Republican consultants are doing a wonderful job raising expectations sky-high for the November elections, so that now, even if Republicans do smashingly well, it will look like a defeat (and an across-the-board endorsement of Obama's agenda). Thanks, Republicans!
That's what happened in the 1998 congressional elections, nearly foiling Clinton's impeachment. It's what happened to the Conservative Party in Britain a week ago. And that's what happened this week in the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, formerly represented by Rep. John Murtha.
Note to Republicans: Whenever possible, victory parties should be held after the election, not before it.
The result of the election in Murtha's old district on Tuesday was that the rabidly anti-ObamaCare, pro-life, pro-gun candidate won! Yippee!
But the news on Wednesday morning was that the election "dealt a blow to Republicans," as The New York Times reported.
The reason the Times' description was not utter madness (in violation of New York Times' official policy) is because the anti-ObamaCare, pro-life, pro-gun candidate was a Democrat and, for the past two months, every Republican on TV has been predicting a Republican victory in Murtha's district.
Thanks to all the happy talk, if the Republican actually had won, it would have been Page 16 news. But when the Democrat won, it seemed like an against-all-odds, come-from-behind Hoosiers victory!
Why were Republicans predicting victory in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1? Given a choice between two candidates who both hate ObamaCare, why would lifelong Democrats not vote for the Democrat?
Republicans are playing the same raised-expectations game with the November elections. Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner is ludicrously predicting Republicans will pick up 100 seats in the House in November. Newt Gingrich puts the figure at an equally insane (and weirdly precise) 78. He also predicts the Cubs will win 132 games this season and six games will be rained out.
Keep it up, Republicans, and I'm going to keep naming names. I have Nexis.
For more than half a century, the average midterm pickup for the party out of power has been 24 seats.
Your job, Republicans, is not to go on Fox News and whisper sweet nothings in conservatives' ears. Your job is to repeal the Obama agenda. Raising expectations so high that a 30-seat Republican pickup will seem like a loss is not helping.