Note to John Boehner: Fire Tom Cole NowFor some time now, I've been making the prediction that even as we may see a John McCain victory in November (or more accurately, a Barack Obama loss), we will see, in the very same election, Republicans lose even more seats in the U.S. House. The losses could be such that on a numbers scale, after November the GOP could be reduced to pre-1994 numbers or worse:
House Republicans lost three recent elections when customary campaign
themes failed to sway voters and their candidates could not overcome the
"negative perception of the national party," according to an internal review
that underscores the potential for widespread losses this fall.
While the review said the national political environment was largely to
blame for the losses, it also said Republican candidates themselves were less
than optimal and their campaigns were flawed.
It also said Democratic candidates accurately reflected the views of the
districts, including newly elected Reps. Don Cazayoux in Louisiana and Travis
Childers in Mississippi, both of whom stressed conservative views.
The Democratic Party may be many things, but the people who run its national campaign organization are not stupid. They know that to win in truly conservative districts they must run conservatives. Democrats cannot win in a Southern suburban or rural district with candidates who favor gun control, abortion on demand, gay marriage, and raising taxes through the roof. The result is that the candidates that Democrats run in these districts favor traditional marriage, are often pro-life, at least talk a good game on the Second Amendment, and tend to stress an economic platform that stays away from marked tax hikes and stresses spending controls.
In short, these folks get elected by running as Republicans without the "edge."
The Democrats know that in some of these districts Barack Obama doesn't have a prayer, but if Democratic Congressional candidates concentrate on local and regional issues, they can get elected even as Obama goes down in flames in their State.
Rep. Tom Cole is very likely the worst Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman in the history of the Republican Party. He recruits candidates to run who are out of touch with base Republican voters and his committee seems to eschew candidates that are most likely to win in the most likely places. John Boehner doesn't need to reign Cole in, he needs to replace him-now and not later.
Even as John McCain wins in November, Democrats will gain Congressional seats.