It's a good thing the politicians aren't telling us 2014 is "the most important election of our lifetimes" like they seemingly always do every other campaign, because I doubt anybody would believe it. Starting with themselves.
I have attended or spoken at several conservative conferences all over the country the past few months, and while I don't want to say the energy level for the 2014 midterms is lacking, people seemed more fired up about the "Frozen" storyline coming to "Once Upon a Time" than they are about the Republicans capturing the U.S. Senate.
Sure, everybody says the right thing about rallying around the elephant and relegating Harry Reid back to minority leader status. They just don't say it with any conviction, and they say it with the same body language that girl in high school exhibited when she said "let's just be friends." The conservatives I talk to believe two things are likely to occur as a result of November 4th:
1) Republicans will re-take the U.S. Senate.
2) Nothing will change.
Unfortunately, it seems as if those running the GOP are doing nothing to undo the apathy. Republican leaders have failed to nationalize the 2014 election as a referendum on Obamacare or the border crisis, both very unpopular with voters, probably because they keep funding Obamacare and many of them are pro-amnesty as well.
Neither are they offering the American people an alternative plan similar to the successful "Contract with America" from back in 1994. Probably because they'd prefer to win without being held accountable to anything they know the Marxist in the White House will object to. History has repeatedly proven they don't have the moxie to win a contest of wills with a president who intimidates nobody else on earth, other than these Republican leaders. Thus, the last thing they need is to run and win on a plan they don't plan on following through with.
Therefore, 2014 has become the ultimate race to the bottom. The trilemma includes:
Democrats weighed down by their unpopular Marxist standard-bearer, and his
unpopular Marxist policies they all voted for.
Unpopular Republican leaders standing for nothing other than not being Obama, playing prevent defense with the game tied.
An angry electorate that would love to send a message to the lawless regime in the White House, but doesn't love the idea of these feckless Republican leaders being the beneficiaries of their doing so.
It all adds up to an election with everyone going through the motions. Even the attack ads are lame, with each side rolling out the same tired cliches we've heard time and time again. Republicans will cut entitlements and Democrats will grow government, blah...blah...blah.
2014 may go down as the election that needed more cowbell.
On the other hand, the energy level for 2016 is already there.
Democrats seem positively orgasmic about getting to vote for a Clinton again, especially since Killary really is the Leftist Bubba never was. Meanwhile, conservatives see this as their best chance to beat the GOP establishment in a national primary for the first time in a generation. The establishment is so desperate it's considering rehabilitating Romney again, while there is a strong throng of conservative candidates for the grassroots to choose from.
It's a good thing the energy level for 2016 is already high. Conservatives are going to have to coalesce behind their champion early on if they want to avoid a repeat of the last two cycles, which saw a weak establishment candidate take advantage of a GOP base splintered among several different options. With the new RNC rules for the 2016 cycle, the primary calendar will be more condensed than ever. That means conservatives won't be able to let the process play itself out before rallying around someone. We're going to need our own preliminary process of vetting and selecting a champion alternative to the establishment before the actual nomination process begins.
Thankfully, everywhere I go conservatives seem aware of this, which is why I'm already getting ton of questions about 2016 once people find out I live in the first-in-the-nation-caucus state. If we want people to think there's a difference between the two parties we're going to have to provide them one through the nominee we elevate in 2016, because it's obvious the people currently running things in the 2014 GOP won't.