Many American conservatives will be facing a dilemma in November: they can’t vote for Hillary Clinton and they don’t want to vote for Donald Trump. My advice to them is to remember that the more a decision resembles a dilemma, the less important the choice is.
To give a counter-example, last October Canada held its last Federal Election. I could vote for the Stephen Harper-led Conservatives and the Liberals led by Justin Trudeau. I did not face a dilemma. Because I was faced with a real choice, I knew exactly who to vote for.
A few weeks back I made the argument that American conservatives should not waste any more time and effort on the Presidential election. I argued that conservatives should understand and accept the fact that – for them - the Presidential race has already been lost. It was lost in Indiana when John Kasich and Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican race. Instead they should concentrate their attention, time and money on important, meaningful races that have yet to be decided and where they can make a real difference for the better. Recently, Claire Berlinski made the same point.
To me, the most important goal for conservatives, given the current reality – that the next President will be hostile to conservatism - is to ensure that Congress remains in Republican hands. Given that Antonin Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court Justice will be chosen by the next President, maintaining the Senate must have the higher priority.
As luck would have it, the Republican Party will be playing defence this election cycle (thanks to their wild success of the 2010 mid-term elections). This means there are a lot of Republican Senate Seats to defend. According to the Hill, the top ten Senate seats most likely to flip are:
Mark Kirk (Republican): Illinois
Ron Johnson (Republican): Wisconsin
Marco Rubio’s seat (Republican): Florida
Kelly Ayotte (Republican): New Hampshire
Pat Toomey (Republican): Pennsylvania
Bob Portman (Republican): Ohio
Harry Reid’s seat (Democrat): Nevada
Richard Burr (Republican): North Carolina
John McCain (Republican): Arizona
Roy Blunt (Republican): Missouri
It can be seen that nine out of the ten seats are currently held by Republicans. In order to maintain control of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as many of these nine Republican seats must be held as possible.
It might be argued that many of these imperilled GOP Senators are RINO’s. This is true, but it is also true that the party balance in the Senate determines who controls the committees, and who controls the committees determines largely which bills get voted on and what get shuffled aside. Who would you rather have controlling the Judiciary Committee, the team of Mike Lee, Jeff Sessions, and Ted Cruz, or the team of Patrick Leahy, Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Dick Durbin, and Al Franken? This, ladies and gentlemen, is the question that should be at the focus of your attention now that the Presidential election has been settled.
Speaking of RINO’s, John McCain has a primary challenger in the form of State Senator Kelli Ward. The primary will be held on August 30. According to a poll taken in mid-May, they are tied at 41% each. If you want to participate in something more useful that a useless, no-hope, third-party challenge to Trump and Hillary, here is a place to park your time, money, and attention. It is a troubling sign of the misplaced priorities among conservatives that I had dig quite a bit in order to find out anything at all about this race. On the other hand, because so few people are paying attention to it, your personal effort will have all the more impact.
Don’t tilt at windmills, don’t cry in your beer, and stop paying attention to elections that have already been decided against you. There are plenty of important decisions yet to be made where your participation can make a real difference.
Oh yeah, the primary to pick the Republican Senate candidate in Nevada (for the Senate seat left vacant by the retiring Harry Reid) will be held on June 14. Do you even know about it? Do you know who is running? Don’t ask me. I don’t know. The conservative media has ignored the race – concerning the only possible GOP pickup in the Senate this year.