Sweet Childers of Mine

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The big election news out of last night was the victory of William Faulkner impersonator Travis Childers (D) in the blood-red first Misssissippi House seat. A district that voted 63-37 for Bush over Kerry (up from 59-40 for Bush over Gore) went for the Democrat by eight points. The excuses for Republican loser Greg Davis just aren't there.

After losing special elections in Illinois and Louisiana, the House GOP conference already expects a bad year for their party. But those two districts voted for President Bush by eleven and nineteen points, respectively, not by a whopping twenty five points. "People are going to want change," said a top aide to a leading House Republican. "The excuses, that [Davis] didn't have the resources or that he wasn't from the right part of the district, that's just not going to hold up."

The party's official statement is actually pretty bleak:

Tonight's election highlights two significant challenges Republicans must overcome this November. First, Republicans must be prepared to campaign against Democrat challengers who are running as conservatives, even as they try to join a liberal Democrat majority. Though the Democrats' task will be more difficult in a November election, the fact is they have pulled off two special election victories with this strategy, and it should be a concern to all Republicans.

There's still some lame spin buried in there. Of course Democrats running in conservative districts are running as conservatives. For starters, they're conservatives. Childers is going to join the Blue Dog conference in the House and vote against his party on basically every social issue. Republicans don't run stone-cold conservatives in northeastern, Democratic-leaning districts, and the people they do elect are like Chris Shays and Linc Chafee—reliable votes for a Republican speaker, reliable back-stabbers on a bunch of other stuff.

A fun footnote: In 1989, Trent Lott was serving his first term in the Senate when Larkin Smith, the Republican elected to his old House seat in southeast Mississippi, died in a plane crash. Lott forced Smith's widow out of the race and installed his aide Tom Anderson, who blew the election by 30 points to still-Rep. Gene Taylor. How did Mississippi's first district open up this year? Trent Lott quit his Senate seat and the GOP elevated MS-01 Congressman Roger Wicker to fill his slot.

So, Trent Lott: He turned two of Mississippi's House seats blue.

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  1. “Conservative” in the sense that he wants to tell gay people that they can’t get married, or that buttsex will send you to hell, but not so conservative when it comes to spending vast amounts of taxpayer money to spread democracy and freedom all over the world. Just a guess.

  2. …reliable votes for a Republican speaker, reliable back-stabbers on a bunch of other stuff.

    I don’t think you can really call it back-stabbing if they are quite up-front about where they’re coming from. Nobody I know had any illusions that Chafee’s (R) designation meant much in the national sense. Chafee ran as a pro-environment, pro-choice, anti-war republican; there was truth in advertising.

  3. As I’ve said before, the GOP needs to be punished at the ballot box. The Dems holding the executive (probablu) and legislative (certainly) won’t be pretty but the Republican knuckleheads on the hill need a rolled up newspaper smacked across their nose.

    They can go ask Pat Robertson to bring in all of those religious right voters. Let’s see how that works out. The libertarian and fiscal conservative wings have fucking had it.

  4. It’s funny how conservatives dismiss conservative Dems in Republican states, like Mississippi, but a liberal Rep like Arnold is embraced and gets to speak at their presidential convention.

  5. It’s funny how conservatives dismiss conservative Dems in Republican states…

    I dunno, it actually sounds pretty smart. I mean, would *you* want Zell Miller speaking on your behalf? That guy is fucking nuts.

    Oh, wait…

  6. Was this the race that featured the anti-Obama, anti-Reverend Wright ads? Or was that the Louisiana race the Repbulicans lost last week?

    Em-eye-ess-ess-eye-ess-ess-eye-pee-pee-eye.

  7. I smell blood. I believe that the rise of libertarianism depends on the death of the republican party. I don’t want republicans to learn their lesson; I want them to continue making asses of themselves for 2 or 3 more election cycles until they are so politically damaged that there is finally room for libertarians to edge in and become one of the major parties.

  8. Would this have happened if the Democratic primary race had ended early, and the Mississippi primary had been as meaningless as it usually is?

    An awful of this country is being registered and turned out by the Democratic candidates and state Democratic parties.

  9. Partisanship amuses me.

    Conservatives shouldn’t cheer for liberal Republicans, and Liberals shouldn’t campaign for conservative Democrats. The only thing these people represent is a desire for their piece of government power.

    It reduces the political parties to mere sports franchises, chosen for their proximity or mascots.

  10. I’m glad to see conservative DINOs are off the endagered species list. Glad to have them on the “right” side.

    I’m not sure how he can win with Hussein at the top of the ballot in November anyway.

