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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Coach Tom Osborne for Nebraska Senate

Dignan pressed me by email about my intentions with this post and I realized I did a poor job of communicating. I do not have a "Republican, Right or Wrong" perspective. I think the Republicans often say and do things that merit criticism and I criticize them.

Like Dignan, I would say that I am a conservative, and more often than not Republicans are closer to conservative principles than Democrats are. I also would not be considered a conservative on all issues. On some matters I'd be a moderate to liberal. I try to assess matters issue by issue from behind a fairly consistent, thought-through lens that would be considered generally conservative. The principles form the paradigm and then I try to evaluate things case by case from that paradigm.

Why the Tom Osborne post? Because Republican are far more likely to serve conservative principles than Democrats, particularly on the matter of judicial nominations, I would rather the Senate have a filibuster-proof GOP majority. Ben Nelson is up for election, Tom Osborne could win, and that would strengthen the GOP in the Senate.

To answer Dignan's query, I am not advocating Tom Osborne as a better Senator than Ben Nelson. I'd have to do research on both to know one way or the other. I do know from following political affairs that Osborne has been a fairly conservative Member of the House and Nelson often votes party line Democrat. Bottom line: having Osborne instead of Nelson is better for the GOP Senate in macro terms. It may be (I don't know) that Nelson is a better Senator in certain micro respects. But when I think of judicial nominations coming in the last 2 years of Bush's Presidency, I want as little a chance of filibustering as possible. So it's a macro argument about overall party seats, not a researched view that suggests Osborne would be better issue by issue than Nelson. Though he may be.

Update over.

It is true that Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska is something of a moderate Democrat, but party loyalties being what they are, he often votes in block with the Dems. While he is as much an ally as the GOP has among Democrat Senators, having his seat filled by a Republican would make things better for the GOP.

Who could beat Ben Nelson, who is up for re-election in 2006? Surely Representative Tom Osborne, the fabled coach of the Big Red Machine for 20 years in Lincoln. Osborne has been in the House for several terms and now would be an excellent time for him to campaign for Nelson's Senate seat. In as much as the GOP will likely lose a seat or two elsewhere, picking up a seat from even a moderate Dem is a major plus. And, should the GOP manage to hold existing seats and pick off Nelson and maybe another Dem seat, they'd be that much closer to rolling in the Senate. The notion of a filibuster-proof Senate majority is within reach. Coach Osborne, go for it!

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