Random thought of the day, and this is not specific to any one party. Sometimes it stinks to be the party out of power, especially in the off-year (2011) of an upcoming Presidential campaign (2012). There is a leadership vacuum in the Republican party right now. By definition, McConnell, Boehner and to a lesser extent Preibus “run” the various aspects of the party, but the reality is that it’s split, and with the Presidential campaign on the horizon and personalities battling for attention, money, staff and brand positioning, things are getting interesting.
Politics and politicians abhor a vacuum. That giant sucking sound you hear, it’s the perennial race to see who can fill the void. Sometimes people take it (Reagan literally taking the microphone), sometimes it’s offered (and even rejected as in the case of Powell), and sometimes there’s just an old-fashioned political brawl. Given the amount of money in play, the mood of the electorate, the cult of celebrity and the personalities involved, I see this looking more like a World Wrestling Cage Match than I do a Lincoln-Douglass debate.
Watch Sen. DeMint, the power behind the power in the Senate. Watch John McCain, you know, the cranky guy telling you to get off his lawn — try to exercise a last gasp at control by tacking back to the center again and becoming a foil for DeMint. Watch Thune elblow DeMint in his quest for the Presidency. Watch the anti-Boehner in the House, not sure who that is yet, but there will be Tea Party inspired challenges. Pence, possibly?
And of course, watch the Presidential field try to play Congressional Republicans like pinball. Oh, and don’t forget the Governors/former Govs, like Pawlenty, Daniels, Jindahl, Haley, Barbour, who will make the whole lot of them in DC nuts and nervous.
My bottom line: like it or not, Obama speaks with a singular voice for Dems. No matter how Progressives like me holler, he is our candidate, period, and I expect that the campaign will be focused and disciplined, unlike most of the Presidency so far. Over the past couple years, the Republicans were remarkably lockstep in their opposition and disciplined in their communications. The chances are pretty slim that the Republicans will speak with one voice on anything for the next couple years…not for the lack of trying, however. Should be pretty interesting.
Buckle your seatbelts and put your tray tables up. This should be a fun ride…
— Jeff K