Hobson's Choice

Imagine this.

You’re a Republican Congressman elected in 2010. Your seat is fairly secure, but you won’t survive a wave election of the kind that put your into power. But you’ve taken a few votes in this Congress that haven’t enamored you to moderate voters, as most of your colleagues have.

You’re in a meeting with the RNCCC. Someone mentions that your colleagues in the senate are pushing to retake that chamber and they have to win in blue and purple states to do it.

You want to get reelected. What do you do?

Here’s what I would do:

I raise my hand and say

They might take a numerical majority in the senate, but they are in no position to get a filibuster-proof majority, even if they won’t have to be buying off Angus King from Maine all the time, and even if they can get Joe Lieberman to shift to caucus with us. They won’t be able to legislate. Sure, maybe a few bills can pass by reconciliation.

Worse, if we do lose the White House and we lose the House and we can’t legislate in the Senate, we have nothing, really. The President can veto reconciliation bills and the Speaker can refuse to take them up.

No, we can’t stick our own necks out for either the Presidential nominee or for the prospect of taking the Senate. We’re just not that close to closing the deal. I can read polls.

I have to have my base show up. You made me take votes that alienated moderates. I took them. If we support Romney, my base will simply not show up. I will lose, and if I lose, dozens other just like me will lose and we will lose the House.

It’s not good for me, but it’s also not good for the Party.

Will Santorum lose 40 states? Probably. But the base will show up. They will reelect me, they will reelect others like me, and there won’t be any surprises in the Senate, even if we won’t retake it.

So, you tell me—what’s better for the party? Nominal control of the Senate with Obama back in the White House and Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair? That’s what you’ll get with Romney.

With Santorum, you’ll have Obama back in the White House. It seems to me that ship has sailed. Some time this summer, he’s either going to have a treaty with Iran, or he’s going to bomb them. Then what? But we’ll keep the House because we’ll be able to draw a firewall with districts that are already gerrymandered and those that will be by the time of the election with our base.

Fuck the Senate. They can go it on their own, and fuck Romney he’s a terrible candidate. Santorum is a psycho and we have to keep him from being crowned the presumed nominee for 2016, but that’s how we get the base to turn out. Period.

It’s about the House. It’s about 2016.

Do you really want to overturn Obamacare? You can’t do it now. You can’t do it without 60 senators, can’t do it without the White House. And I don’t think you can do it period now. You need to wait for it to kick in in 2014 and have a bunch of people dropped from their employer’s health care. It’ll be a great issue in 2016.

If we don’t get it done by then, in 2018 or 2020, people will love it. They’ll start to see savings and security. They’ll be addicted to yet another government plan.

So, gentlemen, what will it be? The House and our own necks, and the party, and a shot at repealing this socialist monstrosity—or a chance for the arrogant, backstabbing senators and their faceman from Massachusetts?