Hillary Clinton

The Coming Conservative Majority

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The Hotline notices something I'd tried to dig at in my last political column—the fact that, if Democrats win power next month, they'll do it on the backs of very conservative candidates.

Many of the new Democrats in the House will hail from Red or Dark Purple states. In a presidential cycle (with Hillary Clinton as their presumed standard bearer), they'll have targets on their back from the get-go. They are also likely to be marginally more conservative than the Democratic mean. (IN '08 candidate Brad Ellsworth, who might represent a district Pres. Bush won by 12 points, is a good example.) These new Dems will pull their caucus to the right.

By "the right," read "social conservatism and foreign policy hawkishness." Democrats in tight races in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the rest of the swing districts are mostly running against voter malaise and Iraq war conduct, as opposed to the idea of the Iraq war. You're not hearing many Democrats rule out strikes on Iran or North Korea, and you are hearing many backpedal at Roadrunner-speed from citizenship-based immigration reform and gay marriage.

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  1. “…with Hillary Clinton as their presumed standard bearer…”
    Just like Howard Dean in 2004. Seriously, stop repeating this shit. It’s too early.

  2. Chris Bowers had a post making the exact opposite point a few days ago: that (if they take the house) this will be the first democratic majority that will not also have a majority of seats in the south. In fact, most of the seats that look to be won in a potential democratic sweep are fiscally conservative but socially liberal suburbs of big cities (Philly suburbs, connecticut, upstate new york, ohio) and urban districts in red states (Iowa, Indiana, Colorado). While this may tilt democrats to a less-tax-friendly, more-hawkish caucus, social conservatism is very unlikely to play a part in a new democratic majority. On a broad level, it seems rockefeller republicans are are switching parties in response to the dixiecrats taking over the GOP.

  3. You’re not hearing many Democrats rule out strikes on Iran or North Korea, and you are hearing many backpedal at Roadrunner-speed from citizenship-based immigration reform and gay marriage.

    On the bright side, even if Democrats win control of Congress, any resurrection of the ban on so-called “assault weapons” would likely be a non-starter. Freedom Democrats has a list of pro-gun Democrats who are likely to pick up congressional seats.

  4. Not to be picky but can we ensure that all incoming members of the house can pronounce in English key words that any member of the American Government should reasonably be expected to encounter. Such words include but are not limited to Nuclear, Peninsula, Underestimation, and Normality (Normalcy is incorrect, although widespread), etc….

    I always thought such points were petty in the past, but if I’m going to be lied to by my government so boldly, I’d like a more eloquent spokesperson. Give me Blair and keep back the Bush.

  5. I, for one, welcome our new conservative Democratic overlords.

    Oh-no, wait. I’m mistaken.

  6. Sweet. So the way Democrats rush to office is to act more like Republicans.

    Gentlemen, we’re voting for laundry, not candidates nor parties.

  7. On a broad level, it seems rockefeller republicans are are switching parties in response to the dixiecrats taking over the GOP.

    This is what makes me think that the Dems may some day become the sort of party that I could associate with.

    First they need to grow a backbone on civil liberties matters, however. I don’t have any illusion that they’d become ideal libertarians, but it would be nice if they could, say, fight harder against torture.

  8. What I want to know is, what are these populist Democrats going to do about the crown of thorns being pressed down upon the brow of labor?!

  9. Yes, they’re running in somewhat conservative districts. Yes, they avoid liberal rhetoric, particularly on gay marriage. No, they won’t pull their party to the right if they get elected. That’s because they’re liberals. If they weren’t liberals, they wouldn’t be running as Democrats. Yes, voters are dumb enough to fall for this again. This is one of the advantages the Democrats have because of widespread media identification with their cause.

  10. Read Right Nation, people. Demographics — liberals are not reproducing and the country is becoming more, not less, religious — mean the trend toward center-right politics is irreversible. You folks should have been busier in bed.

  11. I hope they can also pronounce “War on Terror” and not “Wer on Terra”…. I’d rather not hear it at all but I wish these damn American patriots could speak English that makes sense.

  12. Closet Republicans like Joe Lieberman (CT) may become a thing of the past if southern Demos wake up and realize they are not Democrats but Republicans. Let us have some honesty in political affiliation and libertarian values will become manifest. See how Lieberman has violated core values 200 ways at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/10/16/234131/04

  13. Closet Republicans like Joe Lieberman (CT) may become a thing of the past if southern Demos wake up and realize they are not Democrats but Republicans. Let us have some honesty in political affiliation and libertarian values will become manifest. See how Lieberman has violated core values 200 ways at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/10/16/234131/04

  14. Closet Republicans like Joe Lieberman (CT) may become a thing of the past if southern Demos wake up and realize they are not Democrats but Republicans. Let us have some honesty in political affiliation and libertarian values will become manifest. See how Lieberman has violated core values 200 ways at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/10/16/234131/04

