Daniel, I take (and basically agree with) your point, but to me what matters most is not having 60, or even 50, Harry Reids.
Here’s what I posted in April last year when Jim DeMint was going around saying that he “would rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who really believe in principles of limited government, free markets, free people, than to have 60 that don’t have a set of beliefs.”
[DeMint] is missing the point. If it comes to a choice, I’d rather have 60 Republicans in the Senate, however squishy some of the views of some in their ranks, than 60 Democrats who are all certain of theirs. Anyone who truly believes in limited government ought to understand that voting against can be as valid as voting for. If it takes a few Specters to see off a Democratic majority, so be it. As for the idea that reducing the GOP to a rump of true believers (whatever that might actually mean: there are plenty on the right who interpret the terms “limited government” and “free people” in very different ways) is the essential first step in a Republican restoration, it is, I am afraid, a bad mistake. Wildernesses are, almost always, for losers.
Matters have looked up for the Republicans since then, thank heavens, not least (it seems) in Pennsylvania. Nevertheless we should be realistic about the nature of the GOP resurgence. As thrilled as I am at the thought of distancing the GOP from the old congressional crew, and as encouraged as I am by some aspects (the small government aspects) of the Tea Party crowd and the energy that that crowd has brought to the fray, we also need to remember that the spirit of Gadsen has yet to enthuse the whole of the country or, for that matter, even that magic 51 percent. It’ll take a coalition to block the Democrats, and we shouldn’t forget it.