Why Hillary Doesn't Need to Win in 2016

It’s just like old times: the shadowy private server, the deleted emails, the questionable influence of foreign cash, and the straight-faced audacity of the whoppers they tell. The Clintons are back, and the Sleaze Factor once again oozes from our television screens.

But before mainstream Americans get their hopes up that Hillary’s chances for a third term will sink into the deepening mire of scandal, they might consider the possibility that the Democrats don’t really need for Hillary to win in 2016. They just need for the Republicans to lose, and the Republicans are right on track to do just that.

Republicans campaigned in 2014 on tough talk about stopping Obama’s radical transformation of America, and mainstream America rewarded them with a landslide and a mandate: stop ObamaCare, stop Obama’s illegal amnesty, put American security above the globalist agenda, and restore the rule of law to Washington. 

With that kind of clarity and backing from the electorate, the Republicans just needed to use their new majorities to keep their promises to the voters, and they would have entered 2016 as heroes who pulled the nation from the economic and political malaise into which it was sinking.

And Hillary would have been forced either to distance herself from Obama’s agenda, thus alienating the most radical element of her base in 2016, or to align herself with that agenda just as mainstream America was saying “good riddance” to it. But something about doing what the nation desperately needed – and being given a winning political hand in the process – failed to appeal to the GOP’s leadership. 

The GOP caved on illegal amnesty, thus putting millions of new Democrats on a path to the voting booth. After winning a landslide election, the GOP leadership ignominiously rolled over and agreed to make the Republicans a permanent minority party.

Instead of repealing ObamaCare and painting Obama into a political corner, the GOP surrendered and avoided the unpleasantness of a principled fight. And the GOP Congress refuses to drop the charade of the “small business” exemption that insulates them from the burdens that ObamaCare places on everyone else. The bizarre and self-serving claim that Congress is a small business is Clintonesque in its audacity.

And after watching Eric Holder subvert the attorney general’s office to push the far left’s agenda, the GOP signed onto a like-minded successor who believes that Obama’s illegal amnesty is protected by the Constitution.

So much for Reagan’s call to paint the difference between the parties in bold colors. 

Given a choice between the base and the Beltway, the GOP’s leadership has chosen the Beltway. And the May 21 Pew Research poll reveals the result: only 23% of Republicans believe the GOP Congress is keeping the promises they made, and 65% believe they are not.

The Beltway wing of the Republican Party has always rationalized their dismissal of the conservative base by asking, “Where else will they go?” The thinking is that the Democrats, increasingly radicalized since the 1960’s, will field candidates so far to the left that conservatives will be forced to vote for pale pastel Republicans as the lesser of two evils.

That rationale, however, assumes there is at least some daylight between the parties. With the GOP’s leadership locked in such a tight embrace with Obama’s agenda, that daylight is disappearing, and the conservative base has less incentive to volunteer, contribute money, or turn out the vote in 2016. And then the Clintons will stroll unimpeded back into the White House.

But the struggle to reclaim the GOP as the representative of mainstream America is not over. The Citizens Mandate signed by over 50 conservative leaders last January was an open letter reminding the House and Senate Republicans that they were not elected to surrender to the Obama agenda but to stand with the voters who elected them. 

Last week, the Citizens Mandate movement gained momentum as former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, former Attorney General Ed Meese, and over 100 other conservatives – including this writer – signed an Interim Assessment calling out the GOP’s surrender and urging them to keep their promises. The Citizens Mandate Facebook page will have more information on the Mandate and the Interim Assessment.

The Citizens Mandate movement gives the GOP’s base a productive outlet for their growing frustration with the party’s leadership. By promoting the Mandate throughout their network, on social media and call-in radio shows, and through formal endorsements by local Republican groups, the GOP base has a chance to pressure our elected representatives into honoring their promises.

If the Republicans in the House and Senate won’t honor their promises on principle, maybe they will do so under pressure. If they don’t, get ready for Hillary.

Dr. Tim Daughtry is a conservative speaker and co-author of Waking the Sleeping Giant: How Mainstream Americans Can Beat Liberals at Their Own Game. Follow him on Twitter @TCDwriter.