Election on Tues Is No Big Deal

Discussion in 'Politics' started by red states rule, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    While Dems and the liberal media will tell you conservativism is now dead, it is not. Conservatism won on Tuesday



    November 10, 2006
    Only a Minor Earthquake
    By Charles Krauthammer

    WASHINGTON -- How serious is the "thumpin'" the Republicans took on Tuesday? Losing one house is significant but hardly historic. Losing both houses, however, is defeat of a different order of magnitude, the equivalent in a parliamentary system of a vote of no confidence.

    On Tuesday, Democrats took control of the House and the Senate. As of this writing, they won 29 House seats (with a handful still in the balance), slightly below the post-1930 average for the six-year itch in a two-term presidency. They took the Senate by the thinnest of margins -- a one-vote majority, delivered to them by a margin of 7,188 votes in Virginia and 2,847 in Montana.

    Because both houses have gone Democratic, the election is correctly seen as an expression of no confidence in the central issue of the campaign: Iraq. It was not so much the war itself as the perceived administration policy of "stay the course,'' which implied endless intervention with no victory in sight. The president got the message. Hence the summary resignation of the designated fall guy, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

    Nonetheless, the difference between taking one house versus both -- and thus between normal six-year incumbent party losses and a major earthquake that shakes the presidency -- was razor thin in this election. A switch of just 1,424 votes in Montana would have kept the Senate Republican.

    A margin this close should no longer surprise us. For this entire decade the country has been evenly divided politically. The Republicans had control but by very small majorities. In 2000, the presidential election was settled by a ridiculously small margin. And the Senate ended up deadlocked 50-50. All the changes since then have been minor. Until now.

    But the great Democratic wave of 2006 is nothing remotely like the great structural change some are trumpeting. It was an event-driven election that produced the shift of power one would expect when a finely balanced electorate swings mildly one way or the other.

    This is not realignment. As has been the case for decades, American politics continues to be fought between the 40-yard lines. The Europeans fight goal line to goal line, from socialist left to the ultranationalist right. On the American political spectrum, these extremes are negligible. American elections are fought on much narrower ideological grounds. In this election, the Democrats carried the ball from their own 45-yard line to the Republican 45-yard line.

    The fact that the Democrats crossed midfield does not make this election a great anti-conservative swing. Republican losses included a massacre of moderate Republicans in the Northeast and Midwest. And Democratic gains included the addition of many conservative Democrats, brilliantly recruited by Rep. Rahm Emanuel with classic Clintonian triangulation. Hence Heath Shuler of North Carolina, anti-abortion, pro-gun, anti-tax -- and now a Democratic congressman.

    The result is that both parties have moved to the right. The Republicans have shed the last vestiges of their centrist past, the Rockefeller Republican. And the Democrats have widened their tent to bring in a new crop of blue-dog conservatives.

    Moreover, ballot initiatives make the claim of a major anti-conservative swing quite problematic. In Michigan, liberal Democrats swept the gubernatorial and senatorial races, yet a ballot initiative to abolish affirmative action passed 58-42. Seven out of eight anti-gay marriage amendments to state constitutions passed. And nine states passed referendums asserting individual property rights against the government's power of eminent domain.

    To muddy even more the supposed ideological significance of this election, consider who is the biggest winner of the night: Joe Lieberman. Just a few months ago, he was scorned by his party and left for dead. Now he returns to the Senate as the Democrats' 51st seat -- and holder of the balance of power. From casualty to kingmaker in three months. Not bad. His Democratic colleagues who abandoned him this summer will now treat him very well.

    Lieberman won with a platform that did not trim or hedge about seeking victory in Iraq. And he did it despite having a Republican in the race who siphoned off 10 percent of the pro-war vote. All this in Connecticut, a very blue state.

    The public's views on what we ought to do with the war remain mixed, as do its general ideological inclinations. What happened on Tuesday? The electorate threw the bums out in disgust with corruption and in deep dissatisfaction with current Iraq policy. Reading much more into this election is a symptom of either Republican depression or Democratic wishful thinking.

    letters@charleskrauthammer.com

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/11/tuesdays_election_was_a_vote_o.html
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I agree that numberwise, the election wasn't 'that big of a deal.' I think it's more than likely that the practical results of this just past election may be huge and not necessarily what either party expects.

    In many ways so far, both have taken steps or made some pronouncements that may indicate they did not comprehend the messages that voters may have been trying to send.

