Election 2006: I Told You So

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It's very unlovely for a winner to crow, but what the hell!  In my January 2, 2006 crystal ball column I predicted: "A rising tide of voter disgust with corruption will toss the Republicans out of the U.S. House of Representatives in November elections and a new blessed era of gridlocked government will begin."  Don't know how "blessed" the Republic is going to be, but my friend and colleague Brian Doherty owes me a nice expensive dinner. So does my Charlottesville friend (and sometime Republican activist) Paul Wright. 

When are you next coming to DC, Brian?

P.S. A lot of my other predictions have only a couple of months to come true.

NEXT: The Green Felt Revolution: Fizzle or Sizzle?

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  1. If Democratic victory in the House means that Senate Republicans re-learn how to vote “no” on legislation (or, dare I say it, even re-learn the art of filibustering?), and that George Bush uses his veto pen on a regular basis, then this election will go down in history as the best one in a long, long time.

  2. Yes, well, just in case it turns out the Dems take the Senate, too, let’s hope that “blessed era of gridlocked government” lasts longer than the ’08 elections.

  3. Libertarians shouln’t be celebrating. You’re as far from the center as ever, and the center is where the American people are. But the fringe is a cozy place for comforatble dogmas, so snuggle up and enjoy your fairytales, little guys.

  4. Ah yes, the center…that happy place where everyone agrees with everything and stands for nothing.
    Sounds like a fun place to be.

  5. I don’t think it was corruption scandals that beat the Reps (unless you include earmarking as corruption, which I’m not sure I would argue with).

    It was the spending, and the complete failure to do anything to advance a coherent agenda. Tax cuts? Nope. Tax reform? Nuh-uh. Social Security reform? Negatory. Medicare reform? It is to laugh. Rolling back the regulatory state? No thanks.

    Those are all things that a big chunk of Republican supporters wanted. If they had gotten any signal, any at all, that the Republicans were interested in doing something, they probably would have shown up and the Reps wouldn’t have gotten such a well-deserved ass-kicking, even with Abramoff and the rest.

  6. Ivid

    A well-populated center is what makes you fanatics harmless.

  7. Ron, you keep forgetting your customary disclaimer. Who are you really shilling for now?

  8. “Peak oil fears will subside and oil prices will decline to below $50 per barrel.”

    My compliments Ron, you got that one about exactly right and there were a lot of smart people with a lot of money who bet the other way.

    Thoreau,

    I think your predictions are right. The Republicans are going to tack right and find some backbone and go back to appealing to their base. Watch the Democrats whine about the filibuster and the veto power over the next two years. Neither side is going to get much done, unless you count braying like a jack ass over three year old intelligence estimates being productive.

  9. Does anyone know why CNN is showing 49-49-0 in the Senate race? Wouldnt Lieberman make it 49-48-1? I know he would vote Dem most of the time, but technically hes independent.

  10. And I predict that in 8-12 years, Americans will get sick of the Democrats and vote in a bunch of Republicans again.

    And we’ll just go on hating all of them.

  11. So far, so good. Not nearly enough for me. I totally agree with our First Reasonoid (drumroll) Nick Gillespie: They will still pass stupid, draconian laws, only now bipartisanly.
    http://pajamasmedia.com/2006/11/60second_seers_reasons_nick_gi.php

    (Watch Nick’s totally cool reaction to the interviewer’s extravagant compliment.)

  12. “Does anyone know why CNN is showing 49-49-0 in the Senate race? Wouldnt Lieberman make it 49-48-1? I know he would vote Dem most of the time, but technically hes independent.”

    Both he and the Vermont senator have said they will caucus with the Democrats.

  13. And I predict that in 8-12 years, Americans will get sick of the Democrats and vote in a bunch of Republicans again.

    And we’ll just go on hating all of them.

    I’ll second that prediction, and add that I think the differences between the parties aren’t as great as they’d have us believe. Most of the legislation that we hate is bipartisan anyway, so we’re still pretty much screwed.

    Edward,

    Has anyone here given you the impression that libertarians believe that our ideas are mainstream?

  14. I would be more sanguine about gridlock if GWB had actually, you know, vetoed any legislation. Sure, he will stand up to protect his right to waterboard terrorists, but what will he do when faced with minimum wage increases, protectionism, or expansion of government benefits. He has been soft on all three over the past 6 years.

  15. I think “Edward” is Conrad Burns.

  16. David

    No. Is libertarianism a political movement or a quasi-religious sect?

  17. Peak oil fears will subside and oil prices will decline to below $50 per barrel.” My compliments Ron, you got that one about exactly right

    Oil prices are still hovering around $60 a barrel now. They’ll need to drop another $10 in two months for that prediction to be “about exactly right.”

  18. Did RC Dean just write that the Republicans haven’t cut taxes?

    Saddest of all are those who think they are in the center, and are not.

  19. If the Dems take the Senate what will you have? Democratic control of both houses and a President who won’t veto. But yes as someone said he’ll veto if someone challenges his right to waterboard (actually he’ll issue a signing statement).

