GOP 4 EVER

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Time for another Cavanaugh prediction:

The Republican Party will retain control of both houses of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections.

As always, I'm making the prediction at a time when I can't be said to be jumping on favorable polls—specifically, when the Republicans are bleeding like Chuck Wepner and Gallup shows them in an even worse spot than the Democrats were in prior to the 1994 Republican Revolution. As always, if I'm right I'll preen like John McLaughlin and if I'm wrong I'll just huff and clear my throat like Jack Germond.

Explanation: The Democrats need to pick up 16 seats in the House and six in the Senate. Conventional wisdom is that the former is likely and the latter is an outside shot. History is on their side: Since World War II, much larger turnovers have been common in the House and not unheard of in the Senate. That goes for midterm elections too, although in those cases large turnovers tend to happen with a president in an unusually vulnerable spot (Truman in 1946, Ford in 1974, and maybe Eisenhower—because of the health rumors—in 1958).

But if historical trends were a guide, Bush would already be facing a massively hostile Congress. He has beaten the odds laid down by almost every president, including Reagan, by consistently picking up seats in his mid-term and re-election cycles. And he's got a great advantage this time in that this will not be a passionately fought election. The Democrats had their chance to harness the anti-Bush groundswell in 2004, and instead they nominated John Kerry. That chance won't come again in a mid-term contest.

The problem for the dems is that they have nobody capable of doing what Gingrich did in 1994: defying Tip O'Neill's law and conceptualizing 435 separate contests as a single national referendum. The only Democratic legislator who gets anybody's body heat up to room temperature is Barack Obama, and he is a) not yet old enough to see an R-rated film without accompaniment and b) in the Senate, where revolutions never occur, and where any attempts at energizing the troops will be blocked by DINOs Clinton and Lieberman.

That leaves the House. Fortunately for the Dems, they don't have as tall a task as Gingrich faced in '94. Unfortunately, they also don't have a Gingrich. They don't even have grich, or gin or even a ngr. They have Nancy Pelosi, the most incompetent politician in the western hemisphere. There are certainly more than 16 vulnerable House seats around this great land of ours, and to the extent those contests get decided locally, there's a chance the Democrats may get a turnover in spite of themselves. But to the extent that any change in the House majority depends on good organization, a strong message, or inspired leadership from above, the Democrats are sunk. Nancy Pelosi is good at one thing—nothing.

I would put even less money on this than on my other predictions. But there you have it. Discuss or ignore, as you see fit.

NEXT: First They Came For the Urine Drinking Crossing Guards (and Maybe Former Reason Staffer Matt Welch)...

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  1. Just out of curiosity, Tim, are you still feeling confident about your Bill Richardson in 2008 prediction?

  2. As Jack Germond would say, hmmph, humminuh, hrrrmmp.

  3. I agree. In 1994 Gingrich conceived a brilliant campaign to effectively nationalize the regional elections.

    In 2006 the Democrats are just hopeless. Muddled message, fearful, confused. Nancy Pelosi — my congresswoman, as it happens — keeps voting for war appropriations and knew about the domestic spying in 2002. With “opposition” like that, the Republicans have nothing to fear.

  4. Tim,
    I think you’re ignoring the water under the bridge since 2004. Prior to that time we had basically seen 911, Afghanistan, and the shock, but very little awwww… from Iraq.

    Post 2k4 elec, we’ve seen a variety of swing constituencies become outraged at the conduct of this president, from poor, mostly black residents of New Orleans getting a nap from Michael Chertoff, fans of liberty and privacy gettin a heapin helpin of Big Bro, all the way to hardcore conservatives getting Harriet Myers and Medicare Part D.

    Not to mention initial war enthusiasts who are at this point, not so enthused about our misadventure there.

    That sure sounds like a load of voters to me, and the numbers reflect that aside from the moonbats(D) and the wingnuts(R), that shaky center independent voter is turning against Bush in a big way.

    No, Tim, I think you’re way wrong on this one.

  5. One name you conveniently forgot is Howard Dean. As head of the DNC he is a key broker in the outcome of the midterms. He is proving to be much more effective as DNC head than as standard bearer of the party. He is empowering the state parties in precisely the manner it will take to pick up house seats. Granted he faces DINO hacks like Clinton and Lieberwuss who will try to sabotage grassroots efforts.

  6. But let me maybe qualify that a little bit.

    As much as Bush has the ability to fuck up and get out of it, the Democrats have the ability to try and get it right yet fuck it up instead.

    The Democrats are therefore the Republicans’ only hope in 08.

  7. fishfry,
    I’m sorry you got Pansy Necroci.

    And I take your point about the Democratic leadership, but I honestly think that they’re gonna win big in spite of thieir utter incompetence. A bunch of Bush’s turds are floatin back down the river in plain sight, and there’s so many of them that he’s havin trouble Va POO Rizin em all.

  8. Where exactly does the idea come from that Pelosi is inept? She’s done an extremely good job on the thing that a minority leader most needs to do, which is keep her caucus together. (She got every single Democrat — DINOs included — to vote against the budget bill.) And the House Democrats were the only ones who didn’t have a disastrous year in 2004. (The only seats they lost were due to DeLay’s gerrymandering of Texas; outside of that illegal scheme, the Democrats actually picked up seats.) So where does the idea of Pelosi’s ineptitude come from, anyway? Because she’s a liberal chick from California?

  9. Tim (and fishfry) are right. The Dems have no ideas left that Rove and his monkey-sock-puppet haven’t hijacked.
    Personally, I like “We have no agenda” second only to “We’ll concentrate on repealing stuff”…but to most sheep it’s a loser.
    Almost none of them have the guts to be against the war, arguing the preposterous notion that if they threw a war, no one on either side (except Al-Qaeda kingpins) would die. In domestic policy, what big entitlements or moronic “initiatives” have not been offered yet by the GOP?
    Whining about corruption or mismanagement, however egregious, is not a strategy–and does anyone really believe corruption and mismanagement is limited to one party?

