Robin Smith / September 25, 2018

Why Keeping the Senate Matters

Republicans are clinging to a 51-49 majority in the U.S. Senate. Look to November.

Republicans are clinging to a slim 51-49 majority in the U.S. Senate, which has proven to be a challenge throughout the first two years of the presidency of Donald Trump. The upcoming midterm elections are particularly crucial to the implementation and protection of policies that are pro-America and, candidly, depend on the voters who hoisted Donald Trump into the White House to turn out with the same energy and determination in November.

Remember, Trump’s victory was not based on his polished résumé or rhetoric. Instead, he had the audacity to run on issues that Americans care about: the value of citizenship threatened by an open border, an apologetic approach to leading the world (from behind), repealing ObamaCare, cutting taxes and regulation, and restoring the authentic definition of free and fair trade to honor the American worker. The cherry on top — but also the reason for many conservative votes — was the promise of constructionist judicial appointments. And we see the Left’s resistance to that aspect through stunts like Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process.

With such a narrow majority, the “Trump” agenda — which by the way sounds an awful lot like what Ronald Reagan ran on, as has every national Republican candidate since the 1980s — has been difficult to entirely fulfill in the face of Democrat obstruction in the Senate. Furthermore, the upper chamber has been home to some of Trump’s most vocal Republican opponents — John McCain, Bob Corker, and Jeff Flake, the latter two of whom are departing — in addition to the parade of charlatans who are running for president on the Democratic Socialist ticket in 2020: Elizabeth Warren, Kamila Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Bernie Sanders.

America is witnessing the politics of our nation held hostage to an unhinged group completely devoted to delegitimizing the value and integrity of America’s elections. Beyond Kavanaugh and the “Trump/Russia collusion” investigation, there’s the weaponization of aspects of government like the Department of Justice and the FBI as tools to negate the majority party’s agenda because, clearly, to the Democratic Socialists, the most dangerous enemy in their eyes is an elected Republican committed to the Founding principles of a limited, transparent, and accountable government.

In Texas, a GOP stalwart who finished second behind Trump in the 2016 presidential primary is in danger. In Missouri, a Democrat incumbent is fighting for her seat in a right-leaning state. And in the deep-red state of Tennessee an open Senate seat is a battleground between two well-known candidates. Let’s take a quick peek at those three races that deserve review, with special attention paid to how “unDemocratic” the Democrats sound in their rhetoric and campaign promises.

In the Lone Star State, a hard-left Progressive, Beto O'Rourke, is giving Ted Cruz a true run, with the Cook Political Report moving the election from “leans Republican” to “toss-up” status. So why is a red state with a Republican governor giving its incumbent such a slim lead?

It seems Beto, the 45-year-old two-term U.S. House incumbent, has learned that to win, you must abandon leftist ways on the campaign trail. His website uses rhetoric that’s just not reflected by members of his own party — for example, he demands that “we are all treated with dignity and respect, meeting the small, petty and divisive politics of this age with a confidence, courage and strength that could only come from Texas.” We suppose his friend Wendy Davis, the former state senator and losing gubernatorial candidate who filibustered to have more relaxed abortion laws, taught him a lesson to avoid too much extremism down in the heart of Texas. His campaign platform states the obvious for educated kids, access to health care, and good jobs, yet he sounds nothing like his colleagues who promise to reverse the Trump tax cuts and move to impeach the president.

Head north to the Show-Me State and Democrat Claire McCaskill touts her record to be “a fighter Missourians can count on.” That may be true … if you want your senator to fight the president you voted into office by an 18.5-point margin. McCaskill voted against the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, and she opposes Kavanaugh. She voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that reversed the economic quagmire of the Obama economy. On the other side, GOP nominee and state Attorney General Josh Hawley is getting the Trump-treatment, complete with an endorsement and rally in the state.

Polling shows this race is a dead-heat. Looking at the two-term Senate incumbent’s website, the inquiring reader would never know of her intent to stand with Chuck Schumer in keeping the southern border porous and spending even more on entitlements. No, a glance at that website reveals praise for national security, seniors, and veterans, while failing to note her work directly against Trump’s agenda on those same issues.

Finally, the Volunteer State’s open seat resulting from Bob Corker’s fall from potential VP candidate to cable news’s favorite GOP Trump critic is a similar slugfest. On the Left, we have former Democrat Gov. Phil Bredesen, whose claim to fame was to kick 300,000 Tennesseans off the state’s Medicaid program during his two-term tenure but who now joins the chorus to expand Medicaid while having the nerve to call for a freeze in federal spending. On the Right, we have the consistent conservative Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn. To illustrate the contentious race, the Democrat has been busy camouflaging his leftist partisanship so much that the NRA had to recently demand he stop using an outdated “A” rating in campaign ads. That grade no longer applies for a man who now supports the Clinton/Schumer/Bloomberg gun-control agenda, earning him a current “D” rating.

The Real Clear Politics average has Tennessee’s matchup as a tie.

So what does this mean? It means voters need to wake up and look to the obstruction in Washington that has jeopardized the funding to end the open border, dragged out the entire process of confirmations for a host of presidential nominees, and threatens to end tax cuts that have helped boost the economy. That’s just a small sampling of the agenda that awaits if Republicans lose this slim lead in the Senate.

Democrats have long run as Republicans but governed as Socialists, though that disparity is growing now at an accelerated rate. Republicans need to find their spine and articulate the best days ahead for Americans if their numbers are to increase. Americans can multiply the great days ahead by adding more Republicans to the Senate but will understand more division and the subtraction of their earnings through taxation if Democrats prevail. Do the math.

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