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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Conservatives Should Focus On Control Of The Senate

Conservatives Should Focus On Control Of The Senate

“With no chance of even nominating a Conservative for President, the focus swings to the next best thing.” - DRH

By Dell Hill

Call it “doom”.  Call it “gloom”.  Call it “all of the above”.

Conservatives are down in the dumps these days and with good reason.  The remaining Republican candidates in the 2012 primary are about as appealing to Conservatives as Castor oil.  They offer us nothing in exchange for our support and the hierarchy has been doing everything in its power to shove the TEA Party movement off to the side without as much as a “thank you” for handing control of the U.S. House of Representatives over to them in 2010.  

And the very worst part to swallow is Mitt Romney - clearly the leader in the chase for the Republican nomination, is about as Conservative as Bernie Sanders.  Despite what Ann Coultergeist might babble, Romney isn’t even close to holding Conservative values.  In fact, if he were to switch parties today, Romney would blend in perfectly with moderate Democrats.

Newt Gingrich?  I’m not sold.  Watching Newt sink into negative campaign mode with Romney in the run-up to the Florida primary was sickening.  Conservatives want a fighter; we just want one to understand that Barack Obama is the opponent!

Rick Santorum?  By comparison to Romney and Gingrich, Santorum looks like a saint.  Certainly a viable alternative.  He’s a good and decent man, but just doesn’t have the political magnetism it takes to attract excited support.

What to do?

David Freddosso was thinking along these same lines when he wrote this piece for the Washington Examiner.

“It understates the case to say that some conservatives are disappointed with the idea of nominating former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to face President Obama this fall.    

So what to do if and when Romney finally sews this up?  The temptation is always there to drop out of the political process.  But if conservatives are interested in advancing their cause from beneath Romney's banner -- as they will likely have to -- they must think beyond the presidential race and to the elections that will provide context to its result for the next four years.
   
The institution in greatest need of conservative influence right now is the U.S. Senate, the place where House conservatives' ideas for limiting government and expanding the economy have been going to die for the last 13 months.  This year's Senate contests offer many opportunities to push the party and the nation to the right, and conservatives should pay attention.
   
The 2010 Senate election campaign had its share of conservative flops -- think especially of Christine O'Donnell in Delaware and Sharron Angle in Nevada.  But it also brought in a contingent of active, stalwart freshmen who have shown independence in their first year of service.
   
Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have added their conservative voices to those of longer-serving colleagues like Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
   
But they remain outnumbered.  The challenge in 2012 will be to build up this group.  And the opportunities are certainly there.
   
In Arizona, the iconoclastic and libertarian-leaning Rep. Jeff Flake appears to have consolidated establishment GOP support for his open-seat Senate bid.
   
In April 2004, I was surprised to run into Flake in Allentown, Pa. -- he was there supporting then-Rep. Toomey in his first bid against liberal Republican Sen. Arlen Specter.
   
It was one of many lonely fights in which history would later vindicate Flake.  He made few friends in the House with his mid-2000s crusade against his colleagues' earmarks, but he eventually won that battle -- and the grudging respect of House leadership.
   
In Texas, the Democrats' best candidate dropped out of the open-seat U.S. Senate race before the filing deadline, so the action will be in the primary.  Ted Cruz, the state's former solicitor general and a rising conservative star, is challenging the GOP establishment favorite, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
   
Cruz has climbed from nowhere to 18 percent support in the most recent poll.  That leaves him another 18 points behind Dewhurst, who had led by 29 in September.”

I invite you to read the entire post by clicking right here.

As Conservatives we are resigned to once again hold our nose and vote for anybody but Obama.  In 2012, it appears likely that vote will go to Mitt Romney.  However, a concentrated effort on electing Conservative candidates to the United States Senate is a very worthy goal.  It could, in fact, become more important than ever - especially if Obama should win a second term.

I’ll let the presidential primary chips fall where they may, and taking a much closer look at the senate races over the next few months.

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