Just when you’re beginning to feel optimistic about the conservative movement’s chances in November, the weekly Gallup poll tracking congressional voting preferences by registered voters comes along and suddenly the Democrats and Republicans are tied at 46. Though this is only one week’s poll, it marks a shift after five consecutive weeks in which the Republicans held the advantage, peaking at a record-breaking 10-point edge over Democrats, 51–41, at the beginning of September.
Why the change? Weekly polls are volatile, but maybe it’s saying that voters aren’t real thrilled about their choices, or about the Republican record on conservative measures. If the natural fit for the TEA party is in fact the Republican Party, then candidates need to continue separating themselves from the old Republican ways that got us into the current situation. If they don’t, they can kiss 2012 goodbye.
“It’s the Constitution, Stupid” is my James Carville message to candidates in their final push to November. Get out your pocket-sized U.S. Constitution and reread the preamble: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Note how it reads promote the general welfare, not provide it.
To House candidates specifically, I suggest memorizing Article I, Section 7: “All bills for raising revenue [read: taxes] shall originate in the House of Representatives.” Make a banner so your voters have this front and center in their minds on election day. To Senate candidates, don’t forget that the rest of that sentence in Article I, Section 7, reads: “but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.” Here’s where candidates should make reference to the 2010 Congressional Pig Book and the 9,129 earmarks.
Finally, all U.S. congressional candidates must understand Article I, Section 4: “The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.” The founders did not intend for Washington, D.C., to become the 24-7 political monster that it has become. No way. Members were to serve their country, not the other way around. They were to meet and then get back to their lives, not attach themselves like barnacles to D.C.
Much to the dismay of progressives, every thoughtful citizen knows it is the Constitution that connects Americans. To say otherwise is simply un-American, and not what the founders intended. The simple message “It’s the Constitution, Stupid” will resonate with voters who have had enough of the tax-and-spend ways of the masters of the universe in Washington.
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