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May 15, 2006

Sitting Out 2006 Hurts The Real Conservatives In the GOP, Not the RINOs

That's what Jim Geraghty says.

What’s really stunning is this absolute certainty of angry conservatives that A) Republicans will learn the right lessons from the defeat, and not, say, respond in a panic by embracing their inner RINO and flailing around for MSM approval and B) that the Republicans can easily win back Congress in 2008, just by stiffening their spines and pledging to return to their conservative roots.

I have my doubts on both counts. For starters, why would Republicans get the message that “we need to be more conservative” in a year that conservatives were knocked out?

Who are the Republican lawmakers most angering the conservative base? Well, let’s say Sens. Trent “I’m tired of hearing about Porkbusters” Lott, Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens, John McCain for cosponsoring Kennedy’s immigration bill and campaign finance reform, Arlen Specter for being a pain in the tushie over judges, Chuck Hagel for being the New York Times’ favorite Republican senator to criticize Bush, and other minimally-conservative Republicans like Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Well, they’re not going to lose in 2006. Most of ‘em aren’t even up for reelection this year.

Look at the Republicans most in jeopardy in 2006. (I’m using National Journal’s most recent rankings.)

In the Senate, a bad year for the Republicans would mean the loss of Rick Santorum (who has lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 88 out of a possible 100, and a 92 in 2005) in Pennsylvania, Jim Talent (93 rating lifetime, and a 96 in 2005) in Missouri, Conrad Burns (91, and a perfect 100 in 2005) in Montana and Mike DeWine (80 lifetime, only 56 in 2005) in Ohio. Of course, Ohio voters who sit this one out will replace DeWine with Sherrod Brown, who has a lifetime rating of 8 and 4 for 2005. And they won’t get to revisit that decision until 2012.

Good point.


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posted by Ace at 12:30 PM

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