October 11, 2010
POLITICS: The Anti-Liberal Vote
John Podhoretz makes an interesting point about why 2010 may actually represent a much more dramatic turnaround than 1994:
In 1992, the election that preceded the one in November 1994, the non-Democratic vote for president nationwide was 57 percent (Bush + Perot), and Republicans actually picked up 9 seats in the House. It is true that the 1994 elections came as a huge surprise, but that was in part due to an odd misreading of the election results in 1992 by pundits and pollsters and Bill Clinton, who staked his first two years on a massive government health-care plan rather than taking account of the fact that 19 percent of Americans had just voted for a lunatic single-issue candidate who spent a year yelling and screaming about the size of the deficit. Those Perot voters took a look at Clinton and simply integrated themselves into the GOP electorate.
The story of America since 2006 is radically different. In the two elections preceding this one, Democrats outperformed Republicans nationally by a margin of 53-46 both in the 2006 midterm and the 2008 Obama triumph. The results in 2010, if they go as it appears they will, are unlike those in 1992 because there was nothing in 2008 that anticipated them.
An 8-to-15 point Republican margin in 2010, which seems increasingly possible, will represent a partisan and ideological turnaround of 15 to 24 percent. That is without precedent in the modern era.
Hence the comparisons to 1894. The lesson for Democrats is obvious: the voters, having been given a taste of unvarnished liberal governance, remembered (or in some cases learned for the first time) why it's a disaster. The lesson for Republicans, of course, is a dicier one; on the one hand it is clear that the GOP will be given an opportunity at redemption it hasn't entirely earned, and will thus be on a short leash as far as doing more than being not-Obama; on the other hand, the Perot-ish Tea Party movement will (rightly) demand that newly elected Republicans start undoing not only the big-government excesses of Obama, Pelosi and Reid but also the big-government excesses of Bush, Lott and DeLay, and doing so into the teeth of certain vetoes.
Only an idiot -- well, Crank, if the shoe fits, . . . -- would assert that the past two years have represented "unvarnished liberal government." The GOP (ironic now; all it is is "old") has offered nothing but tired failed trickle down economics and Bush era imperialism and simply tried to block efforts at governance.
The public would -- as it always has -- refudiate [sic] unvarnished conservative government. Let's hear precisely what government programs you would cut to obtain the balanced budget that you lust for so dearly now that the crony capitalism of Republican government is gone. Be honest, campaign on what you would do; then let's see how happy you are with the vote totals.
This is not a bad thing. Let's draw some sharp lines for voters to ponder over the next 2 years. Let Toonces veto his heart out and we'll see how that plays.
One thing that will become apparent is that the Left, in the person of Toonces, will not willingly go along with the public once we've spoken. It isn't in their makeup to yield advances toward collectivism.
Be honest, campaign on what you would do
Too funny. With supermajorities for years now the Democrats have proposed exactly nothing to cut, spent like Paris Hilton, but we're supposed to have a better line than "Stop raising spending!"?
Why, exactly, would we?
I think that, with both major political parties posturing as they do, with so little accomplished either way, the Republicans win. In the short run, but lose in the long. The problem is, I think we as the US lose. Republicans are now giving the message essentially, "Let's protect what we have and make that great." Which is very much NOT the message we as a United States people, have ever given. It was always: No challenge we couldn't meet, Yankee ingenuity, we can do it. Beat the Japanese and the Nazis; go to the moon; manifest destiny; a true planetwide bluewater navy. We did it all. Because even when they said it couldn't be done, we did it.
What is the message now? I think it was highlighted in what PJ O'Rourke said on Bill Maher's show about global warming: "Not that we won't do it, we can't." How truly gutless. I know, he's not an official spokesman, but he did speak much as Reagan did. With true humor, but humor may entertain, but it's not answering the question. What do we get? Reagan joked about Mondale's lack of "age and experience," and William Buckley wrote then that Reagan ended the matter. Except he didn't end the matter. Because he never really answered the question. Al Gore is wrong because after all, (and here is the punchline), he invented the internet. (Laughs, guffaws, applause, applause). And of course, then the comments that the internet was the Arpanet, and military and university scientists came up with it. Well, no, not really. They mainly used phone lines to send some data to several computers. Bill Joy (one of Sun Microsystems founders) probably did more to invent the internet than anyone. But Al Gore did what government should do: create the proper environment for the most important communications tool since the telegraph (or maybe since writing) to be invented. No laughs, no guffaws. And now, whether climate change exists because of us or nature, we say we CAN'T? The beginning of the end, because suddenly, the Republican party thinks it more important to hang on to the past, instead of look to the future? And the Democrats can't send a different message? Bankrupt. Both sides are morally bankrupt. And un-American. And I blame the Republicans far more, because they (you) are louder, nastier, and plain meaner. But you still want desperately to hang on to the past, and not look to the future.
And to hell with our grandchildren.
OK, another comment on "The anti-liberal vote," but another subject. This time the "vote" is in the senate, where Senator Shelby is blocking an appointment to the Fed. The appointee is a Nobel Prize winner. I agree with Shelby that the Committee in Sweden is not the best judge of who sits on the Fed, but, such an appointment is the preogative of the President. Mr. Madison's document aptly, and with his usual intelligence, calls for the Senate to give their advice and consent. Jesse Helms was great at this too (ignoring his oath of office and blocking appointments--and yes, now the Democrats are doing it too). You, Senators, are charged with the job of giving advice, then saying yes or no. Hundreds of Clinton appointments were blocked by Helms, leaving open so many judgeships, our court system suffered. Senators, have the guts to stand up and vote. Not block it. As far as I am concerned to all of you, it's an impeachable offense. Mr. Madison was smarter than all of you combined!!!!
The country tried unvarnished liberal government in 1932 with the New Deal and 1964 with the Great Society. In each case, the republicans ran rock-ribbed conservatives and got crushed.
FDRs landslide was in 1936, and the major New Deal laws (SS in particular) were passed after that election (most of the laws passed prior to that - NRA, etc were blocked by the SC). Ditto in 1964, as the Great Society was a consequence of the 1964 landslide, not a cause.
"Only an idiot -- well, Crank, if the shoe fits, . . . -- would assert that the past two years have represented "unvarnished liberal government.""
The intellectual dishonesty of that statement is breathtaking. Conservatives usually admit they are on the right, and that their policies are conservative. Liberals dissemble and deny they or their policies are liberal. Conservative politicians proudly proclaim "I am a conservative and so are my policies."
"The GOP (ironic now; all it is is "old") has offered nothing but tired failed trickle down economics and Bush era imperialism and simply tried to block efforts at governance."
Good lord please stop repeating talking points like a robot.
Tom the Redhunter,
Was it the drop in tax rates under the Obama Administration which made them so liberal? Perhaps it was how Obama put the interests of corporations (the big banks) over those of the citizenry.
Obama isn't liberal. I am. And proud of it.
That's why I support the Death Penalty for businesses found guilty of criminal actions.
That, and the fact it's physically impossible to imprison businesses and that any fines levied on businesses for their malfeasance is passed along to the business' customers.
"Conservatives usually admit they are on the right, and that their policies are conservative. Liberals dissemble and deny they or their policies are liberal. Conservative politicians proudly proclaim "I am a conservative and so are my policies." -----------
Hearing conservatives say George W. Bush was never conservative is all the proof I need to call bullshit on Tom the Redhunter's nonsense.