    And Liberman will side with the Dems, how nice, I guess this means the Dems don’t even intend to raise any issues of importance (ie foreign policy and getting the heck out of Iraq).

    Few have ever deserved to lose like the republicans so richly deserved it, they were nothing but police state cheering, pro-torture, misguided war supporting loonies. But look at the Dems 100 day plan. Do you see anything about getting out of Iraq, or chanlenging the laws that have taken away basic civil liberties. Heads you lose, tails they win.

  20. Close enough Jennifer. In Janurary of this year how many “oil is running out” the end of our horrible consumptive lifestyles is near stories were there? About a million. Bailey deserves credit for not buying it and right predicting oil would fall, even if he missed the taget by a few dollars.

  21. Is libertarianism a political movement or a quasi-religious sect?

    Libertarianism is a political philosophy. Sure, we’d love to make it a “movement”, but ultimately we believe what we believe cause it’s the mode of governing that makes the most sense to us, which it will continue doing whether the polity at large moves towards our point of view or away from it.

  22. I’d love to see gridlock, I’m afraid we’ll get “bipartisanship”.

    bipartisanship (imperitive verb) = “get out your checkbooks, suckers”

  23. While I won’t shed a tear for the Stupid Party getting their just desserts, Maryland has been returned to one-party rule, with the Dems fully in charge.

    :::sigh::: It was nice while it lasted.

  24. Not totally OT.
    Ran across this one. Can’t remember now where I found it:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/latulippe/latulippe72.html

    Here is the article it refers to. Can’t wait for the whole thing:
    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/12/neocons200612?printable=true&currentPage=all

    If anyone still was wondering what’s wrong with Repub conservatives, here is a good part of the answer. Absolutely mindboggling impudence.

    Om a different note, Durham DA Nifong, of Duke LaCrosse case infamy, wins.
    http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/

  25. JS,

    You are right. Does anyone honestly think the Democrats are going to get in power and repeal the Patriot Act or start demanding the release of detainees at GUITMO? No way. They will try to look more catholic than the pope and try to dispell doubts about them being soft on terror. Yeah, some of the clowns on the far left will try to do that but there will be far too many Democrats from unsafe districts who will want to look strong. Whether that is a good thing is a different debate, but I would be shocked if you say any major policy changes as a result of this election.

  26. No. Is libertarianism a political movement or a quasi-religious sect?

    Speaking of cults… which sounds more creepy?

    “I’ve been studying a lot about libertarianism lately and I really like some of their ideas.”
    Or,
    “I’ve been studying a lot about The Center lately and I really like some of their ideas.”

  27. Libertarians may not be any type of majority but consider this:

    The Republicans won the house and Senate when the Clinton administration’s oversteped on things like health care and when they had a radical government rollback plan (The Contract With America).

    They’ve lost it again after 6 years of blind support for the scariest administration ever from the point of view of civil liberties.

    There is a justice there, but regardless it will just turn into more statism in the end.

  28. I expect that the next two years will end up much like Reagan’s last two years in office. Lots of braying jackassery and very little of substance. Which is a good thing–lots of free entertainment and less government expansionism.

    BTW, I tend to think that Bush will be much more willing to break out the veto pen now that he won’t be vetoing his own party. It will be interesting to see what happens. Pelosi and a few others seem to be making conciliatory mouth noises, but there will be a lot of pressure by the lefty committee chairs and the netroots types to crank up the investigations, which I predict will squish any attempt at enacting bipartisan legislation.

    The most likely affect of two years of scandal-mongering will be to make an ‘outsider’ more attractive as the GOP presidential nominee. Guiliani has to be secretly cackling with glee this morning, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Governor Weightloss from Arkansas isn’t also smiling a little bit.

  29. Did I just type “affect” when I should have typed “effect”? Hope my wife doesn’t read it–that’s one of her biggest pet peeves.

  30. I hope there’s an attempt to impeach Bush. The more circus-like things get, the better for we libertarians, I think.

  31. Close enough Jennifer. In Janurary of this year how many “oil is running out” the end of our horrible consumptive lifestyles is near stories were there? About a million. Bailey deserves credit for not buying it and right predicting oil would fall, even if he missed the taget by a few dollars.

    Hey John, wanna make a wager that oil prices will be higher on 12/31/06 than right now? I say yes, you? The volatile, undulating, plateau of oil pricing is predicted and well documented within the ideas of peak oil.

  32. “I hope there’s an attempt to impeach Bush. The more circus-like things get, the better for we libertarians, I think.”

    I think there are some Republican Presidential hopefuls for 2008, who might agree with you. No one wants an impeachment outside the real nutcase left. The Democrats better come up with some ideas beyond impeachment and paying off their political supporters or they will crying about the dark night of Republican fascism in 2008.

  33. Matt,

    I will bet you that oil is no higher than $65 a barrell next year baring an all out war in middle east, in which case all bets are off.

  34. “I hope there’s an attempt to impeach Bush.”

    Me too, that would be truly amusing.