  11. Keep 41 Republican Senators to keep the Democrats from going bizerk and socializing the economy and let every one of those bastards in the house, sans Flake and a few others, lose. If the post Gingrich Republicans hadn’t spend the last 10 years lie, cheating, stealing and cruising for gay sex with pages and public bathrooms, they wouldn’t be in this position. Let everyone of those motherfuckers lose and go find new candidates.

  12. Glad to have them on the “right” side.

    Yeah, Neil. Considering that the great enduring legacy of the Southern Democratic party was *segregation*, I can see why you like them returning sooooo much.

    I mean, they’re just in time to segregate and oppress the invading Mexican hordes ™! It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it!

  13. John won the thread, IMHO. I just hope that the “good” house Republicans (and by that I mean the anti-war, fiscal responsibility ones) don’t go down with the GOP ship in November.

  14. Elemenope I agree with George Bush and John McCain about immigration, and with Karl Rove on the need for hispanic outreach so I dont know what you’re going on about.

  15. “It reduces the political parties to mere sports franchises, chosen for their proximity or mascots.”

    That is about all it is anymore. I think that is why people get so emotional about politics now. It is because the stakes are getting smaller and smaller not larger. Bill Clinton passes NAFTA, capital gains tax cuts and welfare reform and socialist leftists defend him to the death over a sexual harassment suit, a cause of action they spent the prior 20 years creating. George Bush busts the budget and gives the country no child left behind and prescription drug benefits and Republicans defend him to the death. I guarantee you every Dem who talks about Bush’s criminal war in Iraq, will find a way to love the next war a Democrat starts. Why? Because most of the country seems to root for the laundry in politics these days.

  16. Opposition to new trade deals and support for universal health care is the “right” side, Neil?

    And you didn’t think we were going to agree on anything anymore!

    So. Under 200 House seats. Wow.

  17. Lets see if you can keep those seats in November with Barack Hussein Obama at the top of the ticket.

    Under 200 will be about the amount of EVs he can hope for given his pathetic inability to win key swing states (OH, PA, WV) in the primaries.

    Did you see the (non binding) Nebraska primary Joe? Obama beat Hillary there by 20 points in the February caucus, but only by two points in the primary last night.

    Why do you think that is Joe?

  18. “Opposition to new trade deals and support for universal health care is the “right” side, Neil?”

    We already have universal health care Joe. No one is being denied health care in this country. You act like people are these pathetic wretches who are incapable of doing anything if the government doesn’t provide it for them. Universal healthcare my ass. That is a truly Orwellian term. What you are arguing for is universal government provided health care. Maybe that is a great thing. I don’t think it is but you obviously think different. That is your right, but at least be honest about what you are talking about.

  19. Neil | May 14, 2008, 1:00pm | #

    Lets see if you can keep those seats in November with Barack Hussein Obama at the top of the ticket.

    Is that what your gut tells you, Wreverend Wrong? BTW, I loved your predictions about this race last night. No, totally, you have your finger on the pulse of America.

    Why do you think that is Joe? Because meaningless contests only bring out the party regulars, and because Hillary Clinton has a deep and broad base of support – almost as deep and broad as Barack Obama’s.

  20. Its not “universial” its “socialist” healthcare.

  21. Really Joe? There was an important Democrat Senate primary in Nebraska last night with record turn out, so its not only party regulars.

    I think its because 1) caucuses favor Obama due to their nature of attracting only fanatics and 2) because people are starting to have serious doubts about Obama as your standard bearer. Serious questions, and serious doubts.

  22. I got the WV primary right, Joe, all except for the level of support Edwards would get.

  23. John, stop spouting uninformed talking points at me. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    People who actually do know what they’re talking about, put the number of preventable deaths due to poor health care access at about 40,000 annually.

    Do you go to the emergency room for checkups, or for non-emergency sick visits?

    No?

    Why do you think that is?

    You act like people are these pathetic wretches who are incapable of doing anything if the government doesn’t provide it for them.? No, I act as if they don’t have health insurance, and have limited health care access as a result. Which everyone who doesn’t actively work to put his head up his ass realizes is true.

  24. I think its because 1) caucuses favor Obama due to their nature of attracting only fanatics and 2) because people are starting to have serious doubts about Obama as your standard bearer. Serious questions, and serious doubts.

    You would be wrong, then, since Obama has a large and growing lead over both Hillary and McCain in national polls.

    More predictions from Reverend Wrong. Hasn’t your track record taught you that you don’t know what you’re talking about?