  10. hmmm

    Seahawks will win the superbowl

    tax reform will be passed

    Rupublicans will lose seats in the house but retain a majority

    Democrats will loose a seat or seats in the senate

    No drilling will be allowed in ANWR

    Mary Hunt douglas county commisioner will lose her election to a republican in the primary.

    The singularity will occure in 2013 and libertarians will initially hate it…but grow to love it.

    Rumsfeld will resign and this time Bush will accept it.

    Subscriptions to Reason will reach 80,000

    I will still be unable to purchase a black reason t-shirt

    Joe will try to build a house and will start sounding more like a libertarian. M1EK will be pissed.

    I will admit that my choice to support the war was a mistake and aborant to my libertarian views.

    The situation in Iraq will improve to such a degree that only the most adamint anti-war partisan will be unable to conseed this.

    Thoroeu will get in an arguement with me about science and he will probably win that arguement.

    All the married resonoids will have more sex then all the unmarried reasonoids.

    Comment by: joshua corning at January 1, 2006 07:57 PM

  11. I think it unlikely that the Democrats will take either chamber.

    The Alito confirmation resonated with swing voters like a wet towel. The Democrats can hardly run against the President as being mean to any number of industries, Medicare beneficeries or other welfare recipients. …and there isn’t a Democrat swing voters can think of that make ’em any less worried about Iran, Al Qaeda or Hollywood. Yes, the hive mind needs to register something affirmative to kick the incumbants out, and being against whatever the Republicans said just ain’t that.

    Sheer boredom may have its way the Republicans eventually, but the electorate isn’t bored enough for that, yet. …Two more years! Two more years!

  12. “All the married resonoids will have more sex then all the unmarried reasonoids.”

    You fucked up with that one, jc.

  13. All the married resonoids will have more sex then all the unmarried reasonoids.

    speak for yourself, mr. corning… some of us unmarried reasonoids are doing pretty freakin’ good in the carnal-pleasure department.

    *gloats*

  14. Oh and all the others too – Go Steelers!

  15. I also doubt that the Dems will retake the House. And if they do retake it, the margin will be very, very small.

    I want to comment on calling Hillary Clinton a DINO. I see much merit in the assessment, given the stances she’s staked out lately. Yet, somehow, to many people she still reeks of the far left. Mention her name to a conservative. Go ahead. Try it. Chances are the name will go over like kryptonite.

    If pressed to reconcile their revulsion with her surprising moderation, they’ll probably say that it’s opportunism, pure and simple. And maybe they’re right. The fact remains that a legislator is as a legislator does, and she isn’t walking the lefty walk much. Yes, yes, she’s a lefty by H&R standards. Then again, so is Zell Miller.

    Hillary Clinton is a strange beast: To the right she’s a far lefty, to the left she’s sold out, and to the center she’s rather unappetizing. Yet everybody’s convinced that she’s a contender for 2008.

  16. I think it’s the opposite of the Gingrich revolution. Keeping the election a regional affair works for the Democrats. The worst thing they could do is try to nationalize the election. The Republicans have tied themselves to this government through loyalty to the President and Party with lip service to the flag. I think they’ll have a hard time fighting regional election battles.

    Nancy Pelosi strikes me as more of a DC figure than a national one. I don’t think she’ll work as the focus of attack – I’m not even sure what she looks like.

    I have the vague feeling that the Republicans have nationalized themselves to the point that people voting based on local feelings for reasons having to do with: life, jobs, housing affordability, foreclosures, hurricanes, mines, etc… won’t feel like they have much of a choice.

    From a pop poli-sci perspective that’s how I see the upcoming battle. I wouldn’t bet on it though.

  17. All the married resonoids will have more sex then all the unmarried reasonoids.

    You’re out of your element corning. I’m doing pretty well for myself. And that’s with the handicap of being at Notre Dame.

  18. Go Steelers! I won’t make a prediction, because those tend to be more like curses. Maybe something low key: Joey Porter will say stupid things, and he will hit Hasselbeck for damage at least once in a game-significant play.

    If the Dems put Evan Bayh on the ticket, I’ll vote Democrat for the first time in my life. They won’t, so I’ll shrug and stay home. Unless someone starts trying to nationalize healthcare in which case I’ll vote for the theocrats.

    I will still be hedging 2 months before the next presidential election.

  19. They won’t, so I’ll shrug and stay home

    Jason-

    We’ve talked before about party politics, coalitions, lesser evils, spoilers, etc., so maybe this question will just put us back on old ground, but….

    Why stay home? Why not show up and either vote LP or write in the name of somebody you like? I get the rationale for supporting a major party over the LP, but I don’t get the rationale for staying home when you could either vote LP or write in a name. Yeah, it’s not like the LP guy will win, but better to send a message than no message, right?

  20. The Dems might well take the House narrowly. Not the Senate. Not this time, anyway. Prevailing against historical odds in one midterm and one re-election is technically “consistent” (two in a row!) but, as others have pointed out, Bush has had incredible good luck and profited from events well beyond his control.

    Then again, the Republicans continue to spend like drunker sailors and the Democrats have no policy agenda. Voters like being spent on however much they hate paying for all that spending, and bad policies usually beat no policies at all. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the Republicans held on to the House, again by a thread, in November.

    Yes, Hillary’s moderation is opportunistic (does anyone seriously doubt her administration would be more leftist than Bill’s?) because her only shot at the presidency requires her to try to appear acceptable to the middle dispite all her negatives. She has tons of money and can raise tons and tons more, and she and, especially, Bill are brilliant politicians and campaigners. Besides, who else do the Dems have? So, yes, she is a strong contender in ’08 (and, if need be, in ’12), warts and all.

  21. Why stay home? Why not show up and either vote LP or write in the name of somebody you like? I get the rationale for supporting a major party over the LP, but I don’t get the rationale for staying home when you could either vote LP or write in a name. Yeah, it’s not like the LP guy will win, but better to send a message than no message, right?

    A friend once told me that voting gives a citizen the right to complain. I pointed out to him that the First Amendement already covers that. He responded by saying that voting gives you the right to complain… with authority.