  35. Given the moderate nature of the newbies, and the desire of the DNC to, like, win again, there’s little chance of anything really fun happening. But an impeachment or, at the very least, a major investigation or two would be lovely. Maybe the Dems will give me the Censorship? Ah, I’d change parties for that plum 😉

    How about attempting to repeal the USA Patriot Act? They could get some GOP folk on board for that, because a number of business people hate the law (bankers, for instance). If they could accomplish that, the Dems could grab some serious civil liberties credence for 2008.

  36. “How about attempting to repeal the USA Patriot Act?”

    Never happen Pro. I said on another thread that all of those moderates are going to want to look more Catholic than the Pope on defense issues. No way do they want to go back and explain to the voters why they are easy on terrorists. If anything, you might see something more powerful than the Patriot Act so the Democrats can tell the country, “see we are just as tough as they are”.

  37. John: I will bet you that oil is no higher than $65 a barrel next year baring an all out war in middle east, in which case all bets are off.

    I’d take that bet assuming you mean “oil will go no higher than $65 a barrel at any point in 2007”. WTI oil’s at $59.80 right now, pretty much the lowest it’s been this year. Over the course of the year it’s been up to near $80. Over last year it varied between $40 and $60. There have been months where the range has been more than $5. Even in an untroubled market, WTI always rises a good few % in summer.

  38. Libertarianism is a political philosophy. Sure, we’d love to make it a “movement”, but ultimately we believe what we believe cause it’s the mode of governing that makes the most sense to us, which it will continue doing whether the polity at large moves towards our point of view or away from it.

    Yeah, but were were the difference makers in four elections yesterday.

    PANDER TO US REPUBLICRATS OR WE WILL CONTINUE TO FUCK YOU BOTH!

  39. There is nothing really for libertarians to cheer for here.

    The only thing that happened was the populist wing of the democractic party abandoned their fling with the republicans and went back to their soul-mates in the progressive wing of the democratic party.

  40. js,

    “But look at the Dems 100 day plan. Do you see anything about getting out of Iraq, or chanlenging the laws that have taken away basic civil liberties.”

    The Democrats don’t have a 100 day plan. They have a 100 hour plan. Four days.

    Getting out of Iraq and rejiggering the USA PATRIOT Act and Detainee Treatment Act are going to take a lot longer.

  41. I have a counter-intuitive winner for the Democrats, too. Roll back some of the more ridiculous provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley. That’ll also win some friends in the business community (esp. smaller businesses).

  42. Never happen Pro. I said on another thread that all of those moderates are going to want to look more Catholic than the Pope on defense issues. No way do they want to go back and explain to the voters why they are easy on terrorists. If anything, you might see something more powerful than the Patriot Act so the Democrats can tell the country, “see we are just as tough as they are”.

    I don’t know if I buy that Democrats, after taking control of Congress on the strength of voters’ discontent with Republicans, are going to now start to imitate Republicans as a strategy to get their president elected in ’08. It just doesn’t make sense.

  43. zach,

    Though that was, to some extent, the basic strategy of Bill Clinton. Rhetoric aside, his administration could be characterized as a Republican one in many respects. Especially looking at the legislation that it supported. His point was to steal the middle, which the Democrats of today may very well attempt as well.

  44. Ron–Strangely, I have no immediate plans to be in the DC area anytime soon. You heading west? But it’s not because of the bet–anyway, I covered that one with a bet against a certain outcome for a certain prominent LP campaign, which I won….

  45. His point was to steal the middle, which the Democrats of today may very well attempt as well.

    But that was the opposite situation, he needed to pander to the middle because the people had just voted in a Republican legislature. One can safely say the middle is siding with the Dems for the time being, so why would they spontaneously change their tune?

  46. zach,

    I’m not predicting a major rightward move by the Democrats. I’m just acknowledging the possibility of one. I definitely think they’ll work hard to look “moderate”, whatever that means. Still, if they manage to get both Houses, then my hopes for hubris and chaos are all the more likely to be realized. Impeach! Pass crazy legislation! Mandate, mandate! Woo hoo!

  47. “I don’t know if I buy that Democrats, after taking control of Congress on the strength of voters’ discontent with Republicans, are going to now start to imitate Republicans as a strategy to get their president elected in ’08.”

    I don’t think many people are that upset about the Patriot Act. The war in Iraq? Yes, but that is a different issue that the Patriot Act and domestic security. If I had to guess, I would say the Democrats will be huge doves overseas and try to make up for it by being even tougher here in the U.S. That way they can say that they are “tough on terrorists” and “protecting America” and such. Yeah, their base won’t like it, but what are they going to do? Vote Republican?

  48. I agree that people aren’t too upset about USA PATRIOT, (after all, lots of Dems voted for that), but the illegal wiretapping, torture and such I think really got people’s attention. This is all going off anecdotal stuff I’ve seen the past few days, so admittedly I could be wrong.

    And I can’t lie, some of it is wishful thinking. We need Democrats to come up against this stuff because if they don’t no one will (who can do anything about it). And then it’s the drug war all over again. Or, I really should say, newly expanded.

    So we’ll see…

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