    I got the WV primary right Yes, but we’re talking about Mississippie – the redder-than-red district that just elected a Democrat.

  25. A Democrat won because we have failed to be true Conservatives, Joe, not because this has become a liberal country.

    This is still a conservative country, that will elect conservatives whether they have a D or R next to their name.

    Unlike the Democrats, we’re principled enough to vote out RINOs. If we will be taxed and spend to death we figure, may as well have the real thing.

  26. I agree with George Bush and John McCain about immigration, and with Karl Rove on the need for Hispanic outreach…

    In that case, you creaming yourself over the old Democratic party supposedly re-emerging is simply perplexing.

  27. John,

    Those “poor pathetic wretches” don’t seem to see it your way, do they?

    I have to wonder, does your inability to understand and appreciate their point of view come from the fact that you are just so far removed from the values of mainstream America, or from the fact that you can’t relate to their concrete problems and concerns?

  28. Joe I bet if we ran a pro-chice, anti-gun, pro-socialist medicene, anti-war Republican in your deep blue Mass district we would win too.

  29. The reason the GOP is getting its ass handed to it is crap like this:
    Italian tourist gets screwed

  30. Unlike the Democrats, we’re principled enough to vote out RINOs.

    That must explain why Duncan Hunter won the presidential nomination.

  31. Joe I bet if we ran a pro-chice, anti-gun, pro-socialist medicene, anti-war Republican in your deep blue Mass district we would win too.

    Actually, you just described the Charlie Bass and Lincoln Chaffee. So, not so much, really.

  32. Ok Joe, would they have won if your Democrat Rep was acting like a Republican, anyway?

    I bet they would.

  33. People who actually do know what they’re talking about, put the number of preventable deaths due to poor health care access at about 40,000 annually.[citation needed]

  34. Mississippi voters had a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-Bush, pro-Iraq War Republican to vote for, Neil.

    He got spanked.

    Not even Mississippi conservatives can stand the GOP. Not even Mississippi conservatives are moved by “scary Democrats” and “scary Reverend” ads.

  35. Don’t jack the thread, Taktix. There will be plenty to health care threads, don’t worry.

    This is a thread about Mississippi-01 Congressional race, and what it tells us about the national political culture.

  36. He wasn’t fiscally conservative enough Joe.

    Republicans have to learn to be fiscally conservative foot soldiers of the Reagan Revolution again.

  37. Actually, you just described the Charlie Bass and Lincoln Chaffee.[sic] So, not so much, really.

    To be fair, Chafee lost by a very narrow margin, and as a general rule, republicans up this way sound a great deal like democrats.

  38. He wasn’t fiscally conservative enough, so they elected a pro-universal health care Democrat.

    Sure, that’s it. That must be it, because it makes so very much sense.

    The Republicans lost Mississippi because they aren’t fiscally conservative enough – you know how much Mississippians hate federal development projects.

  39. Elemenope,

    Chaffee was a long-established incumbent from a popular political dynasty.

    And the fact that they sound like Democrats on some issues was Neil’s point. He was claiming that RINOs would win in New England, just like Childers won in Mississippi.

    Well, they don’t. Not these days.

  40. You don’t think local issues had anyhthing to do with it Joe?

    Many saw this as simply a battle between the rural (Childers) and urban (Davis) parts of the district.

  41. Now you’re swtiching to “local issues.” Good move.

    The nonsense you were writing about fiscal conservatism, RINOs, and Barack Obama was uber-dumb.

    On the one hand, local issues are always important in politics. On the other hand, local issues can’t explain the nationwide trend that’s emerging.

  42. As much as you would like to say an anti-Obama campaign didn’t work, remember that he WASNT ON THE BALLOT this time.

    In November he will be there right next to Childers on the same ticket.

    The Barack Obama who just lost a swing state filled with blue collar voters by 41 points.

  43. Neil, would you say that Howard Dean’s 50-state-strategy caused the ongoing blue-ification of places like Mississippi, Montana, and rural Indiana?

    Or that his strategy was simply well-designed to take advantage of a trend that was already happening?

    It’s sort of a chicken-egg question.

  44. I’d say Obama doesn’t have a 50-state strategy given his pathetic loss in WV, PA, and OH.

    You have to win the “coal triangle” to win a general election, going back to 1960.

  45. Neil | May 14, 2008, 1:35pm | #

    As much as you would like to say an anti-Obama campaign didn’t work, remember that he WASNT ON THE BALLOT this time.

