Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Election, In Brief

I was unconscious when we lost the House and – possibly – Senate, recovering from having my appendix removed after passing a kidney stone the week before. But before I went in for surgery, I had already warned why Republicans were in trouble; many weak Republicans deserted the President, preferring to believe the Democrats’ spin that they could only keep their seats by distancing themselves from Dubya. This was a stupid, stupid decision and ultimately the biggest factor in their defeat. Putting it bluntly, to win this year the GOP needed turnout at least equal to the Donks’ turnout, and it just did not happen. Why should a Republican support a guy acting like a Democrat? And there was simply no hope that anyone who preferred the Democrat would switch to the Republican because he started acting like a Democrat. In the end, acting like a Democrat only helped the Democrats, though some Democrats won by acting like Republicans.

Quitting support for the President essentially meant quitting being a Republican Congressman or Senator.


cheryl said...

dj hope you are doing better.

I don't think Americans know what they have done. That includes me-failing to get the issues out. I do think Bush will be seen as weak and giving in to whatever demands the dems have = if he sees hope to continue the War on Terror which is in Iraq, even if it is defensive. I think the man is in a much worse place that any of us are. I think it is going to get very ugly and I am trully afraid for America. But I believe he will do anything to keep America safe and that translates to alot of giving.

Mark L said...

I basically agree with what you say. I think the best way to sum things up is to paraphrase Vinegar Joe Stilwell: "I claim we got a hell of a beating. We got run out of Congress and it is as humiliating as hell. I think we ought to find out what caused it, go back and re-take it."

Was this an anti-war vote? Not really. Otherwise Lieberman would have lost. Webb did not so much run an antiwar campaign as an anti-Bush's war campaign, claiming we could have done it smarter. (But offering no specifics.)

Rather, I think this was an anti-corruption/anti-scandal campaign. The Republicans should have known better than to tolerate or cover for crooked or sleazy politicians -- and should have insisted that those with ethical problems step down BEFORE the primaries. Democrats can usually skate on corruption (look at Jefferson -- he got reelected) but Republicans cannot. (In the long run it catches up with Democrats -- remember the House Banking Scandal? -- but it always catches the Republicans in the short term.)

So, get rid of the corrupt, pork-barrelling pols, write a new Contract With America, and go on to 2008. Meanwhile, the Democrats will be led by ethically challenged folks like Reid and Pelosi. Given a choice between clean Repubicans and dirty Democrats, people will return to the Republicans -- especially if the Democrats give into their inner demons and run the country far left.

Do me a favor though -- remove the leans left tag from RCP. They were right -- reflecting reality. We were wrong. The difference between liberals and conservatives is that when conservatives get a reality check, we acknowlege it, not deny it.