By Bryan Preston
President Barack Obama has been engulfed in scandals over the entire course of his second term. From the disaster in Benghazi, which actually occurred at the tail end of his first term but has played out in his second, to the IRS targeting scandal, to Obamacare’s wretched rollout, to his war on energy waged from the Environmental Protection Agency, to the Veterans Administration scandal and the latest – the exchange of five top-level Taliban commanders to get one American soldier who may be a deserter – this administration is coming apart.
Yet, and Obama knows this as well as anyone, he has not been held accountable for any of it.
And as things stand now, he won’t be. The media ran interference for him until the VA scandal broke, but that and the Bergdahl swap have broken the blockade on negative press for Captain Lightworker. For now, anyway. They’ll get back to their regularly scheduled bashing of everything not orthodox leftist as soon as possible. But more critically, Obama has operated knowing that as long as the Senate remains in Democratic hands, it will take no action to rein him in in any way. He and Harry Reid have effectively hacked the Constitution’s system of checks and balances, allowing Obama to govern by decree and by the movements within the regulatory state.
That’s why the 2014 midterm elections are so critical. The American constitutional order itself hangs in the balance. If Harry Reid hangs onto control, Barack Obama will have the closest thing to unchallenged power any American president has ever had. For two long years.
Following the midterms in this chaotic media environment will be a major challenge for anyone. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a one-stop shop where you could catch up on how the elections are going, at a glance, in real time, on your computer, your phone, your tab, wherever you are? Something that will help you make sense of the latest developments, not catalogued by the biased mainstream media, but by reporters in the field who are there to tell the truth? We’re building a new election tool for you at PJ Media, and we’re rolling it out this week.
How are the elections looking?
First, rumors of the tea party’s demise have turned out to be greatly exaggerated. Economics professor Dave Brat toppled House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia despite being outspent 40:1, striking a stunning blow against the Beltway establishment. Sen. Thad Cochran, R.-Mississippi, now faces a runoff against his primary challenger, the tea-flavored Chris McDaniel. McDaniel actually finished marginally ahead of Cochran, who has been in Congress since the Carter administration. The runoff will probably attract more insurgent-minded voters, just like the lieutenant governor runoff on the Republican side in Texas, meaning the challenger is very likely to win. The seat is very likely to remain in Republican hands, and the Senate gets a little bit more conservative.
The Republican party overall is getting more conservative, and the establishments in both parties are getting more nervous. This is a good thing. They should respect and fear the people. If we can’t get respect, fear will have to do. On the Democratic side, a handful of Senate races will determine whether Harry Reid remains in power or gets relegated to some role in the minority. Races in Louisiana, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alaska, Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Montana can tip the balance of power. Democrats are vulnerable in all of those races, so they are running hard to distance themselves from Barack Obama and his policies. It’s going to be fun watching senators who marched in lockstep with Obama for years to spend the summer bashing him just to save their own skins. It’s not going to be fun watching a desperate Obama pick fight after fight with everyone just to make himself relevant. Nothing bites as viciously as something or someone cornered, and Obama knows that he is cornered.
Most pundits rate the possibility of a Republican takeover of the Senate at about 50-50. I see it more like 55-45. The economy is terrible and contracting. Obama is under 50 percent approval on every issue. Fifty-five percent of Americans believe he has weakened the nation, according to a new Fox News poll. He seems to be bored in the job and checking out on it when it gets most difficult. The Democrats’ only hope is to pick a useful fight or two to bring out their 2012 vote again. They’ll pick the fights, but the Republicans have learned from 2012. They will meet the Democrats’ “war on women” schtick with more female candidates like Joni Ernst, the Senate candidate in Iowa who broke through nationally with an ad promising to cut government pork like castrating hogs. She won the Iowa GOP primary and is set to take the seat from the retiring Democrat Tom Harkin. The Democrats’ income inequality noise has already played out and was ineffective. People want jobs. Democrat policies are killing jobs. The Republicans can blow this, of course, but at this point, they just need to close the deal.
The Republicans have a good chance to recapture the Senate this year. And it’s imperative that they succeed.
For much on the midterms, stop by PJ Media’s new Website, The Grid, your one-stop shop for everything in the 2014 midterms elections. Run by PJ Media editor at large Bryan Preston, The Grid will curate the best election coverage from the PJ universe and beyond, in a format that will let you see what’s happening at a glance on your computer, tablet or phone. Your election coverage, your way. Check out The Grid at Grid.PJMedia.com.