Post election redux

You’ve read plenty of election coverage, but I haven’t seen much mention of the effect Obama had on his party’s nominees.

He went into Virginia about 2 weeks out, and Deeds dropped in the polls. Corzine was up by about 2 points when Obama started with the appearances and robo-calls. Corzine ended up losing steam about 4 days out.

Elections are dynamic things, and all kinds of socio-psychological factors come into play, so one can’t simply say Obama hurt his party. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Obama provides one factor that is electoral death for his party’s candidates going into 2010.

He fires up the opposition like no one has ever seen. In this, he is just like Bush; a polarizing figure. The key difference is that this is center-right nation. When Bush polarizes he wins (if narrowly), and when Obama polarizes, (as he will now that all that ‘bipartisan/post-partisan’ talk is seen for the blather that it is) he loses.

“Only a Moderate can Lose”

Conventional wisdom upset

[Hence, the name of this blog…BTW]

After Obama’s presidential election, a cottage industry of punditry sprang up to forge a new conventional wisdom. It goes something like this: The Republican Party has been discredited by the Bush presidency, congressional scandals and overspending. Worse, it is “out of touch” due to the stranglehold of knuckle-dragging, troglodytic, Bible-thumping, gun-nuts and greedy capitalists. Confronted with the divine light of Obama, these hissing conservatives must scurry to the shadows like vampires fearful of the burning rays of the sun. The only chance for Republican survival is to embrace moderation, compromise and, in some cases, what Barry Goldwater called “me-too Republicanism.”

Whatever the merits of this advice, two things are now quite clear.

First, most conservatives and Republicans have next to no desire to follow it. And, second, it looks like they’re right not to.

The Virginia contest alone shows that much of this talk about “moderates” vs. “extremists” or “pragmatists” vs. “ideologues” within the GOP was nonsense.

McDonnell is socially and economically very conservative, but he has dominated the race by focusing on mainstream issues such as transportation, taxes and the economy. Meanwhile, Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have been working overtime to recast the Democrats as big spenders more committed to an ideological agenda than setting the country right. As a result, independents — the same voters who delivered the election for Obama — are now flocking to the Republicans. McDonnell beats Democrat Creigh Deeds among independents by 2-1.

The best illustration of the conservative comeback is the special election for the 23rd congressional district in New York (a district Obama carried in 2008). Before last Saturday, the race was being cast a “civil war” on the right because many conservatives were supporting not the Republican nominee, Dierdre Scozzafava, but Doug Hoffman, a Republican who switched to the Conservative Party ticket when he failed to get the nomination. Scozzafava is a very liberal, pro-choice Republican, the sort of candidate the conventional wisdom says the right must embrace to stay relevant. Hoffman is a mainstream conservative. On Saturday, Scozzafava dropped out of the race because Hoffman was crushing her in the polls. Most tellingly, it was Hoffman’s support among independents that gave him the advantage.

There’s more than one way to read all of this. Independents might just want to be a counterweight to the Democratic Party’s lurch to the left. Corzine and Deeds might just be lousy candidates in a bad economy.

All of that’s true. But it’s also true that the GOP is not much interested in becoming a Democrat-lite party, and it seems voters don’t want it to, either.

UPDATED – To Heck with you, Dede Scozzafava

The text below the line is something I wrote prior to the recent news that Scozzafava endorsed the Democrat. What a skank. While it is good that she is out of the race, she is clearly a nasty person.

This is merely more grist for the mill for those who think this entire episode was manufactured by the Dems and the White House. Here’s to hoping Hoffman wins, and wins big.

I want to take a moment to remind all of you conservatives to be thankful for the decency of Dede Scozzafava. Early on, Scozzafava attacked her 3rd party challenger, following the example of New Jersey, where the Republican stupidly attacked Independent Daggett.

Thankfully, she decided to drop out of the race, which is an act of decency. If you have a chance, take the time to comment positively on this action to your friends and acquaintances when you discuss politics.

People ought to be rewarded for doing the right thing in politics, and a kind word of thanks can’t hurt.

This is the perfect time to come up with a decent Agenda

Parties Nearly Tied for Congress in 2010
Voter preferences for Congress split 46% Democratic vs. 44% Republican

PRINCETON, NJ — Roughly a year before the 2010 midterm elections, Gallup finds the Republican and Democratic Parties nearly tied in the congressional ballot preferences of registered voters. Forty-six percent of registered voters say they would vote for the Democrat and 44% say the Republican when asked which party’s candidate they would support for Congress, if the election were held today.

With this opportunity brewing this far out from the elections, the Republicans would be well-advised to craft a decent agenda.

Thank You, Dede Scozzafava

I want to take a moment to remind all of you conservatives to be thankful for the decency of Dede Scozzafava. Early on, Scozzafava attacked her 3rd party challenger, following the example of New Jersey, where the Republican stupidly attacked Independent Daggett.