  22. Thoreau: Hillary Clinton is neither a liberal nor a conservative. She’s a statist, pure and simple. That’s the only theory that covers all her dizzying positions. The hard right will sometimes shock you with a libertarian position. So will the hard left. But Hillary never surprises. She’s works for the Man, man.

  23. we’ve seen a variety of swing constituencies become outraged at the conduct of this president, from poor, mostly black residents of New Orleans getting a nap from Michael Chertoff

    Ok, in what BizzaroWorld alternate reality are poor blacks a swing constituency? When’s the last time a poor black man voted Republican — 1962?

    Bush’s problem isn’t that he has offended swing voters, but that he has given conservatives the cold shoulder on a number of issues. We’ll see if he manages to fix that; the Alito appointment was a good first step, and a campaign against pork could be a good followup.

  24. Actually, I think the republican wing of the Ruling Party will hang on to the congress, mostly because of the level of vitriol that the left wing is pouring out.

    I’m no fan of either of them, but I’ve got to say that I’m finding the lefties far more repulsive than normal, ever since they got in a snit about GWB’s first election. They all insisted that Gore should get the presidency, but not a one of them offered to rescind the actions of the Kennedy administration.

    -jcr

  25. The main reason people use the xINO designation is to indicate how far short the politician in question falls from the designator’s core values. Thus, DUers rage about DINOs Lieberman and Clinton for voting for, say, Iraq or CAFTA, respectively , and Freepers rage about RINOs who (horrors!) vote in favor of gay rights every few years.
    It’s not that I don’t believe it’s possible to identify politicians who seem to vote against their party much/most of the time, but I tend to find the xINO designation more of a failure to acheive ideological purity from extremist lefties and righties than an coherent analysis of one’s positions.

  26. I get the rationale for supporting a major party over the LP, but I don’t get the rationale for staying home when you could either vote LP or write in a name.

    Because the LP is a disgusting joke that probably retards what tiny hope libertarianism has towards progress?

  27. Bush has had incredible good luck and profited from events well beyond his control.

    Yep, you’re right. That idiot Bush keeps kicking his enemies’ butts because he’s a lucky dog. Nope, he hasn’t done nothing to get those victories, it’s all just luck.

    You just keep on telling yourself that. Whatever makes you fell good.

    As for the 2006 elections, I’m not even goign to make you all buy a clue, I’ll give it to you for free:

    The Democrats aren’t going to win sh!t until they figure out how to stand for something, not just against.

    The Contract with America worked because it offered the American people a chance to vote for things that they wanted, and that the Democrats were blocking. What are the Democrats goign to run on, raising the minumum wage?

    Further and finally, the US is at war. No matter how much lefties want us to lose, the plain fact of the matter is that a solid majority of American people want the US to win. Until the Dems tell the lefties to STFU, and decide that they want to see the US win, too, they’re going to continue to lose.

    Oh, BTW, the policy that “we’re going to lose elections, therefore it’s good when “judges” rewrite the law to our advantage” is a real loser of a campaing slogan. Because it tells voters that the ONLY way their vote will count, is if Republicans are appointing the judges.

  28. The GOP will hang on to the Senate majority by one or two seats. The Dems would have to win six seats there, and there are exactly six GOP seats vulnerable: Montana (Conrad Burns, corrupt), Pennsylvania (Santorum, theocrat), Rhode Island (Chafee, a moderate-liberal in a state that is moving hard to the left), Tennessee (open seat, with modrate-conservative Democrat Harold Ford a widely popular candidate), Ohio (DeWine, a centrist Republian who probably has the edge) and Missouri (Jim Talent, ditto).

    Dems can defend all the seats they are holding- the only really vulnerable one for them is Minnesota, and all the “red state” Democrats up for re-election in the Senate are popular enough in their home states to get by (Byrd, Conrad, Bingamin, etc.). But the likelyhood of all six of those puzzle pieces falling perfectly into place would demand just a little too much perfection.

    The House is a much less interesting show for me. The characters are so one-dimensional. So I don’t know how that will go.

  29. Hillary is a far-left Democrat who occasionally takes other positions to score points.

    OT: Libertarians could pick up a lot of votes if they pointed out how opening the borders could prevent things like this: A Santa Ana-based immigrant rights group [ Nativo Lopez from Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana and MAPA] that opposes Costa Mesa’s immigration enforcement decision today planned to repeat its call for a boycott of Costa Mesa businesses and for civil disobedience.

    The last thing we want is civil disobedience. We can’t kick out those “illegal” aliens and we don’t want to. So, it looks like the only way to prevent civil disobedience is to give Nativo what he wants and open up the borders.

  30. I think Nancy Pelosi is a fairly competent politician. She has the ability to lie quite sincerely and cater to her base without fail.
    Marks of a successful politician.

  31. So where does the idea of Pelosi’s ineptitude come from, anyway?

    Hearing what comes out of her mouth?

    Example: speaking in regards to Kelo, she said when the Supreme Court says something, it’s like God is talking.

    You can have her, I don’t want her.

  32. I think that the unifying theme from both sides (I’m from the right, came here via instapundit) is that we’re both fed up with our leadership nowadays.

  33. I’m a little curious too, regarding Pelosi’s incompetence. Not that I care for what she stands for or does, but I don’t know that she fails her agenda in any particular way.

    So I’m curious to hear how she’s incompetent.

    Although it’s hard to care.

  34. Well, that’s no surprise, Indolene, I think the last election was more between Not Kerry and Not Bush than between Bush and Kerry.

    I’m not sure who’ll win the election. Neither party seems to be blessed with strong leadership or any sort of clear overall program. The Republicans have the advantages of both incumbency and more trust on national security at a time when the Iranians are making scary faces, so I figure the GOP keeps Congress, but for the most part I think American will flip a coin and check the election results the next morning.

  35. Trebuchet,

    Agreed. At this point, I’m starting to think it doesn’t matter who wins. My real concern is the world’s lack of attention paid to Islamists and the other real problems that face us.

