When the Senate's Republican leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor this week to denounce the latest version of Chris Dodd's vision for how American finance and banking ought to be run, McConnell eased fears among conservatives of all sorts that the GOP would go along with an alleged Wall Street makeover just to avoid the prospect of an MSM chorus of denunciation of Republicans as obstructionists.
McConnell blistered the Dodd bill as a pathway to future bailouts and in a stroke gave the GOP firm ground on which to fight.
Now if he can only do the same thing twice more.
Disgust with the runaway Congress that blew past the objections of a large majority of Americans when it came to Obamacare has not dissipated in the weeks since the jam-down occured. President Obama's poll numbers have hit new all-time lows and could drop further as the parade of horribles associated with Obamacare gets longer and longer and new and unpleasant surprises seem to emerge every day.
This is not a Congress to inspire confidence. In fact, this Congress inspires a great deal of fear and, in some quarters, loathing. Voters cannot wait until November to deliver the political punishment that always follows parties and politicians who turn their faces against their people who sent them to D.C.
With this sort of voter revolt brewing, Congressional Republicans would be crazy to cooperate in any additional massive exercises in legislation. Principled, vocal and sustained opposition to the growth of government and the massive deficits that have accompanied that growth is the only platform the Republicans need or should want for the fall. They need to be the "party of no" when it comes to the Democrats' agenda.
The banking bill is just one of the big three statutory nightmares the Senate GOP has to oppose, regardless of what the editorial pages of the Washington Post and New York Times opine..
The other two big pushes from the left are for cap-and-tax and immigration "reform." Cooperation with either legislative effort will substantially injure the efforts of grassroots conservatives to rebuild trust with the Republican lawmakers inside the Beltway. It is political suicide to do deals with Democrats right now or any time between now and November. Part of the story of the loss of the Republican majority in 2006 was the refusal of the Congressional Republicans to hold together and make use of the advantage voters gave them in November, 2004. They were not perceived as a fighting party, but as a go-along party.