Unless my eyes deceive me, the only states where President Obama is above water are Hawaii, California,Maryland, New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts. He’s underwater with likely voters by a minimum of ten points in the Senate battleground states of Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Louisiana.
This is the moment when the GOP needs its own Howard Dean. Not the Screaming Howard Dean of 2004, but the scheming Howard Dean who went on the chair the DNC. And I don’t use “scheming” as an epithet. Dean had the vision and the gumption to put into action his “50 State Strategy” for Democratic dominance. He didn’t care if Democrat candidates were pro-life or pro-gun, so long as they could get elected and vote D on the big issues. He helped a young presidential contender from Illinois dig deep into what were supposed to be reliably Red states, and win them.
The hyper-D major from 2009-2011 was in no small part due to Dean’s boldness. Dean didn’t care if his candidate were only good for just a couple of terms, or even only one — so long as they got enough votes for just long enough to push through a heap of legislation. And in 2007-08, Dean got his crisis and he didn’t let it go to waste. The results, such as they are, lie all around us.
Starting on November 4 and going through the following two election cycles, the party has a once-in-a-generation shot to pursue its own 50 State Strategy and undo much of the damage the Donks have done. But where is the GOP leader of similar vision and gumption? Where are the candidates willing to do whatever it takes to win? What happened to GOP voters who once understood that victory is more important than purity?
The national party seems willing to settle for winning a slender Senate majority and hanging on in the House — when so much more should be possible. And absolutely zero seems to have been put into play to stop the Hillary Juggernaut in 2016.
Where’s the boldness, the drive, the ambition?
It’s too late to hope for anything more in this cycle than for a GOP Senate able to mitigate some of the hurt coming our way before January 20, 2017. But after then, mitigation will no longer be enough — or even possible.