Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 1, 2004
POLITICS: Drum Declares Victory

Leave aside the fact that Kevin Drum is obviously living in a different universe from people like Steyn when it comes to the election; that, after all, will be settled at the polls in the next 36 hours. But this post, arguing that this election - win or lose - spells the death of movement conservatism, is just daft. First of all, the idea that Republicans are on the brink of agreeing that it's a good idea to raise taxes is . . . well, I can't even find a principle so central to the Democratic party to compare it to. A Republican Party that believes in higher taxes would be, in short order, a recipe for a one-party state.

It's true, as Drum has said in the past, that Republicans' failure to even try a large-scale attack on government spending shows the difficulty of a frontal assault on spending, although I think it's equally true that the war and Bush's personality have as much to do with that as anything, and I'm on record saying the GOP will be looking for a spending hawk to nominate in 2008 no matter what happens here.

It's particularly hilarious to hear Drum claim that this election is being held in "the most favorable environment imaginable for a conservative tough guy." Well, if Drum is prepared to agree that the economy is booming and the Iraq War is going seamlessly - heck, even I wouldn't go quite that far on either score, and I'm pretty optimistic on both counts - I'll believe him. Talk about reversing your own spin when it's convenient to do so.

As I've said before, if Kerry wins - even if, as I suspect is his only realistic path to victory, he wins by keeping it close enough to be decided by fraud and/or litigation - it will be seen, and rightly so, mainly as a decisive popular rejection of the Iraq War. This is doubly true if - as I also think is likely even in a Kerry-wins scenario - Kerry wins in spite of Bush getting a very impressive turnout by his base and a more-than-respectable share of non-first-time independent voters, each of which would suggest that the appeal of the Republican message as a whole remains in the general 50/50 neighborhood.

My own predictions, for what they're worth, later today.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:22 PM | Politics 2004 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

"...only realistic path to victory, [Kerry] wins by keeping it close enough to be decided by fraud and/or litigation"

And the only way Bush can win is by keeping it close enough that suppression tactics, fraudulent push-polling and phone banking and the "trump card" Diebold-designed ballot fraud hand him a tainted victory.

Do you think that makes me sound like an idiot or a paranoid partisan fool? Because that's what you sound like.

I am hopeful that Bush loses, but I can certainly envision legitimate scenarios in which he wins. For you to say that Kerry can only win by cheating is ridiculous and renders all your "analysis" worthless.

The only way either candidate wins and walks away with any legitimacy is a wide margin of victory. I'm not so sure it's going to happen that way. In the very same "conclusion" you state that we're in a 50-50 society, is that a nefarious plot by Kerry as well?

"... - it will be seen, and rightly so, mainly as a decisive popular rejection of the Iraq War...

Even I don't think that, and I opposed the War! I opposed it because I had no confidence in Bush's execution, and that's exactly what the "referendum" will reflect. If Bush loses it will be because his execution of the War in Iraq has been abyssmal (even he called it a catastrophic success), and for a host of domestic failures. Since he has made the War the central issue, if he loses it will center on that as well, but I believe it will be a reflection of the country's lack in confidence in Bush as Commander in Chief, more than the War itself.

Posted by: Mr Furious at November 1, 2004 4:50 PM

Phone banking? Since when is phone banking a bad thing?

The Diebold stuff is just bonkers.

Look, there's loads of evidence on the record that the Kerry folks are gearing up for a big litigation push and have even talked about the importance of declaring victory going into a court challenge. But that's not what's really focusing me here. The key point is that the Dems just keep pointing to all the new voter registrations and pushing the idea that new voters are going to be a huge difference. But there's been all sorts of signs of these being deeply problematic.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. We'll see soon enough.

Posted by: The Crank at November 1, 2004 5:08 PM

Well put Furious.

I first read Crank's post and thought of Micheal Moore.

Interesting how he (Crank) didn't address suppression tactics. Is that a tacit acknowlegdement of their use and his unease with the practice? These are tactics that have actually been "deeply problematic" in the past.

And don't even start with the whole litigation angle being instigated by the Dems.

Posted by: C Giddy at November 1, 2004 5:50 PM

You should know by now, Giddy, that I don't concede a point just by not responding to it. Specify "suppression" and we'll talk. Coming from Democrats that's usually code for trying to get the kind of ID or other proof of who you are that most of us have to produce on a regular basis for the most mundane of purposes. There can't be a legitimate reason for resisting this.

C'mon, who took the 2000 election to court? Who sued to stop the 2003 California recall? Who used the courts to switch horses after the deadline in NJ in 2002? And who declined to go to court in the Senate races in MO in 2000 and SD in 2002? There's really no doubt of which party is the one that looks to the courts to bail it out.

Barring some really gigantic and undisputed irregularity (e.g., the voting machines shutting down and losing a whole precinct's votes or some such), I would not support the GOP going to court after the election unless there is a serious charge of voter fraud. To me, fraud is the only reason to go to court to overturn an election. And I believe that the GOP as a whole has, especially in the aftermath of 2000, a sufficiently strong bias against using the courts to overturn Election Day results that we won't see Republican lawsuits after the fact in the absence of such conditions.

Posted by: The Crank at November 1, 2004 6:18 PM

One recalls last October when Mr. Drum used his political acumen to predict that Arnold would get all of 25%.

Posted by: Ricky at November 1, 2004 8:57 PM
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