  15. Closet Republicans like Joe Lieberman (CT) may become a thing of the past if southern Demos wake up and realize they are not Democrats but are Republicans. Let us have some honesty in political affiliation and libertarian values will become manifest. See how Lieberman has violated core values 200 ways at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/10/16/234131/04

  16. Closet Republicans like Joe Lieberman (CT) may become a thing of the past if southern Demos wake up and realize they are not Democrats but are Republicans. Let us have some honesty in political affiliation and libertarian values will become manifest. See how Lieberman has violated core values 200 ways at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/10/16/234131/04

  17. I always find it interesting to see how responders like “johncjcakson iii” and bazil can’t say something on topic so they have to resort to ad hominem attacks. What truly surprised me though was that they didn’t refer to the President as Chimpy McHitler or something similarly ingenious.
    The point here is that if the Liberals want to get elected they have to act like Conservatives because the population cares about immigration, believes in that family values thing, and doesn’t want to die at the hands of a terrorist. Guess what that sounds like?

  18. Banjo:

    I’ve also heard statistics that say only 4% of children raised in evangelical homes remain evangelicals past their late teens. Even if a conservative family is having six kids, what are the odds that half of them are going to run away to the big city and become wicked libruls? Pretty good, judging by my own observations.

    500 years ago, everyone was a conservative. All those liberals had to have come from somewhere. In politics, memes blow away genes every time.

    (note: I’m speaking as a cultural observer, not an advocate)

  19. Er, Mike, that’s Chimpy McBushitlerburton the Third to you…

    And Banjo, the liberals were plenty busy in bed, but they also aborted the results… All for the best if you ask me…

  20. “the country is becoming more, not less, religious”

    What’s your evidence for this? Secularism has been growing dramatically in the US, AFAIK….

    Ted

  21. Ted, I repeat, read Right Nation. It’s a sober analysis of population and political trends by two writers for The Economist. The writing is on the wall, lefties. Someone up there suggested you have to be evangelical to be religious. Not so. Look at, well, look at Hillary. Even she’s wearing a cross these days. Suppose snake handling is next?

  22. Read Right Nation, people. Demographics — liberals are not reproducing and the country is becoming more, not less, religious — mean the trend toward center-right politics is irreversible.

    I don’t buy this premise in the author’s book. To wit:

    No one, but no one would argue that this country wasn’t more conservative– certainly socially– 100 years ago. People were having a lot of children 100 years ago. Therefore, the country should be as or further right than it is today. It’s not. Conservatives, liberals, libertarians what have you, having more children does not more of the aforementioned make.

    Less cryptically, just because you’re a Repub won’t make your children young Repubs. Yes, there’s a propensity to lean and learn the way your parents think, but it’s no slam dunk.

    You could make the same argument about poor, inner city black people. They’re having more children than wealthy urban whites by a considerable margin, and they vote democratic. So what?

    What does this suggest for the country’s future? I don’t think anyone can say.

    In fact, if I thought that having children produced a guaranteed political following, I’d stop worrying about my four year old daughter and just let nature take its course. But alas, the brainwashing has begun…

  23. I hope they can also pronounce “War on Terror” and not “Wer on Terra”….I’d rather not hear it at all but I wish these damn American patriots could speak English that makes sense.

    Jonc…

    You’re referring to members of the Kennedy family… Northeastern liberals, no?

  24. Postmodern sleaze, hats off. You beat me to it. eh well, better late than never, I guess…

  25. Paul: Urban blacks don’t vote. If they did, the Democratic party wouldn’t have to give black ministers what is called “walking around” money to try to get them to. If you read Right Nation, you would know that about three-quarters of offspring vote the way their parents do. Studies show it. Lost in fantasy, the left would like to pretend this isn’t the case and that, long term, liberals or — do you prefer “progressives” these days? — face extinction.

  26. Studies show it. Lost in fantasy, the left would like to pretend this isn’t the case and that, long term, liberals or — do you prefer “progressives” these days? — face extinction.

    You’re going to have to cite some– and then still explain how a country which was so staunchly conservative 75, 100, 150 years ago got so derned liberal. The ‘wong folks havin’ children’ argument is the exact same concept that might suggest:

    1 Children who grow up in poor families are likely to continue in the cycle of poverty
    2 Poor people have the most children
    3 Wealthy, educated people are becoming extinct.

    The author of the book is basically using a kind of “eugenics” approach with his perception of political ‘traits’. I don’t mean to suggest the author is a Nazi or a racist, just that this line of thinking is not new: that ‘undesirables’ who have the most children will ‘take over’ leading to a nation of ‘undesirables’ and thinning numbers desirables.

    Also, I can’t comment on exact numbers on urban black voter turnout, but they do vote and their vote increased over the last couple of general elections.

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