    Did Bush really plan on Rumsfeld's resignation while saying different? I think so. His rationale? 'He didn't want to throw a curve or October surprise into the races.' What did independents, the moderate Democrats and GOP base 'hear'? I think that the president was going to continue with the WOT and they voted accordingly.

    That view lost at the polls. So what does the president do the next day? Throws Rummy overboard, announces his replacement to be a retread from his dad's administration. Making the announcement 'weeks/months' before, when the decision to replace was made, may have saved a few seats in the House. Even while acting so quickly, Bush still failed to say 'what changes' he has in mind, I guess he's waiting for Baker or Pelosi to tell him. :dunno: Still no clarity.

    On the other hand, we have democrats who are assuming they have a mandate, though I'm pretty sure that other than their regular base, that isn't the message many of the moderate democrats, disenchanted moderate Republicans, and independents were trying to send.

    Poll after poll, since early 2005 have indicated that the average US citizen did not approve of how the war was being prosecuted, (In the mid 50%) though support for the war remained high, (in the upper 60%); That the administration needed to explain the goals and objectives, so that progress could be measured, (sort of like "No battle left behind"); and that other problem nations, (Iran, NK, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan), needed to be moved to the front burner of attention.

    Truthfully, while I've criticised the admin for it's inability to communicate, I do think they had internally addressed these issues, but either didn't understand how serious it was to communicate or more likely, didn't trust the people enough by putting the information out, for whatever reasons. In any case, that was stamping 'game over' for the GOP.

    I've seen nothing since 2001 to convince me that the Dems are less tone deaf than the administration. They show no more ability to hear from the people than the current officeholders. Pelosi's, 'This is not a war to win, but a situation to be solved,' does not bode well in light of over 3 years of polling that indicate the citizenry by and large realize that while the enemy is determined, the need to fight and win is imperative. The real question is 'how?'

    I think the next two years will bring an administration alternatively using Dem cut and run, while continuing to antagonize their 'enemy'-the Democratic Party, ignoring the real enemy-Islam. The legislative branch will likewise attack, investigate, and obstruct wherever they can: domestically, with the war, and with foreign affairs. We will all pay alot for the above, while the real enemy regroups and our politicians continue the destruction from within.

    On the other hand I think there will be 'lone voices of reason' from both sides. I also think that the infighting within the parties will marginalize these people, though the citizens will hear them-ala Lieberman. I do think the makings for either a third party or a new second party are already underway. (Keeping in mind that the Republican Party became the second party upon the collapse of the Whig Party-while never being a 'third party', it was replacement from within.)
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    The following addresses some of the same issues, in different directions. It's certainly more upbeat than I'm feeling. There are links:

    http://instapundit.com/archives2/2006/11/post_247.php

     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    and another take on the 'misreadings' that appear underway. Links:

    http://austinbay.net/blog/?p=1521

     
  5. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The election was a big deal no matter what anyone says. Dont let anyone tell you otherwise.

    This may have been a conservative rebellion but it still hurt the conservative cause.
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    After a great deal of thought, over more than 6 months, I voted Republican, with some exceptions on local and gubernatoral race-for either cynical or local reasons. Others seemed to have differnly, but how the parties will read the vote, well only time will tell. Following is an optomistic take. Links:

    http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?entry=4917
     
  7. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, but i dont want Conservatives to think this was alright, because if people think its no big deal they wont change.
     
  8. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I think it was a conservative rebellion. I mean, look at where the Republicans actually gained. In Georgia, where the Republicans are still very conservative, they have gained a near monopoly on government. We now have the first Republican Lt. Governor and the first Republican Sec. of State in the history of GA.

    As for it being 'no big deal,' I get what you're saying, but you might want to rephrase it. It is a big deal, but it's not a 'liberal victory' or a 'historical election.' This is actually typical of 2nd midterm elections, but it could have bucked the trend in the Republicans had stuck with their base.
     
  9. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    The more I read and think, the more I believe both the parties are missing what is going on here. Links for other very good ruminations:

    http://powerlineblog.com/archives/015852.php
     
  10. Rico
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    Rico Member

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    George W. is just as politically tone deaf as George H.W. was. It's almost as if the Bush's either think we can read their minds or they think the populus is just too stupid to understand their nuances. Neither W nor his pappy can communicate "come here" from "sickem" to a dog. That's the problem of this administration. Never let their positions be known and never counter the Dims lying. Sad. Either stupid, arrogant, or both..
     

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