Michael Barone, who is among other things a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, spoke this morning in New York at an AEI event and offered his predictions for the upcoming election. He said the Republicans will gain between six and 11 seats in the Senate and about 60 seats in the House.
Mr. Barone, who I think is one of the shrewdest observers out there, offered two other interesting observations. The first was that the Republican candidate for governor of Michigan is leading the United Auto Workers-backed Democrat by about 20 points in the polls. If the auto bailout isn't helping Democrats in Michigan, where is it helping?
The second is that there is a trend of Democratic politicians saying dismissive things about the Constitution. Speaker Pelosi was asked what the Constitutional authority for ObamaCare was, and she replied, "Are you serious? Are you serious?" A Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, Jim McGovern, said, "The Constitution is wrong." And a Democratic congressman from Illinois, Phil Hare, is caught on a YouTube video saying, "I don't worry about the Constitution."
Mr. Barone observed that there a lot of American voters out there well aware that members of Congress actually swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and that those voters may not take the matter as lightly as the congressmen appear to.
On foreign policy, those looking for Republican deficit hawks to call for reining in U.S. military spending aren't going to find many allies at AEI, at least if today's event was any indication. The group heard from another AEI scholar, Fred Kagan, who is spending 150 days in Afghanistan aiding General Petraeus. "Peace does not keep itself," Mr. Kagan said. "The world order is not a self regulating peaceful system."
He said the enemy had to be defeated rather than placated. "We can't address their grievances, because their grievance is our way of life," he said. "We're going to need to spend a lot more on defense."