Campaigns/Elections

Tomorrow's Post-Election Analysis Today (Libertarian Democrat Edition)

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Former Democratic National Committee spokesman and current "libertarian Democrat" Terry Michael has already released his post-election analysis, which begins thus:

The results of the 2006 mid-term election, if they're anything close to predictions, will suggest two near-seismic changes in the national political landscape.

Evangelical Christians, after three decades of dabbling in politics, are ready–perhaps even eager–to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things which are not the Republican Party's.

And the Democrats' Cold War "soft-on-defense" ghost will be exorcized, a scarecrow image that has been propped up in the fields of American politics for years, not only by Republicans but by the foreign policy neo-conservative Democratic minority, which colluded in the Iraq War.

More here. Well worth a look.

For a contrarian view, check out Charles Krauthammer, who argues that no matter how much the GOP loses tomorrow, it's simply historical patterns regarding midterms during the sixth year of a president asserting themselves. [Hat tip: Monte Vista Bed and Breakfast] 

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  1. My God, somebody speeed up time so that the election will be over.

  2. No, Shem, but we can freeze you so that it will seem to go a little faster. And, if there’s an avalanche before we get you thawed out, well, maybe the dickheads will be able to thaw you out in 500 years.

  3. Then I’d have to deal with blowhard atheists and megalomaniacal sea otters. Pass.

  4. With the Republicans in the minority again, maybe fiscal conservatives will reappear. Maybe fiscal conservatives can only survive for prolonged periods as part of a minority coalition.

  5. What fiscal conservatives? Fiscal “conservatives” need to end the love affair with the GOP.

  6. In practice, that’s the difference between libertarian Democrats and libertarians in general, right?

    …libertarian Democrats don’t mind fiscal irresponsibility and raping me for a chunk of my take home pay?

  7. As Kevin Drum pointed out the other day, Krauthammer’s argument is just objectively bullshit: It only works if you pretend there wasn’t a dramatic shift in the pattern in the mid-80s, partly as a function of more sophisticated district-drawing, to far, far smaller midterm shifts. The average for the last 20 years is about five seats.

  8. The decades-old Republican dominance on national security issues is dying for a simple reason: there is nothing they can accuse the Democrats of doing that is worse than what they themselves have brought upon us.

    What are the weak-kneed Democrats going to do to our country? Lose a war? Fight Al-Qaeda in a half-hearted manner? Dissipate our forces on ideology-driven adventures? Do nothing while some nut job gets a nuclear weapon? Fail to provide adequate security at border crossings and ports? Allow acadamics and political hacks who don’t know or care about the concerns of the uniformed military to overrule military leaders on issues of doctrine, strategy, and tactics? Show public disrespect for servicemen? Cause a morale problem in the ranks? Piss off our allies? Play dress-up soldier in a demeaning manner? Waste defense dollars on pork, while starving vital efforts of resources?

    The most notable thing about the Democratic resurgence on national security issues is how little the Democrats had to do with it. The Republicans finally got the chance to do everything they ever wanted, and it’s been one debacle after another.

    People have finally seen what’s behind all the chest-beating and cheap insults. This is going to be a lasting change in how American politics work, because the rejection of the Republicans on military and security issues isn’t a case of the Democrats using the issue better than the Republicans in a political campaign. It’s a case of the Republicans running headlong off a cliff, eagerly and of their own accord, and yelling “Look at me, look at me! No Democrat would do this!” as they leap.

  9. …isn’t a case of the Democrats using the issue better than the Republicans…

    But is lack of leadership something we should be happy to choose? Not that the repube’s shouldn;t get what they deserve, but I don’t find the dems lack of standing for anything something to cheer, or vote, for.

  10. Kevin Drum … objectively

    Better check the servers for zombie squirrels. Half of that Orwell allusion got replaced with crazed shit from the comments at Huffington’s place.

  11. gaijin,

    I’m just fine with not hearing any REALLY BIG IDEAS about what we should do with/to the military for a few years.

    Competent administration, sound judgement, and taking care of the tasks a hand looks pretty good to me right about now.

  12. What are the weak-kneed Democrats going to do to our country? Lose a war? Fight Al-Qaeda in a half-hearted manner? Dissipate our forces on ideology-driven adventures? Do nothing while some nut job gets a nuclear weapon? Fail to provide adequate security at border crossings and ports? Allow acadamics and political hacks who don’t know or care about the concerns of the uniformed military to overrule military leaders on issues of doctrine, strategy, and tactics? Show public disrespect for servicemen? Cause a morale problem in the ranks? Piss off our allies? Play dress-up soldier in a demeaning manner? Waste defense dollars on pork, while starving vital efforts of resources?

    yeah, pretty much. except that last one; they’ll continue, like the reps, to waste money on defense and domestic pork.

