Should Republicans Keep Hope Alive?
Scott Elliot, whose dad would have been 63 today had he not been murdered along with his mother in Iraq two years ago, has an impassioned plea for Republicans not to give up hope just because there has been a spate of bad news.
The task for our opponents, then, is to win the war of emotional energy. So much of what we are seeing and hearing now from the talking heads in the media and the Democratic party is designed to accomplish two things. First, they hope the never-ending dirge of bad news and scandal will squeeze whatever small number of votes it can from a diminishing pool of fence-sitters. Second, and many times more importantly, they seek to demoralize and deflate the conservative faithful. For they know that every vote not cast by a disgruntled and despairing Republican Eeyore is one less vote they have to overcome in their quest for control.
There’s no doubt that the turnout game is important and that letting despair over losing keep you from voting can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Still, even Scott’s own projections show that the GOP is in serious trouble.
He projects a Senate with 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats, and 2 Independents. Given that the two “Independents” are going to caucus with the Democrats, that’s a flip and a 5 seat loss for the GOP. He sees the Republican losing twelve House seats and thus holding on to a slim 220-215 majority.
Aside from the turnout issue, though, the main reason that the Republican are so distraught by the Foley scandal and myriad other bad news is not just that they fear a Democratic takeover but that they genuinely wonder whether the Republicans deserve to keep power any more. The leadership in both Houses has failed to live up to the Party’s core principles on issue after issue.
What’s so dispiriting is that the Republican base just might lose either way.