Jay Cost is a staff writer at the Weekly Standard.
In John McCormack's interview with Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee said: "Tell me what election we lost because I gave $15,000 to Guam."
What follows is a list of close House races that the GOP lost by just a handful of votes. Would $15,000 from the Republican National Committee have helped? I would say, yes.
New Jersey's 12th
New Mexico's 1st
New York's 1st
New York's 22nd
New York's 23rd
To this list we might also add the gubernatorial race in Illinois, which the
GOP lost by just a few thousand votes out of millions cast.
This is significant because now the Democrats have complete control over the redistricting process just as the GOP has surged in the Illinois House delegation. But hey, I'm really stoked about winning the governorship of Guam!
Steele responded, "And why are we saying in the face of every other seat that we picked up, every other race that we won, that we shouldn't have played there?"
Simple answer: we should not have "played there" because the governor of Guam does not have a vote to repeal Obamacare, bring our out-of-control entitlement system into a manageable state, cut wasteful spending, roll back the regulatory overreach of this administration, etc. It seems to me that the only relevant vote Guam has regarding the domestic agenda of the GOP is that which it holds for the Republican National Committee chairmanship.
Next, in response to Steele's question:
"The bottom line is we won 64 seats. So you wanted 65?"
First of all, the GOP won 66 seats from the Democrats while the Democrats picked up 3 from the GOP, for a net of 63 seats. Personally, I think it is just awesome that the chairman of the Republican National Committee does not know that.
But to answer his question: Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes! If you cannot see how obvious this answer is, Michael Steele, you have no business leading the Republican National Committee.
Finally, in response to this comment:
"[W]e couldn't count to 39 a year ago. You couldn't identify the 39 seats you were going to win a year ago. Okay? So put yourself a year ago. Don't look at right now and ask that question. Go back a year and tell me the 39 seats you absolutely know you would have won."
Here is a link to the Cook Political Report from December, 2009. You'll see that it lists exactly 39 Democratic seats as being highly vulnerable to GOP capture.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
By Jay Cost:
Reprinted with permission from The Weekly Standard