    (I’m most disturbed at the disservice our media does to all of us on a daily basis by perpetuating the Jerry Springer-esque “democrats vs. republicans” thing when there are way more serious problems out there, and this country could–no should–be working together now more than ever)

    …I’m tired and probably a little batty at this point in the evening, so my thoughts–upon reading them–seem sorta paranoid, but I’m a little miffed at this country these days.

  36. And speaking of tired: Goodnight everyone.

  37. The Contract with America worked because it offered the American people a chance to vote for things that they wanted, and that the Democrats were blocking.

    I thought contracts were supposed to be honored. Are you saying al the Dems need is a hollow set of promises that will be ignored as soon as they take office?

  38. I thought contracts were supposed to be honored. Are you saying al the Dems need is a hollow set of promises that will be ignored as soon as they take office?

    Read this summary of the Contract with America. The 1994 Republicans followed up on the Contract. Most of the provisions that failed did so either because Clinton vetoed them, or because they were Constitutional amendments that failed to get the necessary supermajority.

  39. Burn’s (R) Senate seat is safe. He might be corrupt but not enough, and (are we repeating a theme here?) no Democrat of note to run against him. Although the attack ads are out in force, which people here just don’t like.
    Montanans know our only shot at having influence is seniority. We do, after all, have only ONE guy in the House, Rehberg (R), who will be re-elected.
    Montana has a Democratic Governor and one Democratic Senator already. In a state that went only slightly less for Bush than, say, Utah or Wyoming.
    If nothing else, Burns is there for balance.

  40. Somebody up there who basically said ‘yes but we now have Howard Dean…’ owes me for a 12 oz container of screen cleaner and a half dozen handi wipes.

    God that was funny. Checked the balance in the account recently?

    Thank you. Priceless.

  41. “A bunch of Bush’s turds are floatin back down the river in plain sight, and there’s so many of them that he’s havin trouble Va POO Rizin em all.”

    You know why the Republicans are going to win? Because Democrats can’t seem to have a discussion without it sounding like the above. Republicans may have problems, but the Dems have become so loud, and so angry and so… crude, that that shaky middle you guys have talked about is going to decide that those aren’t the kind of people who ought to be trusted with the stewardship of Somalia, much less the United States.

  42. Tennessee (open seat, with modrate-conservative Democrat Harold Ford a widely popular candidate),

    Um… not really. Ford is a member of the Ford family, which is the closest thing to the Gambinos that we have here in Tennessee. His uncle, State Senator John Ford, was just forced to give up his seat after being indicted in a huge bribery investigation, and his aunt, who ran to replace Senator John and won by 13 votes, is now about to be unseated as it turns out that some of her voters were dead and other didn’t live in her district.

    All of this will hurt Harold Ford, who is going to have trouble anyway running as a Democrat in a state that, while still somewhat of a swing state, has nonetheless been trending steadily Republican for the past several years.

  43. There are plenty of ngrs in the Democratic Party…after all, it’s the party of diversity!

  44. If you want to win the House Democrats, you have 4 years to get it done. When the 2010 census happens the Dem States will lose more seats and the Rep states will gain more. Tough having as a main coalition a group of people who can not pro-create. And of course if you start pushing for gay marriage, oh boy. But did you know here in Georgia I voted for Bush and against the stupid Marriage ammendment, the one where only a man and woman can marry.

    Yet, 55% of the people voted for Bush, 75% voted for that stupid ammendment. I bet there were other people who voted for Bush and against the ammendment. So that means a good bit of your core group do not like another bit of your core. Heck environmentalists and Union people don’t like each other either.

    The Democrat party needs to die so maybe we can have a new one. One where JFK would be welcome and not called a war-mongeror, you know the man who once said, “Bear any burden, pay any price”. Not these weak-kneed people who run the party now. Those are not people who get elected in this country. You got to have a back bone. Plus if Iraq continues to improve like it is now, people will see your people looking like idiots.

    Oh well, just my opinion, it could be wrong.

  45. Gingrich gets too much credit for 1994. True he was a strong, effective leader but that isn?t enough to put you over the top and keep you there.

    The actual realigning election was 1980. The New Deal coalition (unions, minorities, liberals and Dixicrats) collapsed with the defection of the Dixicrats and crumbling political power of unions.

    The Reagan coalition came into being but due to O?Neil?s iron law, was unable to grasp power for another fourteen years. Gingrich was part of 1994 but what really mattered was having thirty house seats without incumbent candidates occupying them. There aren?t that many open this year.

    One thing is for certain, Democrats who run against who run against W instead of their opponents, will be done in by O?Neil?s Law.

  46. Essentially, it comes down to a 9/10 party vs a 9/12 party. Until the Dems can convince the swing voters that they “get it”, they will remain in the wilderness. Nationalized healthcare, “gay marriage” (see also, “jumbo shrimp”, “military intelligence, and “postal service”), and a host of other issues are just distractions when we are at war. And just in case the Dems didn’t get it, the Republicans are not the enemy, the Islamists are.

  47. So, what conservablog linked to this entry?

    Not quite enough invaders to be The Corner

  48. Are you saying al the Dems need is a hollow set of promises that will be ignored as soon as they take office?

    I’ve always considered that to be normal politics.

    And, frankly, more often than not I’m happier when politicians don’t keep their promises.

  49. Five words will define these midterm elections:

    “We killed the PATRIOT Act.”

  50. First off, while it might be Tip O’Niell’s law, Fred Roe isn’t very good at predicting politics.

    Secondly, I think the democrats changed in the late 60s early 70s from tthe party which reflected the national consensus in equal rights and care for the poor to now being the party which insists only they know what is right for the country, the opinionas of the majority be damned.

    Also, as the boomers aged they no longer needed abortions and accumulated wealth which needed to be protected from the poor, so the Dems lost a huge base.

  51. Smaack,
    That “shaky middle voter” is clearly not on your side, even on the issue you most covet, terrorism.

    From the Bloomberg poll taken this week:

    — The Democrats hold an advantage among registered voters for the November elections even though their unfavorable ratings are slightly higher than the Republicans’. Forty-six percent of registered voters say they would like to see a Democratic candidate win in their district, while 37 percent prefer a Republican victory. On all domestic issues — including taxes, the budget deficit and health care — at least a plurality say they trust congressional Democrats over Bush.

