Brian Birdnow

It is becoming a commonplace in political circles to suggest that 2010 is a Republican year and that the only question is not whether there will be a GOP landslide in November, but if that landslide will be so complete as to actually unseat the Democrats in one or both chambers of Congress. Dick Morris, Michael Barone, and Larry Sabato seem sure that this is the case, and while others are more restrained in their predictions, the consensus opinion is that the Republicans will be popping champagne corks on November 2nd. The Democrats, naturally, contest such a likelihood, but seem resigned to the fact that they will lose, and lose big, in six weeks. Still, a GOP landslide is not a sure thing in the upcoming election and even if the Republicans experience of scenarios in November the dynamics of national politics will change only marginally. A Republican sweep will lead to partisan gridlock and might have the perverse effect of guaranteeing the re-election of President Barack Obama in 2012. Yes, you are reading this correctly!

There are a number of reasons why the Republican leadership should not count their chickens before the have hatched. In the first place, the Democrats and their allies in the prestige media will fight madly to keep what they have. We can see the class warfare card coming into play over the renewal or expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and the left wing has been lobbing the “racism” bomb at any figure who dares to criticize the anointed one since 2008. In addition, habitual voting patterns generally re-emerge once voters go to the polls. Many who are considering voting Republican as a protest against drunken-sailor spending and the gallop toward socialism will reluctantly fall back to their Democratic roots come election time.

Just as we can count on Democrats to fight to keep what they have, we can count on Republicans to fumble the ball, and quite possibly, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The Party’s propensity toward imbecilities manifested itself again last week as Republican political consultants sternly lectured GOP primary voters about choosing the “wrong” candidates to carry the Party standard in Nevada, Kentucky, Alaska, and Delaware. There seems to be no limit to the self-destructive nature of the modern Republican Party. Perhaps it is time for the Republican National Committee chairman, the clueless Michael Steele, to step in and attempt to quell this internecine warfare.

Brian Birdnow

Brian E. Birdnow is a historian and teaches at a university in the St. Louis area.