by Rod D. Martin
October 23, 2006

Much has been written (including by me) about the perils of the party of Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and Charlie Rangel capturing the U.S. House of Representatives this November.

But the importance of who controls the Senate cannot be overestimated.

While House members are elected for two-year terms, senators’ terms are three times as long.

If you elect the wrong person to the Senate — or, crucially for disgruntled conservatives, if you fail to elect the right one by staying home — you have to wait six years, not two, for a chance to undo your mistake.

Moreover, senators wield far more power than House members.  An individual senator, for instance, can tie up a bill or a nomination indefinitely, all by herself.  And collectively, Senators decide on treaties with other nations.  Their consent is required for presidential appointments, including federal judicial nominees.  And as millions of Americans first learned in the late 1990s, they determine the fate of a president who has been impeached by the House.

If Democrats win the Senate this year, the most extremist gang in American history will assume control over all of this and more.

The new Senate majority leader will be Harry Reid of Nevada, one of the most partisan Bush bashers in Congress.  He will try to reverse virtually every Bush policy.  And forget about border security and immigration reform:  Harry Reid makes George Bush look like Tom Tancredo.

The likely new Senate intelligence committee chairman will be Jay Rockefeller.   If Senator Rockefeller gets his way, the CIA will be hamstrung in the war on terror, placed under even more restrictions than in the Clinton years.  Rockefeller will also lead a Democrat charge against the NSA’s ability to eavesdrop on foreign terrorist’s phone calls.  After all, who wouldn’t want to expand Ayman al-Zawahiri’s civil rights?

The new Senate appropriations committee chairman will likely be Rockefeller’s West Virginia colleague Robert Byrd.  Senator Byrd’s laundry list of desired spending programs is at least as lengthy as his overblown oratory.  He makes drunken sailors (which is to say, Denny Hastert and Bill Thomas) look like Ebenezer Scrooge, which is why Republicans should get more serious about fighting for better candidates in their own primary.

Most catastrophic for pro-lifers, Vermont’s Patrick Leahy will become judiciary chairman.  If that happens, the federal bench will become a liberals-only club:  Bush’s nominees will be trounced, and the very real chance for that one-more Bush Supreme Court nominee it would take to overturn Roe v. Wade will be gone.  Oh, and if the Democrats also win the House and impeach the President, Leahy will lead the charge to remove him.

The new Arms Services Committee chair will be Carl Levin of Michigan, who wants America to cut and run from Iraq and who opposes missile defense.  Note well that he holds this position even today, with North Korea actually testing nukes and ICBMs and with Iran racing to catch up as quick as it can.  Levin is no Sam Nunn/Scoop Jackson moderate, and reasonable compromise will not be possible.

Teddy Kennedy himself will head the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.  Say hello to a renewed push for racial quotas, small-business-destroying minimum wage hikes, Hillary-like national health insurance, and cradle-to-grave government programs of every kind.  Say goodbye to any chance of improving Social Security.  And prepare for new assaults on welfare reform, the most successful component of last decade’s “Republican Revolution”.

Oh, and guess who will head the environmental committee?  Remember Jim Jeffords? This former RINO (Republican-in-name-only) jumped ship in the 50-50 Senate of 2001 to give Democrats an unelected majority.  Want to reward his treachery?  Stay home on Election Day and help make him chair of a committee that will impose draconian government controls over every area of business and life in the name of fighting the phantom “global warming”.

Clearly, a Democrat takeover of the Senate, coupled with a victory in the House, would be calamitous.

It could tie the hands of the president and the entire executive branch on everything from prosecuting the war on terror abroad to defending against missile attacks and terrorist strikes at home.

It could lead in Orwellian fashion to the removal of a president for upholding his oath of office by daring to act boldly and decisively against America’s enemies.

It could undo a generation of conservative progress in areas ranging from tax reduction to welfare reform.

And it could freeze in place a liberal judiciary — and Roe v. Wade’s abortion on demand — for years to come.

Let’s not let this happen.  On November 7th, go vote.  Better yet, take off work to help make sure your friends go vote.

Literally everything is at stake.


Editor’s Note: This op-ed from Rod D. Martin was originally posted at Human Events.