    On the question of terrorism, while a plurality of those surveyed trust Bush over congressional Democrats, the president’s approval rating on the issue has dropped off in the past year. Now, 48 percent approve of his handling of the issue and 49 percent disapprove; a year ago 54 percent approved and 43 percent disapproved.

    So, even on the only issue that Bush still has left, a greater percentage disapprove than approve.

    Bush was hanging by a terrorism thread, but I’m afraid his lifeline is about to snaap.

  52. “Republicans may have problems, but the Dems have become so loud, and so angry and so… crude,”

    Pot –> Kettle –> Black

  53. Frankly I think the Democrats could easily get to Bush’s right on the idea that we’re at war – if we are at war, why hasn’t Bush done more to protect vulnerable targets? Why has the new military review called for essentially no changes in the military’s structure to reflect the new post-9/11 reality? Why hasn’t Bush asked for any actual sacrifice from the citizens instead of running up the deficit to make our children pay for the war? Why hasn’t he called for more people to enlist? Why has he tolerated the corruption in Iraq? Why hasn’t he even articulated a clear vision of what it would mean to win? “We need to win, and Bush doesn’t have what it takes to do it, and here’s why.” How hard would that be?

  54. Oh, and those of you that think that the Democrats are using the war as a political weapon against the Republicans: Bush has used it first and foremost as a weapon against the Democrats ever since September 12….

  55. Smaack said :

    Republicans may have problems, but the Dems have become so loud, and so angry and so… crude, that

    Are you kidding? Dems may have “become so lound and angry” but the GOP has been this way for as long as I can remember. In fact, the Dems have been the right’s whipping boys for so long it’s nice to actually see them get upset about something.

    Wow talk about having a warped sense of reality.

  56. Tim is correct: Republicans will hold on to both houses. They’ll probably lose a few seats and a few governorships, but the status quo will remain on November 8th.

    That’s because analysts consistently ignore the biggest issue of all in the 1994 election: Bill Clinton’s signing of the Assault Weapons Ban on September 13, 1994, just 6 weeks before the election. It infuriated gun owners and they turned out in droves. Even Clinton later admitted the gun issue was solely responsible for the loss of at least 20 Demo seats in the House.

    Unless Bush screws up royally (which, since he’s a Republican, is quite possible) as in raising taxes or caving in to Presidente Fox on immigration, the GOP will hold on. There’s simply no compelling reason for most people to vote for Democrats.

  57. Captain Holly nails it.

    The Dems don’t give you anything to vote for. They are still running as the anti-republicans, their major theme negativity and hate, which lost them the last two elections. No reason for that to change.

    Trust me, nothing would make me happier than to have a Democratic Party that I preferred to the Republicans. That hasn’t happened yet.

    The only race of note in Texas promises to be the Governor’s race. I get to vote for Kinky Friedman! Your envy is graciously acknowledged.

  58. the anti-Bush groundswell is what cost you all the 2004 election, not John Kerry.

  59. A friend once told me that voting gives a citizen the right to complain. I pointed out to him that the First Amendement already covers that. He responded by saying that voting gives you the right to complain… with authority.

    I’d point out to him that the Second Amendment already covers that.

  60. Chitom, please provide examples of GOP nastiness. Your reality is warped if you believe the Republicans have been the hateful ones. Other than the Barney Fag comment I can’t think of any instances where the Republicans have been mean. Or maybe you’re still mad about the swift boat vets calling Kerry out on his purple hearts.

  61. The one thing the democrat supporters and the moonbat left have a monopoly on is the use of the f— word. Its unnecssary and crude. But then so is the left.

    Iran will be the big issue and that plays to the Repubs. No one trusts the Democratic party to defend this nation. And for good reason. Mother Sheehan probably thinks things would have been better if only Osama was hugged more as a child.

  62. Five words will define these midterm elections:

    “We killed the PATRIOT Act.”

    yes Isaac, they will – and that is what is going to SINK the democrats. People want a lot of things – but if you remember Maslovs(sp?) hierarchy of needs, the first is security. Well, people want security. The rediculousness that passes for democratic rhetoric about this issue rings hollow to most people. When GWB says he is listening in to 30 people talking to Al-Qaida operatives outside the US and then the Dems say that infringes on civil rights, most people think – what the heck are they saying, that tommorrow they are going to be tapping my wifes phone to listen to her talking about yesterdays “Days of our Lives” with her girlfriend? No way. In fact they think – that makes a heckuva lot of sense, it is what I would do. Most americans are sick of the coddling we do of the GUILTY, and the way people get off on technicalities, and how stupid laws tie the hands of our intelligence commmunity and cause things like 9/11 to happen. The Dems are digging their grave here.

    The reality here is that with all of their HUGE warts(overspending for sure), the republicans look good compared to the democrats. The only thing worse than a republican running as a conservative and going to washington and spending like a drunken sailor is a Democrat doing it.

    With the democrats, you get about the same thing as the republicans, but with higher taxes, and so much WHINING and Bitching (see comments on Nancy P above).

    On top of that, the unemployment rate just dropped to 4.7%, and wage growth is accelerating. Now matter how hard the media tries to talk down the economy, it is not working. By November, the unemployement rate will be 4.2%, and the Dems are sunk.

    Just my take on it. And to be honest, I prefer a split government, it is the only way we seem to be able to balance the budget.

    Just a side note – I stumbled on this Blog – but I would like to comment that it is the most civil and least one sided I have seen on a blog. I think I will be back.

    Ed

  63. James Ard,

    Let me remind you of a few things:

    They question the patriotism of anyone who questions the policies of George Bush

    They characterize anti-war believers as “terrorist sympathizers”

    They paint anyone who believes in the seperation of church and state as “godless” and trying to “ban the bible”

    They make up “persecution” like the “War on Christmas”

    They try to “Swift Boat” John Murtha, a man with a distinguished military record, when he advocates the position that a majority of americans support (Phased withdrawl of our troops from Iraq)

    Max Cleland = Osama Bin Laden

    Have you listened to Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, or Glenn Beck?

