Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If Republicans want to kill their momentum, here's how

Everything seems to be going right for Republicans and wrong for Democrats these days. The Dems can and do try to blame Republicans for this, but they would have more credibility blaming the Animaniacs for surreptitiously dropping anvils on the heads of John Barrow and other Blue Dogs. Whether it was President Obama misreading his elective mandate, just as George W. Bush misread his after 2004, or Members of Congress being their usual incompetent selves, the Democratic majority has accomplished virtually nothing the party faithful clamored for in 2008. There is even talk that Republicans could take control of Congress in midterm elections this year, though I still believe that is unlikely. One reason it is unlikely is Dan Coats, the former Republican Senator from Indiana who has decided to run for his old office this year. What, were they not able to get Tom DeLay to change his residency? Did Richard Nixon's corpse politely decline to run?

The fact that Dan Coats is a candidate is the latest evidence that, apparently, no political party is capable of true change. They talk about change, they sometimes elect new blood, but they always revert to the same old, good ol' boy, back slapping, turning a blind eye to conflicts of interest shenanigans of the past. When Dan Coats speaks of himself as a conservative as he inevitably will, unless he is referring to his attempt to use a comb-over to conserve his head from the sunshine, he shouldn't be able to keep a straight face. The fact that moderate Democrat Evan Bayh chose to retire from the Senate rather than potentially face what should have been a cupcake opponent speaks volumes about what some Democrats think about their party these days.

Seriously, a Bayh-Coats race should be akin to Georgetown-Savannah State on the basketball court. Just before his retirement announcement, one poll had Bayh holding a 20-point lead over Coats in a hypothetical race. Why would this be the case in a time of Republican resurgency? Maybe it's because that since Coats left office in 1998 rather than face the opposition of Bayh, Coats has become a millionaire by lobbying for folks like Bank of America and Chrysler to receive millions of your (and my) tax dollars in the form of bailouts. Conservatives probably aren't enthralled that Coats has also lobbied for many companies that have become close allies of Obama, such as Google and the major pharmaceutical manufacturers. It is very ironic that Democrats are also attacking Coats for lobbying for those folks even though those companies were major supporters of health care and other portions of Obama's agenda. Oh, and did I mention that Coats also moved to and registered to vote in Virginia?

Just as Democrats are killing their 2008 revolution by moving away from appealing to folks other than their base of lefties, some Indiana Republicans seem ready to put a chink in the armor of the current GOP uprising by nominating one of the reasons they lost their majority in Congress. It seems that "change" always stays the same in Washington, because those in Washington apparently like it that way.

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