Senate Republicans: Don't Destroy Your Base Because Obama Tells You To

In 2012, Barack Obama taught us how to win elections. He packed the NLRB, passed ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank, pushed same-sex marriage, promised executive amnesty, avoided tort reform on ObamaCare, and did everything necessary to turn every element of the Democrat base into a “ground game.”

Republicans, on the other hand, have now spent every waking moment of 2015 working to systematically destroy their base: They threw the battle on RFRA. They conceded that no spending or debt limit bills will be passed if Obama is prepared to veto them. They just repudiated the Hyde amendment on the sex trafficking bill. Their “oversight” on Iran — they can affect the deal if they pass a veto-proof bill — sells out Israel, at the same time as it betrays conservative foreign policy wonks of all stripes.

And now, a single GOP senator may decide whether Republicans demoralize their Second Amendment base and cause them to sit out the 2016 elections — both nationally and in Senate races in Arizona, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. The fight will be over whether to confirm Schumer-protégé Loretta Lynch — and lock her in as the fifth-vote-in-waiting for the Supreme Court — a fifth vote who would almost certainly vote that the Second Amendment is not an individual right.

As was the predictable result with Mitt Romney and the Senate losses in 2012, if the GOP succeeds in destroying its base because “Obama says,” even the unpopularity of Hillary Clinton is not going to save them in 2016.

Remember 2012? The only pro-gun vote during the preceding two years was a pro-gun Rand Paul amendment, and McConnell whipped Republicans to defeat it and give the Bloomberg faction a victory. Bush-era pundits predicted that a high unemployment rate would guarantee Obama’s defeat. But, as I predicted, nothing would save the GOP from the lack of a “ground game.”

It was only Obama’s new-found hatred for the Second Amendment, after the 2012 elections, which allowed us to unite the gun movement around the defeat of Begich, Pryor, Landrieu, Hagan, and Udall, even though conservatives’ first choices didn’t win in many of those primaries.

So here’s some Midwestern prom etiquette for the GOP: “Go home with the guy what brung you.”

A single GOP vote on Lynch may determine whether the GOP positions itself to win in 2016, or whether it positions the Democrats to win.

A single senator willing to raise an appeal to the ruling of the chair may determine whether local pro-gun activists decide that Senate races in Arizona, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois are worth fighting for.

Sure, MSNBC is serenading you with the siren song that core Democratic voters will support the GOP if they cave, or oppose them if they don’t. But here’s a news flash: MSNBC doesn’t want the GOP to win, now or ever.

The question is, now as always, not whether Obama can be persuaded to support the GOP (he can’t), but whether the Republican base can be persuaded to support them.

The jury’s still out on that one. But it may return a verdict in the next few days.