Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Where’s the GOP Message of Tax-Cutting Victory?

Why did Senate Republican campaign chief John Cornyn tell me last night on CNBC that it is “almost numerically impossible” for the GOP to retake the upper chamber this November? I asked him about this twice, and he stayed with it. It came out sounding defeatist. Sort of like General Patton telling Ike, “We will never get to Berlin.”

In fact, it is numerically possible. And more to the point, it is politically possible.

There are 18 Democratic senators up for grabs. Right now, the GOP is in excellent shape to take Illinois (President Obama’s seat), Delaware (Vice President Biden’s seat), Nevada (Harry Reid’s seat), and North Dakota (Byron Dorgan’s seat). So that’s four. It would give them 45 seats. So they need six additional seats out of 14.

If Scott Brown can do it, riding the tidal wave of conservative, populist, low-tax-and-spend, free-market revolt, including tough stands on terrorism and national security, then the GOP should be proclaiming a tidal wave that could carry them to Senate victory this fall.

On top of all that, it’s not out of the question that independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut could switch parties. Nor is it out of the question that beleaguered Ben Nelson of Nebraska could switch parties. So I was very disappointed in my friend John Cornyn for making this statement.

Similarly, the Texas senator admitted to me last night that the GOP has not mounted an across-the-board tax-cut message as per Scott Brown, and hasn’t even taken up the battle to extend the Bush tax cuts. Right now, the idea of extending the Bush tax cuts is being carried by a bunch of Blue Dog Democrats, with no real Republican support in sight.

This is a huge mistake. The party with the real growth message -- which includes smaller government and putting more money in people’s pockets to spur growth and investment (i.e., lower-tax-rate incentives) -- is going to win this fall.

As my late and dear friend Bob Novak used to say, Republicans were put on this Planet Earth to cut taxes. So where’s the message of tax-cutting-victory in November?