The Republican presidential nominee is likely to win the White House in 2016. Since 1952, with the only exception being “Reagan’s third term” in 1988, voters have ousted the incumbent party after eight years. Indeed, the candidate of the eight-year incumbent party always does considerably worse in his election than the incumbent running for reelection four years before. Obama won with only 51 percent of the vote in 2012. That’s a bad sign for the 2016 Democratic nominee, who, if history is a guide, is likely to end up with about 45 percent of the vote. So the 2016 GOP nominee has a good shot to be president.
But who, you might ask, should that be?
Good question. And we don’t have an answer. With Friedrich Hayek, we believe in the limits of central planning and foreknowledge. With Adam Smith, we believe in the merits of wide-open competition. With Joseph Schumpeter, we believe in the utility of some creative destruction. With Peter Thiel, we believe that it’s very hard to know ahead of time who can make the leap from zero to one.
So our holiday message to Republican primary voters is simple: Take your time before making your choice. Take a good look at all the candidates. Don’t rule individuals in or out because of your own or others’ preconceptions, or because pundits say this or donors say that or the media say God-knows-what. Give each of the candidates a chance to make his or her case, and don’t rush to make up your mind either about who has the best chance to win or who would do best at governing.
And our holiday message to possible Republican candidates is also simple: Seize the day. If you think you would be a good president of the United States, run. After all, if not now, when? The election of 2016 is not only winnable. It will be the most consequential since 1980. The country’s future is at stake. This is no time for anyone who thinks he or she has something to contribute to equivocate, to hold back, to calculate the odds for 2020 or 2024.
So, channeling Thomas Paine, we say to John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Pete King, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Joe Scarborough, Scott Walker, and Allen West: “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Each of you would be a better president than Hillary Clinton. You would deserve the thanks of man and woman if you beat her. And if your name is not on this list, don’t feel slighted. Rather, feel free to volunteer. Dick Cheney, Tom Cotton, Mitch Daniels, Joni Ernst, Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani—you’re also more ready than Hillary. If you think you’re the right person . . . go for it.
Some may say we’re taking “the more the merrier” to ridiculous lengths. Perhaps. But the winnowing process, once it begins in late 2015, will be merciless. The field will narrow soon enough. So while Democrats face the prospect of a forced march to a lackluster coronation, Republicans, at least for the next several months, can let a hundred flowers bloom. “Our love can thrive in company great; our honour more and never less.”
The predictable furor over President Obama’s executive order offering relief to approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants has obscured the fact that his initiative is much bolder in form than in content. Obama has gone to extraordinary lengths to offer less than what immigrant advocates have for years been insisting is an absolute necessity: full citizenship.
With his aggressive executive action on immigration, President Obama has struck a constitutional nerve in the body politic. The first lawsuit challenging the president’s action was filed last week by a coalition of 18 states led by Texas. Oklahoma is about to file, and other states may do so as well.
Republicans have lost the last two presidential elections, but not much else over the past six years. They’ve captured the House and Senate. They now hold 31 governorships and 69 of the 99 state legislative chambers. What this means is pretty simple: There’s an emerging Republican majority.
The Republican victory in the midterm election was decisive. Now the victors must chart a sensible course for the next two years—one that demonstrates they can be trusted as America’s governing party and sets the table for 2016.
The Republican National Committee responds to President Obama's executive amnesty with this video:
The RNC says in a statement, “President Obama’s politically motivated executive order is unprecedented,” said Chairman Priebus. “If he believed that his actions were urgent and that he had the Constitutional authority all along, why didn’t he think so for the last six years of his presidency?”
For years, liberal Democrats have haughtily explained to Republicans that the GOP is on the cusp of becoming a permanent minority. Even speaker of the House John Boehner can find himself on the receiving end of lectures by preening leftists. President Barack Obama warned Boehner of the GOP’s impending presidential collapse just two days after the Republican party’s midterm triumph!
Ever since the Democrats were trounced in the midterm elections, they and the media have been trying to figure out how Republicans triumphed so thoroughly. Wasn’t the GOP supposed to be in permanent decline, on the wrong side of history, demography, and the issues? So far the soul searching has been almost nonexistent. National Journal’s Ron Fournier, a weathervane for centrist Beltway journalists, tried to dismiss the GOP’s triumph out of hand: “The Republican Party didn’t win the overall election—not with numbers like that.
The 2014 midterm elections were a referendum on Barack Obama’s performance as president. He has done a bad job, and most Americans know it. Accordingly, the American people used the only means they had of making good their disapproval: They elected Republicans.
Tuesday’s elections reinforced constitutional checks and balances against the Obama administration’s excesses, but not just in the most obvious way. For all the attention rightly paid to the new Senate majority, there’s another important set of newly elected officials who may soon push back against federal overreach: state attorneys general.
Back before incoming senators Tom Cotton and Cory Gardner and Joni Ernst and Dan Sullivan were born, before new House members Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin and Mia Love were a gleam in their parents’ eyes, the Beach Boys said it best: “Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.”
At the end of his opening statement at the traditional postelection presidential press conference, Barack Obama offered this assurance: “I continue to believe we are simply more than just a collection of red and blue states,” he said. “We are the United States.”