Here’s the deal: We knew that. We allllll knew that. The Left knew it, the Right knew it, the media knew it, the White House knew it, and I’m pretty dang sure McMittington himself knew it, and knows it still. How a man so thoroughly disliked convinces himself to continue running is beyond me, and I genuinely think it involves a certain mental dysfunction, but that’s not my point.
My point is this: The fact that that the GOP has selected a terrible Presidential candidate, who (barring disaster, and disasters do sometimes happen) will lose to the Democratic incumbent is not news. It’s not even useful information. Because the point now is Congress.
If the GOP had found someone who could genuinely threaten to unseat President Obama, that would be a very important conversation to have. But they didn’t – which means there’s a very powerful possibility that a large percentage of our folks will simply sit the election out, confident that our guy is safe.
Yet if we have learned nothing else over the past three years, surely we have learned that our guy — and more to the point, the agenda we elected him to bring to fruition — will never be safe from a group of people dedicated to his/its complete failure; plus which, there’s this little thing called “The Legislative Branch.”
The Democrats’ current slim majority in the Senate is not enough to overcome the Republicans’ favorite non-legislative tool, the filibuster, and you might recall that we lost the House in 2010. Which is to say: If we want to not only see President Obama re-elected but to actually see our own goals (writ large) achieved — we have got to do all we can to claw back some seats.
The forces arrayed against us are not insignificant: A) Romney may be weak, but the Republican Party and its moneyed backers are not. They are throwing every dirty, nasty thing they can at Democrats, politicians and rank-and-file, to scare us away from the voting booth, not to mention doing all they can to just straight-up bar the door; B) disasters (see: above) are not unheard of in history and/or politics, and when there exists even the slimmest possibility of a Romney Presidency, with the current GOP at his back, we must not take the threat lightly; C) incumbents are re-elected at a genuinely alarming rate in American politics — to the tune of 80-95% (for a truly sinus-clearing visual of what 80-95% re-elction rates look like, click here).
If we don’t gird our loins and do our damndest to get more Democrats into Congress this fall, we might as well just sit back and await more of the kind of dehumanizing, anti-economic-recovery, pro-big-business shenanigans at which the GOP has excelled since 2008. It’s really that simple.
Fine. I’m thrilled that the Republican Party, macro- and micro-, hates their candidate.
Emily L. Hauser has been a freelance writer for 20 years. She has contributed to publications such as the Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, and Dallas Morning News, covering topics ranging from Israel/Palestine and domestic politics, to women’s issues and the occasional burst of geekery. She is a regular columnist at The Daily Beast’s Open Zion, and blogs at Emily L. Hauser In My Head. Follow her on Twitter at @emilylhauser.
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