Since John McCain’s prospects are looking considerably better than the congressional Republicans’, I’ve wondered when he might cut the House and Senate GOP candidates loose and make an explicit “blank check” argument — elect me, independents, for divided government and a check on Nancy Pelosi. So I was intrigued to see that John Ensign of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is making a similar argument himself: “Senate Republicans really will be the firewall to stopping bad legislation or having the majority come to us to modify their positions.”
The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza even raises the specter of Senate Republicans holding the line against President Obama and congressional Democrats. Of course, as I’ve said before, if the Republicans don’t have a credible filibuster threat the next president will sign more liberal legislation regardless of whether his name is McCain or Obama. But it is interesting to see the chairman of a campaign committee whose key candidates are frequently polling worse than McCain making this argument first.