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November 04, 2009


And I mean this: Good for you guys. I had been writing in my head a follow-up to yesterday's post, in which I would re-examine the situation, and see it instead as the maximalists saying We are going to saber-rattle for as much as possible; we're getting annoyed at you guys for trying to interrupt this complex negotiation prematurely and surrender to the milquetoasts at the RNC before we even begin wringing concessions out of them.

Understood like that, it makes sense to me. And I was even going to mention something like, "The RNC has to back off in some of these deals and let real contests occur without putting their heavy thumbs on one side of the scales."

So: Honestly, if this was part of your plan -- or even if it wasn't -- congratulations. I admit that as a pragmatist I would have rolled over and engaged in apologism for further party meddling.

With Republicans grappling with the fallout of an intra-party battle that may have cost them a House seat, the head of the Senate Republican campaign effort is making a pledge that may ease some of the anger being directed at the party establishment.

“We will not spend money in a contested primary,” Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told ABC News in a telephone interview today.

“There’s no incentive for us to weigh in,” said Cornyn, R-Texas. “We have to look at our resources. . . . We’re not going to throw money into a [primary] race leading up to the election.”

This promise applies to open seats only, unfortunately; presumably then they will still consider throwing money in favor of an incumbent, because that worked out so damn well with Arlen Spector.

By the Way: This isn't an abandonment of my position. Just a recognition that the maximalist side can get some things done better than the pragmatists.

My continuing worry is: What if the maximalists make too many demands and they and the more accomodationist elements of the GOP never come to terms and both walk away from the table?

Disaster. Disaster. No one wins elections with 35% of the vote.

So my fear is, and will continue to be, that in some cases, with all this stare-down poker going on, there is going to be a genuine bust-up and seething anger between the two sides that results in some unnecessary Democratic victories.

And for the "not a dime's worth of difference" crowd -- A majority in the House gets to conduct investigations of the president and issue subpoenas on a party line vote.

A minority doesn't, because the majority just votes party-line to halt the investigation and refuses to put people under oath or compel the production of documents.

Keep that in mind, too. At some point we do have to unite, because we do not have more than 55% of the public with us, and that's under best circumstances.

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posted by Ace at 04:14 PM

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