Campaigns/Elections

The Coming Demopublican Majority

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Reason Contributing Editor and SF Chronicle Washington correspondent Carolyn Lochhead files this insightful report on the changes taking place within GOP congressional circles. A snippet:

Democrats made big inroads in previously red Western states but had almost no losses in the South, [Elephant in the Room author Ryan] Sager noted.

"The Democratic geography is expanding and the conservatives are contracting," he said. "The candidate who is able to keep these people under the tent while at the same time making this less a regional party, getting back to a Western conservatism, at least a non-Southern conservatism," is most likely to succeed. He put former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a ubiquitous presence on the campaign trail, on that list.

Some conservatives suggested they weren't faring too well under the old Republican guard and should take advantage of the suddenly accommodating stance of Democrats who proclaimed at every stop Wednesday that they would reach for the center.

[Rep. Jeff] Flake [(R-Ariz.)] argued that compromises can be reached with Democrats on immigration and even tax cuts, citing the large number of moderate Democrats elected, who he said are "genuinely cut from the same cloth we are."

Whole thing, well worth reading, here.

NEXT: Gonzo on the Campaign Trail

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  1. “The Democratic geography is expanding and the conservatives are contracting,” he said.

    After the last election wasn’t conventional wisdom the other way around? That Republicans were expanding, that Democrats were out of touch, red sun belt states were growing in population and the party of the hollywood liberals could only compete on the coasts. Two years later Republicans are on the endangered list and nothing but a Southern party!

    Of course, the author suggests that the best thing for Republicans to do would be what he probably wants them to do. It always turns out like that. After the 2004 elections conservatives thought the Democrats had to become more like them.

    The lesson in all this? “Political science” is bullshit.

  2. There seems to be a vast chunk of voters who are issues centered, with no hard ties to either party. Whoever wins the latest election apparently gets to claim that pool of moderates as their expanding base. When that same group votes GOP at some point down the line because the Dems have farked things in their own special way, the Republicans will reclaim them as their growth sector. Repeat ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

  3. WE WON!

    Prepare to bow down before your new islamofascist overlords, American degenerate weaklings!

  4. The lesson in all this? “Political science” is bullshit.

    A lesson that seemingly needs to be re-learned every two years.

  5. Is anyone else getting seriously frightened by all of the protectionist b.s. coming from the “fair trade” wing of the Dem Party? I’m already experiencing buyers remorse.

    Please Bush, pick up your veto pen.

    In the meantime, what is “Western conservatism”? Tancredo?

  6. I’m guessing Western conservatism=the more libertarian-ish conservatism of Goldwater.

  7. I’m guessing Western conservatism=the more libertarian-ish conservatism of Goldwater.

    Yeah, I realize that was what she actually meant. However, she would have been more credible if she was referring to Tancredo-style conservatism/nationalism. And that’s a pretty scary thought.

  8. The Democratic geography is expanding and the conservatives are contracting.

    Except for the part where the new seats were picked conservative Democrats.

    After the 2004 elections conservatives thought the Democrats had to become more like them.

    And you know what? To the extent the Dems recruited and ran conservatives, they won. The poster-child for the left wing of the party, Lamont, got scragged. In Connecticut.

  9. Heh – yeah, Grand Chalupa pretty much nailed right off the bat what I was thinking. Everybody’s always trying to spin a win for one side into “This represents a major change in American political trends!” because that’s more exciting than saying “Sometimes these guys win, sometimes those guys win. So it goes.”

    BTW, The Onion really nailed the results, as usual.

  10. Unpopular War – Congressional Scandals – Failure of leadership at all levels, did an arrogant majority in.

    I do think the Republican party needs to work on bring anti-statist conservatives, (I think even some religiouly inclined folk, don’t believe in state centered solutions) and economic libertarians back together. That’s the best hope for the country. The big government conservatives became almost indistinguisable from the Democratic majority they replaced.

    As a conservative with stong libertarian sympathies there is no way I could support a Bill Kristol/Pat Buchanan type of “national greatness conservatism”. All that will turn into is another road to serfdom.

    I do think I will renew my Reason subscripton for at least anther two years – these are interesting times. 🙂

  11. In the meantime, what is “Western conservatism”? Tancredo?

    Gary Johnson?

    John McCain?

  12. I’ll take Gary Johnson on the drug war. I can’t say I know anything else about the guy.

    As for John McCain, he’s a mixed and mostly bad bag. No Goldwater there.

  13. Except for the part where the new seats were picked conservative Democrats.

    Try again RC —
    the house pickups in New Hampshire and PA were progressive candidates — Yarmuth in Kentucky is a liberal and the CT pickups could hardly be considered conservatives. Boyda in Kansas isn’t a conservative either.

    In the Senate, Sherrod Brown in Ohio is as liberal as they come. Whitehouse was more liberal than Chafee. Claire McCaskill is a liberal / progressive. Bernie Sanders is a self proclaimed socialist. Amy Klobuchar in MN is liberal. Tester is against flag burning amendment, against an amendment banning gay marriage, against the Patriot Act, and against the war, he also is pro-choice and an econimic populist. Hardly conservative positions. Webb is the closest thing to a conservative and even he is moderate and to the left of Macaca Allen.

    So despite your (and many others’) spin — it was not because the Dems moved to the right that they won. And if memory serves me, every one of the Dem candidates who won were accused of being “too liberal” by their republican opponents. It’ seems like the GOP wants to have it both ways.

    If it makes you feel better to lie to yourself — be my guest. Just don’t try and lie to the rest of us who know better.

  14. The lesson in all this? “Political science” is bullshit.

    There’s the hard sciences and the soft sciences. Then there’s political science. It’s mush.

  15. fuck the GOP. it’s too late now.

    Sincerely,
    a libertarian

  16. I prefer “Republocrat”.

  17. Is anyone else getting seriously frightened by all of the protectionist b.s. coming from the “fair trade” wing of the Dem Party? I’m already experiencing buyers remorse.

    Considering my new Senator, Sherrod Brown, penned a relatively successful book entitled The Myth of Free Trade, I’d say a bit of fear on that front is justified.

  18. dealmaker for Dims was: no comment on you owning firearms.
    that allowed a LOT of folks to vote against the neoloons.
    Will they (dims) learn? Maybe when Schumer & the likeshuffle off the stage.

  19. Tester is against flag burning amendment, against an amendment banning gay marriage, against the Patriot Act, and against the war, he also is pro-choice and an econimic populist.

    Punishing flag burners is a lost cause, Americans are split on gay marriage, and the Patriot Act is finally being seen as the intrusion on freedom that it is. A majority of Americans are against the war and are pro-choice. And economic populism is, well, popular. One might conclude that conservatives are out-of-touch.

  20. dealmaker for Dims was: no comment on you owning firearms.

    MUTT, old chap, as near as I can tell a lot of the western dems I’ve been hearing are bragging about how many guns they own.

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