    But he certainly was an issue. At least, the Repubicans did everything they could to try make him (and Nancy Pelosi) issues.

    Didn’t work.

  46. Who the fuck is this Neil guy and why does he want us to know that Obama shares a name with the former King of Jordan so badly? And what is a Freedom Swatch?

  47. You have to win the “coal triangle” to win a general election, going back to 1960.

    And you don’t have to win them in the primaries to win them in the general election. Nor does losing them in the primaries prevent you from winning them in the general.

    I think it’s just darling that you keep talking about the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Fighting the last war is going to work out so well.

  48. Neil sure is amusing. If the democrats gain 50+ seats in the house and get a filibuster-proof majority in the senate, you can count on Neil finding some way to spin it as a great republican victory. Don’t ask me how, but he’ll find a way.

    I’m almost hoping for a democratic crush of those proportions, just so I can see how Neil spins it.

  49. Could Obama be another Dukakis?

  50. Without a prepared speech, Obama is just another empty suit stammering politician. Name five solid political accomplishment on his record.

    Bill Clinton is right, this is just a fairy tell. We don’t need someone in the Presidency who got there by failing upward.

  51. Chaffee was a long-established incumbent from a popular political dynasty.

    Half true. The Chafees are certainly a well-established political family in Rhode Island, but only the elder (John) had long-established incumbency. Linc, on the other hand, was a relative newbie (one senate term under his belt), and was viewed throughout the state very differently than John (who had basically universal respect).

    And this leaves aside the fact that one of the biggest reasons that Lincoln Chafee lost was because the GOP really badly wanted him to lose, and had written him off for want of campaign resources and outside support.

    His comments during the campaign saying among other things that he believed the GOP had lost its fucking mind probably didn’t help his standing in the party. Had he won, he almost certainly would have pulled a Jeffords. Us Rhode Islanders are fairly happy anyways, because this means that he is free to run for Governor as an independent.

  52. Fucking English and it’s fucking pronoun rules! That last should be “We Rhode Islanders…”

  53. Heh, does Neil even read the articles he links to? Check out the last paragraph of that article:

    But the most important difference between Obama and Dukakis has absolutely nothing to do with the two men, or their primary opponents, or the issues that did or did not get raised. It’s the difference between where the country was then, and where it is now. In June 1988, a majority of Americans thought the country was on the right track. Although the wrong track numbers had been higher earlier in the year, by the summer they turned around. Americans were pleased with the direction of the country. Today, the equivalent numbers are 80% wrong track. Ask any pollster and they’ll tell you that there is no better indication of which party will win an election than the right track-wrong track numbers. This should be a Democratic year. Obama, if he is the candidate, will face a negative machine. But in the end, that machine cannot change the way people feel about the direction the country is heading, or the party that is responsible for it.

  54. We don’t need someone in the Presidency who got there by failing upward.

    Yeah, we don’t want that. Last thing we need is some inexperienced newcomer with no record to storm in and be “creative”. I mean, Abraham Lincoln had about as much experience as Obama and look how he turned out.

    Oh, wait…

    That is, if you even buy the whole “no experience, no accomplishments” hogwash. While in Illinois leg. he was instrumental on some significant civil rights improvement, most notably the requirement to keep a video record of interrogations and confessions. While in the US Senate, he has picked up the torch on Nuclear non-proliferation, as well as governmental transparency and accountability initiatives.

    But, whatever. Experience is *everything* I guess. A long resume means you make no mistakes.

  55. I think it’s just darling that you keep talking about the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Fighting the last war is going to work out so well.

    It seems a lot of Republicans think it is 1988 and they will go all Lee Atwater on Obama and it will work. Maybe they are right, I don’t know.

    I do know the results of the three special House elections this year have revealed that the voters are in a surly mood and they seem eager to take it out on the nearest Republican.

    I also notice that West Virginia with its whopping five electoral votes is suddenly a pivotal state and has been for the last 48 years. I didn’t realize that.

    I always thought it was kind of a backwards, backwater kind of state. But then, I’m an elitist to the core.

  56. If theres one Republican that can win, its John McCain.

    If theres one Democrat that can carry on the tradition of that party snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, its Barack Hussein Obama & Friends.

  57. Pug ask Al Gore about West Virginia.

    Had he won it, he would be President.

  58. We don’t need someone in the Presidency who got there by failing upward.

    I sure agree with that statement. After all, we’ve had George W. Bush for the last seven years. That should prove your point beyond any reasonable doubt.

  59. Pug ask Al Gore about West Virginia.

    Had he won it, he would be President.