  13. Final predictions, everyone?

    SENATE:
    R-51
    D-48
    I-1

    HOUSE:
    D-220
    R-215

    GOVERNORS:
    D-27
    R-23

  14. Senate:

    Corporations-100

    House:

    Corporations-435

  15. It would be preferable if Democrats and Republicans would stop using sample sizes of five or less to “prove” something about historical trends or “typical” and “unusual” outcomes. Too silly for words.

  16. Apparently it’s impossible to bring good news to libertarians…LOL Wouldn’t it be a good thing if social/cultural rightwing loonies left politics? And wouldn’t it be another good thing if elected Democrats had their spines stiffened by removing the “weak on defense” albatross. I happen to be a real libertarian as well as a partisan Democrat, just like Barry Goldwater was a real Republican when the Nelson Rockefellers of the world held a lot more sway inside the GOP.

  17. My predictions

    Senate
    R-50
    D-49
    Lieberman-1

    House
    R-212
    D-222
    I-1 (though i really cheered for Bob Smither)

    Govenorships
    who cares, I just want Kinky Friedman to win

  18. Justin, if you think Sekula-Gibbs is gonna win, you’re smoking crack

  19. i’ll edit my predictions since i forgot the independent senator from VT

    Senate
    R-50
    D-48
    I-2

    essentially equal for all intents and purposes

  20. With the Republicans in the minority again, maybe fiscal conservatives will reappear. Maybe fiscal conservatives can only survive for prolonged periods as part of a minority coalition.

    This is why, if I could amend the Constitution, I would say that tax increases (or new taxes, or new or increased tariffs, or any other source of revenue) require a super-majority (2/3? 3/4? whatever) but tax cuts (and tariff cuts, etc.) require a simple majority. And a super-majority for borrowing, so that they don’t just work around the tax cuts and run up a debt for future generations to pay off.

    Fiscal conservatives could thereby starve the beast by blocking bad fiscal plicy without having to first attain a majority and experience the temptations of power.

  21. “I happen to be a real libertarian bullshit artist as well as a partisan Democrat.”

    There. Fixed that for you.

  22. Trusting a government to be fiscally responsible is like trusting a street prostitute with your credit card.

    I’m with thoreau on the super-majority, except I would make it apply to ANY law. If one-third the people don’t think a law is a good law, it isn’t.

    I’d also try to figure out some way to make log-rolling impossible. A law should deal with one issue, not two [or forty-five].

  23. Forgive the threadjack, but this is too good to pass up: a talk host in St. Louis named Paul Harris has posed the following:

    Why can’t we put politicians on the Do Not Call registry?

    Never happen, I know. But a guy can dream…

  24. Senate: 50 Rep, 48 Dems, 2 Independents
    House: 233 Dem, 202 Rep.
    Dems pick up 8 Governorships.

  25. If you make any law require super majority support you effectively create minority rule since it only takes 26% of the voting population to stop anything.

  26. Aresen-

    I have mixed feelings on requiring a supermajority for everything. I’m open to the possibility that sometimes the best course of action won’t be overwhelmingly popular. Of course, that argument cuts both ways. The more important point is that there’s only so much mischief that they can pull off if their funds are limited. So make it hard for them to tax and make it hard for them to run up the credit card. (That last point is far more important than I think some libertarians admit.)

  27. I want to say 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats, Sanders, and Lieberman.

    But that’s probably just because it would be the most interesting scenario.

  28. While the point still stands true regarding minority rule, my math is way off … 34%. And if that’s off, I think you all get the point. Worthless liberal arts education…

  29. Y’know, traditionally a supermajority is only 60%. You’re thinking of a 2/3rds majority.

  30. I’m all for forbidding logrolling. That, more than anything, will cut out the pork. Or at least make them have to carve it in front of everyone.

  31. Lieberman said he’d still be a part of the democratic caucus, so can we really call him independent?
    ________________________

    I predict a day of losers; everybody will lose tomorrow, participants or not. Then again, I’m an optimist.

  32. If you make any law require super majority support you effectively create minority rule since it only takes [34]% of the voting population to stop anything.

