Pessimism is no more attractive in a party leader than it is in a high school cheerleader. And, in the case of Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele, it is unwarranted as well. Despite his prediction, on Fox News, that GOP congressional control will not come "this year," the Republican Party has a very, very good chance of taking control of both houses of Congress in 2010.
We are in the midst of a political tsunami. To judge that the water will only ascend 100 feet or 200 or 300 is entirely speculative. Generally, once these things start, they go farther than anyone would have though likely. Only rarely do they fall short.
And Obama's determination to march ahead with his full socialist agenda, including the imposition of a health care system a majority doesn't want, can only strengthen the winds and the tide that is approaching. The 60-vote Democratic Senate majority is empowering such arrogance and disdain for the democratic process that it is easy to see how it will trigger an equal and opposite reaction in the 2010 elections.
The tsunami of 2010 is qualitatively different from the other slaughters of incumbents that took place in 1994 or 1974 or 1964. In those years, one party overstepped its bounds and the other exploited their rival's vulnerability. They were classic instances of the voters correcting for the excessive liberalism, conservatism or dishonesty of the incumbent regime.
But 2010 is different. It is not only that Obama is too liberal or that the Democrats have given us unemployment that won't end, a deficit that won't shrink, a new-found vulnerability to terrorism after seven safe years and a health care system a majority abhors.
2010 will be a unique year because voters have seen the myth of the moderate Democrat exposed. There is no longer any such animal. No moderate or conservative voter can rest on the assumption that his congressman or his senator will stand firm for his values in the face of party pressure. The sweep of 2010 will be due as much to this intellectual insight as to any other cause, and this will make it even more powerful.
In the House, party switches have already won the Republicans one seat, and more are likely to follow. Among open seats, Republicans will probably lose two and the Democrats six, reducing their margin to 35.