    Or maybe you’re still mad about the swift boat vets calling Kerry out on his purple hearts.

    Thanks for proving my point for me. Bush joins the Champagne patrol of the Texas Air Nat’l Guard, and its John Kerry who “gets called out”?? Bush stopped showing up and got his flight status revoked but Kerry was the one with the questionable vietnam service???

    But please, tell me some more again about these warm fuzzy republicans?

  64. I tend to think this won’t be a national election — but a regionalistic one. *shrug*. If I’m right, then Dean’s DNC strategy is spot on — raising money for the states, rebuilding state and local political infrastructure, and trying to run as many candidates as possible — uncontest elections are a bad thing.

    Will it work? I don’t know. I think it’s better than the DNC’s past view of running state level campaigns using DC consultants — who have no freaking clue about state-level issues — and national advertising.

    I’ll give this to Dean — he’s raised a ton more money than he had any right to (despite insider bitching to the contrary. Dean has raised more in 2005 than was raised in 2003 — and 2005 is a far worse fundraising year) and he’s been spending it where it’ll have the most impact for House races.

    It’s the sort of long-term strategy that the Dems should have been doing for the past decade or more.

    *shrug*. From what I can see, voters seem pretty damn unhappy about the current state of affairs and where things are heading. That generally eats away at the incumbent’s edge — far more so for the party in charge.

    Just as a personal anecdote: I’ve had three calls in two weeks over Tom Delay. Two Delay commissioned polls and one personal call asking if I would “pledge my support”. Neither I nor my wife are registered Republicans — nor has Tom Delay ever felt the need to campaign before (I believe 2004 marked the first time in 10 or more years the man focused almost as much on HIS reelection as he did other GOP candidates). We’ve never received calls from the Delay campaign before.

    He’s worried about the primary first — but the Dems appears to be fielding a strong candidate in his district, and his fundraising is drying up. I never thought I’d see the Hammer losing….

  65. Ed: As a member of the radical center, I can assure you that you have found a reasonably good place for intelligent discussion, except when the topic is about elections, when all the shills come out from whatever web domains they normally hang out in.

  66. The Democrats taking back the House is very unlikely IMO. Since the 1982 election the Democrats have gone from 269 House seats to 202 seats. So, in 20+ years they have been trending down to a position where they barely are above 200 seats.

    Since ’82, the most seats the Democrats have gained in any one cyle was 7 seats in 1990. In the last 6 election cycles the most they have gained is 5 seats in 1998 and Republicans have during this time never dipped below 221 seats. And if anything, districts have gotten safer for incumbents after the last census. I just don’t see them picking up 16 seats. Basically, to do it, they would have to win every single competitive seat in the next election cycle. I think Dems pick up 5 seats and get up to 207 or so.

    As far as the Senate goes, the Democrats will be +1/+2 or so. But Republicans maintain control.

  67. To ChicagoTom

    Who said Repubs are warm and fuzzy? They’re not and nor should they be. Its about what’s best for this country. Sure there are some folks on the right who go overboard and become attack dogs. But they are nothing compared to the nuts on the left.

    The difference I see is that the Right lays out policy positions and backs them up with reasons why they support them. The Left is a null set. It has reached a level of incoherency unlike I have seen over 25 years of following politics.

    I don’t want a government that is warm and fuzzy. I want a government that defends this nation, keeps the economy growing, and provides a safety net for the young, old, and infirm.

    I want a government that believes in “Power to the People” and I don’t mean the empty rhetoric of the 60’s. I mean diffused power that works from the bottom up. The Democratic party wants to have power consolidated in Washington so it can hand out the goodies to those who toe their line. It derives its power from slicing and dicing the American people. In doing so it creates tensions among victim groups. It then steps in and says “i can help each of you victims if you give me power and your money.” Its a very cynical strategy. I would rather focus on common ground.

    I certainly don’t want H. Clinton, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Cindy Sheehan, Ted Kennedy, and the rest of the nuts telling me and my family how to live. I can do that job myself and I take responsiblity for my decision.

  68. I believe the Alito debacle has put another weight on the Dem party overall. The American people watched and saw yet another disgraceful defeat.

    I agree but will go a step further in saying that the GOP will actually pick up seats in the House. In the Senate the GOP will either maintain current status or lose a seat or 2.

  69. Chicago Tom

    By the way the Constitution says nothing about separation of Church and State. The 1st Amendment say “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” I believe the phrase “Separation of Church and State” came from a letter from either Jefferson or Madison to a group in Pennsylvania regarding establishing a state-sponsored religion which was common at that time.

    I raise this because the Left uses this statement as a reason to sanitize God from the public square which was not the intention of the Founders. In fact God was a big part of the Founders belief system for this country.

  70. I was wrong. It -must- be The Corner.

  71. All you folks seem to forget how elections are actually decided. Your Dem in New York can raise his vote from 55% to 95% and that doesn’t do a thing to dislodge the Republican in Georgia from getting 52% again for the 4th time. Think electoral college and then multiply by 100 for effect. Who controls the house or the senate depends on adding up each race and then counting wins and loses. 100/0 is no better than 50.1 to 49.9. Tom Delay is the genius. You guys haven’t even figured out the rules of the game.

  72. I certainly don’t want H. Clinton, John Kerry, Howard Dean, Cindy Sheehan, Ted Kennedy, and the rest of the nuts telling me and my family how to live. I can do that job myself and I take responsiblity for my decision.

    Instead James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and the congressman (Coburn?) who thinks the biggest threat we face is girls making out with other girls in HS bathrooms, will be telling the rest of us what to do and passing legislation that reflects the will of God.

    Who said Repubs are warm and fuzzy?
    James Ard implied it when he said “Your reality is warped if you believe the Republicans have been the hateful ones. Other than the Barney Fag comment I can’t think of any instances where the Republicans have been mean” @ 12:38

    Maybe you should try following the thread?

    The Democratic party wants to have power consolidated in Washington so it can hand out the goodies to those who toe their line.