    No, it isn’t minority rule since the minority cannot force anything on the majority. Minority rule would be quite the opposite – say, requiring only 1/3 vote to enact a law, at least by the normal sense of the word rule. Of course a minority could stop a majority from forcing something on it which, to my mind, is not a bad thing. I made a similar point about preferring a 2/3 majority to enact any law and a 1/3 vote to remove any law from the books when it comes to ballot measures in a thread several months ago but I think the same principle could and should apply to legislatures and Congress as well. There is nothing particularly special about deciding that 50%+1 of a group of people should be able to force 50%-1 to accept their will by force. By requiring a super-majority you are simply saying that only those things that can command a near consensus ought to be the object of compelled behavior or, government power.

  33. yellowd

    Saying “no” to something is not the same as imposing your will, so requiring a supermajority – 3/5, 2/3, or 3/4 – is not “minority rule”; it is a limit on the majority to impose its will on the minority.

    This is particularly needed in a representative democracy, where even slight majorities in popular vote can be translated into large majorities in the number of representatives.

    Even in direct popular votes, why should 50% plus 1 vote be able pass a bond issue that will tax the minority opposed to it?

    Really necessary laws – against violence and fraud, for example – would be appoved almost unanimously. Laws against internet gambling probably would fall short.

  34. Brian C:

    You must type faster than I do.

  35. I think we’re all winners. I can conceive of at least three douchebags who have seen their presidential aspirations dashed.

  36. You must type faster than I do.

    Must be the Adderall… guess that stuff really does work 🙂

    As for predictions,
    Senate: 49-49-2 (though I have a lurking feeling that Allen will unfortunately pull out a win in VA making it 50-48-2).
    House: 225-210 Dems.
    Governorships: 29-21 Dems.

  37. My prediction:

    1. I’m going to need a hell of a lot more coffee to get through the day.

    2. Despite my best efforts, I will be neither younger nor better looking by the time the polls close.

    3. George Allen will be a senator next year.

    4. Michael Steele will not.

    5. We will not know for sure by the end of the day which party will get the chance to fuck things up for the next couple of years. Lawyers will be deployed.

  38. t:

    As always, you are being corrupted by reason. Since when will our government ever be “reasonable” and give up power over peoples’ lives?

    In order for us to make the changes you suggest, it would take the work of a benevolent dictator (BD).

    As BD, I promise to re-establish our blessed Constitution as the supreme Law of the Land (with a few minor adjustments), and maybe change a statue or two in DC. I would then return absolute power back to The People. Eventually.

  39. MNG-

    If you become our Benevolent Dictator, could you do something about the long lines and slow service at that restaurant that we went to on Saturday? Maybe make a few examples to encourage the others?

  40. I have no idea what will happen today. I don’t trust polls to save my life. I do think everyone should read Michael Kinsley today. Kinsley has always been one of the smarter and more thoughtful Democrats. http://www.slate.com/id/2153062/fr/rss/

    He points out the obvious that the Democrats really have no plan other than to redistribute wealth to favored classes and do a “responsible redeployment” from Iraq, which really means cutting and running admitting defeat and spending the next 40 years prostrating themselves about how horrible this country is and how it must never be allowed to use military force again for any reason. Most people do not want that. They may be aggravated with the Republicans but they don’t want defeat in Iraq either. Iraq is not Vietnam. Whatever problems the Democrats have with national security has to do with their own self loathing and endless obsession with Vietnam. What your super star blogger gets famous for saying how American contractors in Iraq deserved what they got when they were hung and your most respected ex-President makes no secret of his undying respect for Cuba and has actively campaigned on the international scene against U.S. interests, your national security problem is not going to go away. The Jimmy Carters and John Conyers of the Democratic Party aren’t going anywhere.

    That said, I almost hope the Dems take real control of both houses just I can watch the Reason staff jump through their assholes to tell us how great Congress is now. Overnight, I have no doubt Weigal in particular will be telling us how wonderful a powerful Congress and federal government are. It will be beyond parody. If Dems don’t win, the whining and crying about stolen elections and the dark night of fascism falling on America and how every liberal plans to move to Canada, while entertaining, has been played out three elections in row now and is frankly loosing some of its entertainment value. How is it that the Dems might win this election, since they all pledged to move to Canada after the last three? Is there any of them here to vote anymore?

  41. Overnight, I have no doubt Weigal in particular will be telling us how wonderful a powerful Congress and federal government are.

    You obviously don’t read Reason, then.

    It will be beyond parody.

    Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, pot.

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