Memo To Senator Corker
Dear Senator Corker:
Right now, with no”toss-ups” and every race called according to the polls as they exist today, the GOP picks up 8 senate seats in November.
That is because the public sees and understands the deep, deep differences between the Democrats and the Republicans, and they reject the forme rand are willing –tentatively– to trust the latter to change the direction of Washington.
To cut spending and repeal Obamacare, and stop cap-and-tax.
To oblige the president to take our enemies seriously and stop the bullying of Israel.
To halt the bowing, the constant disparagement of American exceptionalism and achievement, and to reduce the tax burden, address the entitlement mess and perhaps provide the states some power with which to deal with their massive unfunded public pension liabilities.
The GOP can lose this current advantage –easily in fact. Senator Graham will try and punt it away with next week with a half-baked cap-and-tax scam that has near-zero support among the GOP and is viewed with enormous skepticism by a weary public that isn’t affiliated with either party. Even many Democrats think it is a bad joke to be pushing this scheme as the economy struggles to escape double-digit unemployment.
The financial institutions reform bill isn’t in the same category of “manifestly stupid” as cap-and-tax, but neither is the public clamoring for Congress to do anything right now, and especially not something rigged up by Chris Dodd. Yet yesterday you were quoted as saying there would be 70 votes for a bill by Memorial Day.
You are a smart guy –smarter than most of your colleagues in fact, so your statement could mean that most Republicans will join with most Democrats to do some common sense things, and then stand against any attempt by the president and Barney Frank to change the deal. That would be a genuine legislative accomplishment, jimmied out of the most reckless Congress of my lifetime.
But your statement could also mean that you intend to lead a handful of Republicans who cannot stand MSM criticism across the aisle in exchange for some cosmetic changes to the Dodd bill. Such a move will gravely wound the national GOP and with it, the ability to restore balance to the Senate in November, as the current, massive mobilization of the grassroots would watch such a deal and conclude “What’s the use, the GOP always sells out in the end.”
I don’t think you folks in the Beltway as yet understand how deep the suspicion of the D.C. GOP runs. Please don’t add to it for the sake of hurry. There is absolutely no reason to rush any bill right now. An additional year of work on reform would produce a much better bill if it emerged from a rebalanced Congress –one that did not have Chris Dodd in it. You cannot say such a thing because of the traditions of the Senate, but that is the truth and that is the public’s assessment of your colleague from Connecticut. Please keep in mind that patience is a virtue, even inside the Beltway. Senator Collins earned a great deal of appreciation yesterday with her refusal to be conned into providing the Democrats with the vote they need to rush the door. Please follow her example and don’t throw the leverage –and this map– away.