    How exactly is the GOP different? They don’t espouse empty rhetoric? The GOP wants power consolidated in the executive brach instead. Funny how States Rights talk goes out the window when it comes to things like Medical Marijuana, or Gay marriage. Spare me the bullshit please.

    I raise this because the Left uses this statement as a reason to sanitize God from the public square which was not the intention of the Founders. In fact God was a big part of the Founders belief system for this country.

    Blah blah blah… the right loves to trot this crap out in order to justify crap like Faith Based initiatives and mandatory prayer in schools.

    The bottom line is that the GOP doesn’t want to treat all religions equally. We are not a Christian Country. We are a melting pot of cultures and religions and only bigots believe that the USA is a Christian Country.

  73. The Republicans will retain control of both houses, for the reasons stated above: in short, you can’t beat something with nothing. Being anti-Bush isn’t enough. And yet, if the Democrats fully articulated what they now stand for as the Kossites and others want, they’d energize their base and crush the Nader/Green threat but alienate about 60% of voters. So they are trapped, politically.

    On RandyAyn’s comment on Bush’s poll numbers about terrorism not being good: I question that sort of number, because it usually doesn’t distinguish between “I’m dissatisfied because he’s going in the wrong direction” and “I’m dissatisfied because he’s not going far enough.” The latter will score as “dissatisfied” but aren’t going to vote for some semi-pacifist Democrat.

  74. I never said warm and fuzzy. And the politicians on the left who would rather we fail in Iraq for personal gain are sure as shit unpatriotic. I do listen to Rush and I beg you to show me a hateful qoute. Unless it is about Al Franken, who’s perhaps the most hateful person on earth, especially of Rush.

  75. Yes, unfortunately you are correct about the mid-term election. The Repubs still have (misguided, fanatical) energy, while the Dems have- ??.

    I am afraid that we will need to have a Hoover-type break-down before the Dems (or someone else) pulls themselves together and rescues the Republic from the present monarchists.
    If the Republic survives that long.

  76. Nancy Pelosi… Do they come any more wild eyed, hypocritical and just plain stupid than this woman? I mean besides the other several hundred pension plan buddies she runs with. When I see this woman on TV w/ Sen. Reid its almost like watching SNL. Except them two are much funnier and want to be our nannies.

    Put Pelosi and Reid together with the Susan Estrich chick and you have a wild eyed threesome made for reality TV. What can we call the show…….

    Hmmmmm… how about

    The Wild Eyed Three Blind Mice Go to Washington.. ok so they happen to be deaf, dumb and retarded too.. everyone loves a tard right!

    Makes me wonder what will have to happen first for change.. Will all the voters that keep electing these fools die or will it take them themselves dying? I am using Ted Kennedy as my case study.

  77. Freedomlover- Isn’t Howard Dean that guy that ran for president last election and promised he would balance our budget? Only to not get the nomination and have to beg his past supporters for more money to pay off his campaign debt?

    Damn sure wish he had been elected president just think how balanced our budget would be right now.

    He couldn’t even run his campaign without going into debt but he was going to balance the Fed. Budget right? Now it seems he has also gone through the DNC money as well they are about broke last I heard.

    Run Howard run….

  78. thoreau:

    Just came back here. Apparently I missed a partisan invasion in the meantime. Above, waaay above, you asked what the logic is of staying home. No logic, but a couple of points:

    1) I view the LP as harmful to the cause of liberty. Every time they screech and demand the destruction of the IRS as the first order of business, we lose. I will not consider voting LP again in my life until they nominate an incrementalist.

    2) As we’ve discussed in the past, I believe that single issues are the way to advance libertarian causes with the demographics and civics hands we’ve been dealt. If there is an issue I’m either especially fond of or especially afraid of (read – socialized medicine) I will use the vote on that issue alone.

  79. Reminds me of one of my old Poli-Sci professors, (a real post-sixties firebrand) who once said, “I base all my hope for the future on the fact that I’ve always been terrible at predicting it.”

  80. Not sure how it will play out but those opposed to the eavedropping may have a PR disaster on their hands because the man that pleaded guilty for conspiring to blow up the Brooklyn(?) Bridge is arguing that his conviction was due to the actions of the NSA. How do you win that? If the courts rule against the defendant in any meaningful way it is a victory for Bush, if the court rules for him then the American people will see in absolute terms that what the NSA did was to prevent the destruction of the Bridge and many lives. The court’s decision will certainly be appealled and if it hits the SOTUS you can bet the administration will likely win. I don’t see a way out of this for Dems. The American people don’t take to their bridges being blown up and care little about the niceties involved in preventing it.

  81. You know why the Republicans are going to win? Because Democrats can’t seem to have a discussion without it sounding like the above. Republicans may have problems, but the Dems have become so loud, and so angry and so… crude, that that shaky middle you guys have talked about is going to decide that those aren’t the kind of people who ought to be trusted with the stewardship of Somalia, much less the United States.

    I love this… Smaak, have you never listened to Rush Limbaugh? Bill O’Reilly? Ann Coulter? Michelle Malking? Sean Hannity? ETC Ad nauseum… Republicans took the loud, angry and crude mantle loooooong ago. Don’t get pissy when the little hippie liberals finally grow a spine and fight back.

    And as for Howard Dean mr laugh at screen, he actually raised a record amount of money last year than ever before in his tenure from small donors (i.e. the people and not corporations, you remember the people right?), but he gives all the money to the states instead of pissing the money away on the national level.

  82. Jason, stay home if you must. But if the lesser evil loses in a close race, write a letter to a state party official and tell him or her why you stayed home.

    Better to send a message than no message.

  83. ChicagoTom

    You wrote:

    Blah blah blah… the right loves to trot this crap out in order to justify crap like Faith Based initiatives and mandatory prayer in schools.

    The bottom line is that the GOP doesn’t want to treat all religions equally. We are not a Christian Country. We are a melting pot of cultures and religions and only bigots believe that the USA is a Christian Country.
    ——

    I will follow the thread better if you will make an attempt to understand what I’ve been saying. I’ve been quite clear.

