by Rod D. Martin
October 30, 2006

I just got off the weekly White House/RNC leadership call, and the races are looking better than a lot of folks think one week out. Needless to say, it’s going to be very hard to hold the House; but the Montana and Maryland Senate races (which nearly everyone has written off) have pulled even (unbelievable as it may seem so has the Mark Foley House seat), and the general trend is for races where a Marriage or Stem Cell Amendment is on the ballot to be doing much better than expected.

Ken Mehlmen (RNC chairman) had to get off the call before I had a chance to ask the most obvious question going forward: will Beltway Republicans listen to — or even notice — the poll I mentioned on this blog earlier today, showing that most Americans want less (and less intrusive) government, and that even more Americans think Republicans are responsible for giving them the opposite of what they want. It is this “Rats in the Cola Bottle” ruining of the GOP brand name that has put Republicans on the ropes more than any other thing: if conservatives didn’t have to be begged and cajoled to remember why they’re Republicans, 2006 would be a blowout like unto 2002. But alas, as Morton Blackwell says, when a politician goes to Washington, he immediately loses 30 IQ points simply by entering the beltway.

This is exactly what TheVanguard.Org means to stop.

One last thing of note from the call: the cajoling is paying off, as the turnout operation Rove and Blackwell built kicks into full gear. The difference between the vast number of Republicans requesting early ballots and the far smaller number of Democrats — virtually everywhere in the country but nowhere more than my own Florida — is absolutely extraordinary. There will be some serious surprises come next week.

But to the degree that those surprises don’t include actual Republican gains in both houses — again, ala 2002 — Republicans have only themselves to blame. MoveOn, DailyKos, et al. are hitting on all cylinders. Clearly a new day is needed on our side as well (which is why we’re here); with the difference being that a more consistent, more honest, more effective conservative movement will mean what its counterpart on the left never can: victory. And lots of it, for a very very very long time.