    Neil,

    You do realized that the same is true of every single state George W. Bush won, don’t you? I guess the critical state of South Dakota should be the focus of the Obama campaign this time around.

  60. South Dakota isnt a state with a Democrat legislature, Democrat Governor, two Democrat Senators, and 2-1 levels of Democrat resgistration.

    West Virginia is.

  61. I’d try to change the subject too, Neil, if I were you.

    But this thread is about the Mississipi-01 election.

    Elemenope, the GOP dumped a ton of money into the RI Senate race, especially during the primary.

  62. My dastardly plan to propel John McCain to victory by losing Congressional races and misstating the opposition party’s name is nearly complete!

    Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah haaaaaaaaa!

  63. Joe we lost all kinds of Congressional races in the 80s, while Reagan and Bush won landslides.

    Same thing in the 90s reversed, Republicans won Congressional races and Bill Clinton won the Presidency.

    Don’t be so sure Congressional races are an indicator of the Presidential race, its usually the reverse.

  64. Sometimes I think we eggheads make things more complicated than they need to be.

    Better, more exciting, more charismatic politicians beat worse, more boring, more off-putting politicians, unless there is a big wind behind the worse politicians’ back.

    John Kerry, Al Gore, Mike Dukakis and Walter Mondale were bad, boring, uncharismatic politicians. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were skilled, exciting, charismatic politicians.

  65. “Democrat Party” is the proper term.

    You wouldn’t say “a Democratic politician” or a “Democratic congress” because people might think you mean a politician that believes in democracy, or a Congress that votes in a democratic manner.

    So you say “Democrat”.

  66. LOL Jimmy Carter exxciting? Yeah Mr. Malaise sure was exciting.

    He barely beat Ford thanks to Watergate and lost in a landslide to Reagan.

  67. Understood, Neil.

    Congressional races between Democrats and Republicans tell us nothing about the presidential race between Democrats and Republicans.

    Primary fights between two Democrats, on the other had, tell us everything about general election races.

  68. Primary races show what the candidates base is, and who they have difficult connecting to.

  69. Neil,

    You can affect all the Joe McCarthyisms you want.

    There is not party in this country called the Democrat Party. You are simply misstating the name, because you are a hack, and it makes you feel closer to your dwindling crowd of like-minded hacks.

  70. Yeah Joe its all a conspiracy to “mis-state” the name.

    I love how it irritates liberals, though.

  71. I will tell you how John McCain will win.

    By connecting to those white, working class, blue collar voters in PA, OH, and WV. They love him in that demographic.

  72. McCain is losing by close to double-digits in Pennsylvania.

    Neil, you are 0-for-the-21st-century in predictions.

    How about learning something?

  73. “Gay Old Perverts” is the proper term.

    You wouldn’t say “a Republican politician” or a “Republican congress” because people might think you mean a politician that believes in republicanism, or a Congress that votes in a republican manner.

    So you say “Gay Old Perverts”.

  74. Neil,

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com

    Oh, and this how conservatives making an effort to conform their statements to reality are responding to this race:

    Newsmax: GOP Loses Congressional Election, Faces Bloodbath in Nov.

    Hot Air: Disaster: Democrat beats Republican in Mississippi special
    election; Update: Panic time, say Boehner, Cole

    Red State: Clean House at the NRCC

    RCP: GOP Stunned By Loss in Mississippi

    NRO:We Are Totally Frakked

  75. Hows Ohio?

    Turning blue, thanks.

  76. Elemenope, the GOP dumped a ton of money into the RI Senate race, especially during the primary.

    Yes, they did…to prop up Laffey and *defeat* Chafee. Laffey was more their kind of Republican…of course he would have been utterly slaughtered against Whitehouse rather than the narrow Chafee defeat.

  77. I wouldn’t call a +5 average “nearly double digits”.

  78. No, the RNC sent a ton of money to Chafee. Laffey got money from outside groups. The party went all-in for Chafee.

  79. I am beginning to believe that Neil was created for the sole purpose of trolling joe.

  80. Follow the link, Neil. The polls less than a month old have him up by almost ten.

  81. Elemenope,

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2006/09/rhode_island_chafee_wins_senat.html

    Discusses the efforts of the RNC and RSCC to help Chafee beat Laffey.

  82. Vote the Bums out sentiment does not favor the Dems in the House.

    Weigel does not believe such a thing can exist despite the 2006 election and the 1992 election results.

  83. Throw the bums out sentiment and the 2008 Congressional races:

    http://www.pollingreport.com/cong2008.htm

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