    You will note that nowhere did I use the word Christian. That’s the whole point of the 1st Amendment, not to make any one religion above another. 90% of the American people believe in God. There are three monotheist religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The remaining 10% are atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, etc and all are welcome under our constitution.

    The other mistake you make is to assume that all Christians are of the Falwell/Robertson variety. They represent only a small segment of the Christian population and most Christians I know do not want to impose their beliefs on others. That small segment has organized politically and that’s their right, but don’t use a broad brush because you would be wrong.

    The third mistake you make is to assume that the Faith Based Initiative is a Christian-only policy position. Its not, but it is true that Christian churches far outnumber Muslim mosques and Jewish synagogues. That’s just the make-up of our country.

    In fact, if you did some research, you might be amazed at the out-reach and help these three faiths provide to their communities. But many people, including possibly you, can’t see through their hatred of faith. Bush’s view is to support these outreach efforts because, simply, they are very effective and on a dollar to dollar basis provide much more value than what the government provides. That’s particularly true in inner cities. Black churches are hugely effective and should be supported. Since you are in Chicago try meeting with a local pastor on the south-side. You might get an education. The policy is inclusive, not for Christians only.

    With respect to the average Christians out there you might also be amazed at the extent of the help and outreach world-wide. For example, the Methodist church was the second largest non-governmental relief organization for the tsunami victims. And, guess what, no strings attached. There were no Christian Armies of prosletyzers or converters, just love and help (to Muslims no less). I didn’t see the agnostic and atheistic organizations provide a “red” cent.

    You also might want to note on a red state/blue state analysis with respect to charity giving, that the red states blow the blues away. The highest ranked blue state was number 44. The highest givers were in the south. So, before, you crucify the red-neck bible thumpers you may want to give thought to who really puts their money where their mouth is. And these are not rich people, but hard-working lower and middle class folks. Our compassionate liberals don’t give squat but they talk a good game. The hypocrisy is considerable.

    You wrote:

    How exactly is the GOP different? They don’t espouse empty rhetoric? The GOP wants power consolidated in the executive brach instead. Funny how States Rights talk goes out the window when it comes to things like Medical Marijuana, or Gay marriage. Spare me the bullshit please.

    —-

    Once again you didn’t read closely what I wrote. I put out what I believe, I was not defending the GOP. I have significant problems with the GOP trying to expand the role of the federal government and increase spending. As I said, I want power in the hands of the people. As a practical matter then I have to choose which party best represents my views. I can tell you it certainly isn’t the party of so-called compassion and giving. I have a better chance of my views getting some support thru the GOP. The Dems are a lost cause.

    With regard to medical marijuana I have no problem with giving marijuana to very ill people as long as its tightly controlled. But marijuana is not a benign drug (as a former weed-head I know whereof I speak). If you disagree go to a couple Marijuana Anonymous meetings, they are all over the place (including Chicago) and filled with people who’s lives have been ruined by too many bong hits.

    Regarding gay marriage, I fully support civil unions but do believe the definition of marriage should be for marriages between men and women only. This is not a distinction without a difference. One produces life, the other cannot. You may not find that significant but I do.

    God Bless

  84. I read these threads for comments by snarky libertarians. Go away everyone with nice things to say about Republicans or Democrats.

  85. Did anyone check with Mary Jo for her opinion on the election?

  86. We are a melting pot of cultures and religions and only bigots believe that the USA is a Christian Country.

    The US is over 70% Christian. The US is, and has been since the beginning, a country led by people of whom the vast majority are Christians.

    It’s a Christian country. Only people unwilling to acknowledge “unpleasant” truths deny that.

    Does that mean non-Christians are, adn should be, unwelcome? Of course not. Only an anti-Christian bigot would claim that it does.

  87. Two comments:

    (1) HTML, people. HTML. It helps separate your comments from quotes.

    (2) This is some funny shit to read.

  88. They don’t even have “grich”, or “gin” or even a “ngr”.

    Heh… the closest the can get to “Gingrich” is “Nagin”.

  89. Bolivia has 10 parties, for 8 million people.

    Israel has 12 parties, for 5 million people. Israel’s 1 million Arabs (the Arabs living within “the green line”/1949 armistice line) have 2 parties of their own.

    Meanwhile the USA has 1 1/2 parties, for a population approaching 300 million.

  90. Bolivia has 10 parties, for 8 million people

    Parliamentary systems have more parties than winner-take-all systems do.

    Really, though, the Republicans and Democrats are more like coalitions than parties. Each party contains distinct subgroups whose interests are often at odds. The Republicans are a Christian/Conservative/Capitalist/Libertarian coalition, the Democrats Labor/Liberal/Green plus various ethnic parties.

  91. Bolivia has 10 parties, for 8 million people

    Parliamentary systems have more parties than winner-take-all systems do.

    Really, though, the Republicans and Democrats are more like coalitions than parties. Each party contains distinct subgroups whose interests are often at odds. The Republicans are a Christian/Conservative/Capitalist/Libertarian coalition, the Democrats Labor/Liberal/Green plus various ethnic parties.

  92. You must not be old enough to remember 1958. I was just getting active then at 13. A very deep recession caused the Republican loses that year. Ike’s health had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Jim Russell
    West Memphis, AR

  93. On the question of terrorism, while a plurality of those surveyed trust Bush over congressional Democrats, the president’s approval rating on the issue has dropped off in the past year. Now, 48 percent approve of his handling of the issue and 49 percent disapprove; a year ago 54 percent approved and 43 percent disapproved.

    So, even on the only issue that Bush still has left, a greater percentage disapprove than approve.

    I love the way people pull out these polls w/o stopping to ask any intelligent questions about them.

    For example, why do those 49% disaprove of the way Bush is handling terrorism? Is it because they think he’s too hard, or too soft?

    I think Bush has been way too much of a wuss on the war on terror. I think it is morally good to torture terrorists, even if you dont’ get any usefuol information out of them. And I think that, when you’re done interrogating them, and you think you’ve drained them of any useful information, you should, as provided by teh Geneva Conventions, execute them.

    So, I’m part of that 49%. Think I’m going to vote for a democrat over a Republican?

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