November 19, 2004

Is A Senate Seat Worth Agriculture?

The rumors about offering Agriculture to Sen Ben Nelson (D), if true, indicate a few things. Republicans both want to get as close as possible to 60 Senators in that house and Republican Agricultural policy under President Bush is either nonexistent or can adequately progress without the Secretary of the Department being a Republican.

I don't buy into the idea that there are no significant ideas inside the Republican party to improve agriculture so what gives? I think the answer comes in three letters, WTO. With the expiration of the "peace accords" on agriculture, we're going to be forced, step by step, down the road to reduced tariffs, liberalization of markets, and generally the small government approach.

This is going to occur regardless of who controls the Department so why not buy a Senate seat (a Republican governor would nominate Nelson's successor) with a Cabinet post and gain credit for a measure of bipartisanship while you're at it. Sure, you lose some patronage posts and boy do the Democrats need them, but the cost is well worth the gain. If Rove hasn't made such an offer, he should.

Posted by TMLutas at November 19, 2004 02:14 PM