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Mickey Kaus writes: 

What does it tell you about a political party if in a year of epic disaster for their opponents the best they can hope for is a 51-49 majority in the Senate?

Far be it from me to defend the Democrats, who don't really deserve defending, but Kaus is being disingenuous, here.  The Democrats had 17 senate seats up for election this year, the GOP just 15.  I can't find the article at the moment, but the New York Times reported late last week that no party has ever recaptured the Senate from this large a deficit when it had more seats to defend.  So if the Dems were to accomplish that this year, it would certainly be significant.

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  1. To be fair, at no point have I heard of this race being projected as an “epic disaster.”

    Then again victory margins of less than one percent are routinely labeled as “mandates.”

  2. Isn’t this a bit like when the baseball commentary points out that the last time a particular sequence of events led to a certain outcome. “This is the first time blah blah blah came back from a 0-4 lead in the first game of a world series”

    All that really matters is who wins.

  3. “What does it tell you about a political party if in a year of epic disaster for their opponents the best they can hope for is a 51-49 majority in the Senate?”

    That they operate in a nation in which only 1/3 of the seats in the Senate are up for election every two years?

    Let’s pretend this was a Parliamentary election. Democrats hold 53% of the seats and Republicans hold 47%, and every seat is up for election.

    If the Dems gain 6 seats, that works out to 72%-28%. That would be a 25% gain, for a party that already holds the majority.

    But we’re not in a Parliamentary Democracy, so let’s pretend the whole Senate was up for re-election (3X the real number) and the Republicans lose 15 seats (3X the real fake number). That moves them from 55% to 40%. What do we call a President who wins with 55%? What do we call a candidate who gets 40% in a Presidential election?

  4. What do we call a candidate who gets 40% in a Presidential election?

    A Democrat? 😉

  5. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m kinda lookin’ forward to hatin’ on the Democrats again. It’s been a long time, really since just after Bush the Lesser took office. …but that’s the way I grew up.

    They didn’t make for much of an opposition party–why should they be any better with a majority?

    Ah…hatin’ on the Democrats. It’ll feel nice goin’ after those tax and spend liberals again. …like puttin’ on a favorite sweater or eatin’ comfort food. It’ll be kinda like goin’ home for the holidays! …just without the pumpkin pie.

    Maybe there’ll be a honeymoon. Maybe they’ll do something nice up front, like rip the nasty parts out of the Patriot Act. …but what are the chances of that happening?

  6. Ken Schultz,

    You alluded to the real problem. If the Democrats were running on a platform of undoing some of King George’s excesses, I’d be all for them. The fact is, they won’t repeal anything the Republicans have enacted over the past 6 years, and instead will try to enact new regulations, new targeted tax credits, and (in the best case) will waste taxpayer money investigating the shenanigans of the White House. Like Nick said earlier, no matter who wins, we lose.

  7. What do we call a candidate who gets 40% in a Presidential election?

    Walter Mondale?

  8. Actual Yahoo headline:

    Divided gov’t a roadblock for Bush

    Sweeeeeeeeeeeet…

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