With the surprise retirement of Evan Bayh, widely assumed to be a shoo-in for reelection, Republicans can lick their chops some more about the electoral gains they are sure to make this fall.
Perhaps the Tea Party pressure is paying off. Maybe enough of those evil Democrats are getting the picture that their big government machinations are history and a renewed, revitalized, and reformed Republican Party is poised to set the ship aright by following the Constitution and restoring the republic to the one bequeathed to us by the founding fathers.
Like Obama, the Republicans are misreading the early election returns.
In 2006 and 2008, Americans sick of the Republicans, their ill-conceived wars, and a miserable economy, threw the GOP and their “permanent majority” out. 2008 was a year where the Republicans were so despised that Democrats could have literally nominated a yellow dog and still won the presidency. Not sensing this, Obama and the Democrats introduced to America an agenda that envisioned a health care plan that would inevitably lead to a government take-over of the industry.
Republicans have responded by defeating Democrats in Virginia, New Jersey, and of all places, Massachusetts.
So how are they misreading the election results?
They are taking these early Democratic defeats to mean that, even though the Republicans have offered no agenda of change, the American people must want back the good old days of the early 2000s of the ambiguous “War on Terror” and endless deficit spending.
No sooner had Scott Brown embarrassed his daughters on national television did National Review’s Andrew McCarthy assure us that it was the War on Terror that really motivated people to get out there by praising how:
“Scott Brown went out and made the case for enhanced interrogation, for denying terrorists the rights of criminal defendants, for detaining them without trial, and for trying them by military commission. It worked. It will work for other candidates willing to get out of their Beltway bubbles . . . .
“He said the United States needs to stop apologizing for defending itself. And he won going away, in the bluest of blue states.”
What McCarthy means by “defending itself,” is keeping the same Bush foreign policy that Americans have already repudiated.
This also shows how, despite all the good rhetoric about the Constitution, limited government, and reduced spending at home, all of that takes a back seat to the ubiquitous “War on Terror” and makes the so-called Tea Parties a farce.
Just look at the reception given to Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul.
Paul, who has consistently led in Kentucky polls for at least four months, is continually vilified by his party and their media henchmen for a variety of bizarre reasons. He’s kooky. He’s pro-abortion (untrue). He’s a marijuana advocate (a dramatic distortion). But the most telling criticism is that Rand Paul is somehow weak on military matters and wants to surrender the “War on Terror.”
To make that argument ignores the fact that Paul’s first campaign commercial declared that he will “stop travel visas from terrorist nations” and “keep prisoners off U.S. soil,” as well as supporting military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay. On his website, he has expressed his support for a declaration of war on Afghanistan. He also wrangled the endorsement of war empress Sarah Palin. To the chagrin of all the little Churchills with laptops, Rand Paul is not Neville Chamberlain.
But it was Jeanette Pryor of Newsrealblog that summed up the supremacy of war when she said this regarding Sarah Palin’s endorsement:
"The logical conclusion of this endorsement is that Palin considers America’s global defense of freedom, national defense, the War on Terror, the defeat of Radical Islam, and the support of Israel and our allies, to be less important than 'some' domestic policy issues."
Pryor says plainly that not only are the wars more important than our domestics, but Israel is too. Are we for America first or are we not? Or as The American Conservative’s Daniel Larison noted about the reaction to Palin’s endorsement, she “has erred because she forgot that national security is the one area where conservatives cannot meaningfully disagree and still be accepted.”
During the Bush administration, everything took a backseat to the wars. Spending skyrocketed. The Roe v. Wade atrocity remained firmly in place. Border security was abandoned. The federal government sunk its claws deeper into American education. Executive power increased. But the wars, well, that’s what really mattered.
These GOP sycophants have already demonstrated that once the Republicans are back in power, the latter aim to do everything exactly the same once again. And the former aim to continue their bidding.
From the party that has had no ideas for fixing the problems they helped cause this should be no surprise.