Let’s take a moment to pretend that the primaries don’t exist. We’ll assume that all of the current GOP incumbents are reelected and all of the establishment candidates win in open and Democrat seats. We work our tails off during the general election to get them elected and win a GOP majority in the Senate for the 2015 session. After all of that hard work, what would a GOP-controlled Senate look like?
The Hill’s Alex Bolton asked that same question and interviewed some key players in the Senate. Here is what to expect:
Majority Leader: Mitch McConnell
Finance Committee: Orrin Hatch
Armed Services: John McCain
Appropriations: Thad Cochran
Banking: Richard Shelby
Energy and Natural Resources: Lisa Murkowski
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: Lamar Alexander
Foreign Relations: Bob Corker
Wow – you must be really excited to knock on doors for this slate of leaders. These are people who literally work hand-in-glove with their Democrat counterparts on their respective committees. Lamar Alexander is one of the most anti-free-market senators and a big proponent of federally-run education. Yet, he would control a vital committee that oversees healthcare, education, and labor issues. Bob Corker is a clone of his Democrat counterpart on foreign relations, as witnessed by the recent IMF bill and his emphatic support for new START and other harmful treaties. Then you have Lisa Murkowski, John McCain, and Orrin Hatch.
And, of course, Thad Cochran as Appropriations chair! He is already promising to bring back earmarks. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house.
Amnesty, earmarks, and corporate welfare – that is the establishment campaign message for 2014.
Fortunately, we have a choice this spring and summer – one that will enable us to campaign for Republicans in the fall with alacrity and with the confidence that a new majority would provide a bold contrast. We can support all of the challengers against some of these incumbents and knock out the pale-pastel crowd, which includes McConnell, Graham, Cochran, Roberts, and Alexander. We can support the better alternatives in the open seats and against Democrat incumbents.
Or, as Nancy Pelosi once suggested, we can embrace the suck.
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