Thankfully, she decided to drop out of the race, which is an act of decency. If you have a chance, take the time to comment positively on this action to your friends and acquaintances when you discuss politics.

People ought to be rewarded for doing the right thing in politics, and a kind word of thanks can’t hurt.

60 Days and it’s official…Worst. President. Ever.

The faster we hobble this guy, the better for every American. If he does something right (like a carbon tax or gas tax swap before a corrupt “crap and trade” scheme), I’ll be the first to give him credit, but I don’t see much of that happening.

BREITBART: Dreaming of President Petraeus and an American surge

Signs of our collective weakness emerged after 9/11 when only part of the American population took seriously that we were at war with an evil and motivated enemy determined to destroy our way of life. Since then, al Qaeda has refused to quit despite debilitating losses.

Clearly, our national will is wilting away.

Following the tragic lead of Europe, too many Americans no longer want to engage our external threats head-on. And on the domestic front, we are confronting the economic crisis of our lifetime with the same full-steam-ahead spending-spree mind-set that got us into the mess to begin with.

We say: Let’s create more government dependency, reward the incompetent and print more money.

That’s doubling down on stupidity.

When the going gets tough, the weak go on Leno.

I can’t get out of my head that the leader of the free world gave the British prime minister 25 films on DVD that don’t even work in U.K. machines.

I can’t wrap my head around the fact that the commander in chief tried (for a minute anyway) to require injured warriors to pay to have private insurers take care of their treatment.

I can’t believe the president would allow the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to dictate the terms of his budget – and Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd, the symbols of government kowtowing to Wall Street – to be spokesmen for his financial bailout.

And did President Obama really produce a YouTube video to appease President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs of Iran?

Yes, he did.

These aren’t beginner’s mistakes. These are his core incompetencies.

The only question at hand is whether these are truly incompetencies. Sure, the DVD set was a silly, but minor oversight. The overtures that bolstered Ahmadinejad are horribly damaging to the nation. When you look at Obama’s crypto-Marxist history, you have to ask whether debauching the currency, making America weaker internationally, and destroying our work ethic while simultaneously making the auto and banking industries another “patronage farm” are truly mistakes…

…or the long term goals of some one who wishes to make America something different than what it is.

Let’s Hope the Republicans can find good candidates

Generic Congressional Ballot
Republicans Take Small Lead on Generic Congressional Ballot

Support for the Democratic Congressional candidates fell to a new low over the past week, allowing the GOP to move slightly head for the first time in recent years in the Generic Congressional Ballot.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 41% said they would vote for their district’s Republican candidate while 39% would choose the Democrat.

Investors now favor Republicans by a 46% to 36% margin, while non-investors would vote Democratic by a 45% to 33% margin.

2010 will NOT see a Republican resurgence…

The Republicans are where the Tories were in 1997

A week into the Obama honeymoon it is debatable who has the bigger headache, the Democrats, who have been celebrating every day like it’s election day, or the Republicans, who have to work out how to rebuild their party. How and how quickly the GOP rebuilds at both the state and federal level will have a profound impact on British politics as the Tories have, to an under-appreciated extent, taken to leaning on the Republicans for policy ideas in recent years.

The headline election numbers were bad enough for the Republicans — Obama 365 electoral college votes, McCain 173 — but the details were even worse. The Republicans saw their vote share drop 12 points among Hispanics — the fastest-growing ethnic group in the US, lost the suburbs to the Democrats, and were beaten among first-time voters 68 to 31 per cent when in 2004 they only trailed by seven points among this group. They failed in Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia, states that had been Republican for 40 years. And at the Congressional level, their last Congressman in New England was defeated. The Republicans are now a rump party.

The Republicans are down the same hole the Tories were in 1997: out of office, out of ideas, their reputation for competence gone and fighting against the best politician of the generation. This bad news for the Republicans is bad news for the Tories too. The British Right has not developed a proper ideas infrastructure in recent years. It has made up for this by borrowing heavily from America. For instance, the Tory social justice agenda was largely inspired by George W. Bush’s Texas governorship. In the 2005 leadership race, David Davis and David Cameron were, in policy terms, running to be the heir to Bush — albeit the inclusive governor not the divisive president — rather than the heir to Blair. Indeed, there are few areas of Tory policy where you cannot see an American influence. Their welfare reform agenda owes much to Wisconsin, their policing reform agenda to Giuliani’s experience in New York, and the success of Mike Bloomberg’s schools policy is an underappreciated element of Tory thinking on education.

Conservatism didn’t lose in 2008, as Republicans abandoned most conservative ideas and Democrats cleverly positioned themselves in the center, not the left. That said, we all know they will move the nation left – either quickly or slowly.

Republicans need not abandon conservative ideas. They need to abandon any so-called “Republican” who can’t or won’t articulate those ideas.