What good is the United States Senate if you can’t use it?
That’s the question quietly being asked by several prominent Republicans on election day, as the GOP stands poised to capture the House and, just possibly, the Senate.
But two prominent inside-the-Beltway Republicans told me yesterday that they’re worried about Republicans taking over the Senate, because of the political hand it would give President Obama going into 2012.
It isn’t every day that political figures tell me why it would be bad for their party to win on election day.
But here’s their case: Unemployment is at near 10 percent and is going to stay at politically toxic levels for a long time. If unemployment goes down at the pace it went up, which is no sure bet given that that would represent a spectacular economic boom that few economists predict, it will still be high by historical standards in 2012.
And these Republicans worry that a unified Republican House and Senate will bear some of the brunt of voter anger about that unemployment—anger that’s now almost entirely focused on the Obama administration.