So the New York Times has “obtained” several memos outlining the brilliant Republican strategy behind fruitlessly trying to block Barack Obama’s choice to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court.
While conservatives say they know they have little chance of defeating Mr. Obama’s choice because Democrats control the Senate, they say they hope to mount a fight that could help refill depleted coffers and galvanize a movement demoralized by Republican electoral defeats.
“It’s an immense opportunity to build the conservative movement and identify the troops out there,” said Richard A. Viguerie, a conservative fund-raiser. “It’s a massive teaching moment for America. We’ve got the packages written. We’re waiting right now to put a name in.”[…]
[…Manuel Miranda, who has led conference calls for conservative groups about judges, said the focus on such issues would present “a great opportunity to really prepare the great debate with a view toward Senate elections in 2010 and the presidency.”
Here’s a chart of approval ratings for Congress, by party.
What you’ll notice is that Democratic approval has shot up and approval of Republicans has more or less stagnated at what appears to be ludicrous unpopularity. Without getting too general, I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that this data can be interpreted to mean President Obama’s legislative agenda, even as clumsily implemented by Congressional Democrats, has been broadly popular and Republican opposition in Congress has been, well, ludicrously unpopular. That said, I’m not entirely sure how a campaign of outspoken, and again, ultimately fruitless opposition on issues where a majority of Americans hold a different position is going to make Republican Senate candidates fare better in 2010.
It’s true that the media and PR histrionics in which the GOP will engage will indubitably lead to increases in campaign coffers and donations, but the downside is that most of these contributions will be coming from people who support unpopular policies and as such, will be funneled to aid the election of efforts of politicians who hold unpopular policy positions. What’s more, I’m a little confused about the mechanics of reinvigorating a “movement demoralized by Republican electoral defeats,” with yet another defeat, but I guess that’s how things go when you’re batshit insane.