring Democrat Jeff Bingaman.

North Dakota — With the retirement of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D), the race in this state could be regarded as identical to the one in New Mexico, if it were not for the unenchanting fact (to Democrats) that the Peace Garden State is as red as red can be.

Ohio — Alex Parker of usnews.com opines that although Ohio's incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown is "a firebrand liberal in a midwestern swing state that has recently lurched to the right," his "brand of populist liberalism" may well usher him to victory. Then, again, maybe not, if a common sense Republican opponent rejects dangerous neo-con Pollyannaishness as well as the anarchic, big-business bought, faux-conservative elitism that regards principles of all kinds as an annoying bother.

Virginia — The retirement of first term Senator Jim Webb (D), who narrowly unseated a self-destructive George Allen six years ago, sets up a race in which a wiser, humbler Allen dukes it out with former governor Tim Kaine in what promises to be the nation's biggest, fairest political fight. Problem for the Dem is this: Though the Old Dominion is new and different, mainly in its Washington influenced northern suburbs and exurbs, Tea Party and other anti-Obama-Agenda, proudly old school Virginia voters are likely to turn out in such highly energized numbers Allen will take back his old seat, perhaps with ease.

West Virginia — In 2010, Democrat Joe Manchin, a persistent Obama critic who reacts to the term "cap-and-trade" by imitating Mt. Vesuvius of 79 A.D., defeated a well-financed Republican opponent. Any Republican who can't take to mind and heart the comments made in the "Ohio" commentary won't stand a snowball's chance of reversing that outcome next year.

Wisconsin — The retirement of four term Senator Herb Kohl is very bad news for Democrats, especially Barack Obama, who may have to ship $200 million or more of the billion he plans to raise for his reelection campaign to the Badger State. Of course, it's a cinch that when it comes to his own money, Barack won't be keen about "spread[ing] the wealth around." But however much is spent in this extremely competitive race, most eyes will be "On Wisconsin!" next year, make that "all eyes" if the matchup pits proud conservative Paul Ryan against unabashed liberal Russ Feingold.

With the hope it has illuminated the notion that Republicans stand a good chance of taking four or more Senate seats from Democrats while holding all of their own next year, this piece closes by stating unequivocally that should it occur, such a victory doesn't guarantee anything.

After all, Republican Senators have voted for trillions in spending while laying the bill on babies whose parents have yet to be born.

Republican Senators supported or failed to raise mighty hell against the bi-partisan perversity that sought to give birth to an "ownership society" through a revoltingly ugly coupling in which the partners were (and still are) government and a "self-regulated" financial industry.

Last, (to avoid a list a mile long), Republican Senators voted to accept a long-time ACLU executive as a reasonable compromise candidate for a seat on the Supreme Court. (The vote to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a stunning 96-3.)

Indeed, those realities explain why in the case of Senate Republicans (indeed, with respect to all politicians) millions of conservatives, independents, and libertarians are borrowing from Ronald Reagan as they reject the mindless gushing and fawning beloved by true-believing, halo-anointing liberals in favor of the calm, watchful wisdom demanded by the dictum, "Trust, but verify."

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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