November 8, 2006

What happened last night?

Waking up this morning in my quiet hotel room, I realize how insanely hard it was to try to watch the election returns at that blogger party at Tryst. The notion that we were in some way bringing you the news is utterly absurd. We were struggling to watch it -- hear it -- on TV, something you could do not only more directly -- that's always the case -- but also more easily. To be on camera, under the lights, in the middle of a whirl of activity, expected to perform on cue the way you ordinarily perform naturally in the privacy of your home... oh no! The obvious analogy is to a porno movie!

But now, able to read the news in this calm setting, I see in a glance what I was struggling to see all night:
Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives and defeated at least four Republican senators yesterday, riding a wave of voter discontent with President Bush and the war in Iraq.

But the fate of the Senate remained in doubt this morning, as races for Republican-held seats in Montana and Virginia remained too close to call as Election Day turned into the day after. Democrats would need both seats to win control of the Senate as well.

In Montana, Senator Conrad Burns, a Republican, was trailing Jim Tester, a Democrat, by a narrow margin. The race in Virginia — between another Republican incumbent, Senator George Allen, and Jim Webb, his Democratic challenger — was so close that some officials said it would have to be resolved by a recount.

That prospect could mean prolonged uncertainty over control of the Senate, since a recount can be requested only after the results are officially certified on Nov. 27th, according to the state board of elections. Last year a recount in the race for Attorney General was not resolved until Dec. 21.

But the Democrats’ victory in the House — overcoming a legendarily efficient White House political machine — represented a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the party and signaled a sea change in the political dynamics in Washington after a dozen years in which Republicans controlled Congress for all but a brief period.
That's through the eyes of Adam Nagourney. He's seeing drama. I love the way the Democratic victories count extra because there was a "legendarily efficient White House political machine" artificially boosting the Republican side. When the Republicans win -- don't you know? -- it's not because people actually want them to win, but because they have devious ways of jacking up the numbers. That way, if Democrats win even a modest margin, it's a dramatic turnaround, a sea change.

Perhaps it is better to party -- as on an Oscar night -- because the dribble-out of information is so slow. You want to be there, witnessing the news as it becomes available, even though you could read it in a few seconds the next day, but there's just not that much to see. Better to enrich the experience with a lively real-life room that minimizes your screen-staring time. I was there for 8 hours trying and failing to watch the news. I felt overwhelmed by the strange visual noise of two dozen bloggers hunched over laptops under looming, multiple, high-definition Wolf Blitzers striding alongside walls of blue supergraphics. My reaction was to move into the imagery. I couldn't think and analyze. Not at all. I dealt in pictures.

The crazy mix of dark and bright lighting blurred many of my photographs, giving them an expressionistic quality -- very James Ensor -- that reminds me now of how painterly my brain got last night:

Alex and Nick, blurred

TRex, blurred

To answer your question: I had only two small glasses of red wine.

Some folks were collecting Cosmopolitans while others -- notably Jeralyn Merritt here -- kept their writer's minds cooly centered in Language World:

Jeralynn is super-calm

I know. You're thinking: Who are the foreheads? The left-most forehead is Atrios -- Duncan Black -- who seems like a sweet guy. I had a little conversation with him in which I told him he reminded me of Madison blogger Jeremy Freese and that comedian Tom Bodett. Duncan didn't know who either of those guys were. The Easter-Islandish forehead in the lower right corner? I can't tell you who that is. If that's you, claim your forehead. Otherwise it's the Forehead of the Unknown Blogger. And lord knows what fervid thoughts roil therein.

And who are the blurry guys, you may ask. Picture 1 is Alex Pareene of Wonkette, wearing his "no Wonkette" T-shirt and waving a filtered cigarette about, and Nick Gillespie, of Reason Magazine and Hit & Run, who entertained me with his opinions, like about how there are only a small handful of cities left in America that are not culturally defunct. Madison, Wisconsin was culturally vital once, back around 1968. But since then and forever into the future, nothing. Picture 2 is TRex, who wrote about me on his blog -- Firedoglake -- after I blogged a (clear) picture of him last night. He said:
Ann Althouse came by a few minutes ago and took photos of me and John Amato. Amato was nice to her. I just growled under my breath and kept typing.
Ha ha. That's what I expected from half the bloggers: just growling and keeping on typing. It was actually surprising how un-socially-awkward most bloggers are. But thanks to TRex for embodying the stereotype I'd had in mind.

73 comments:

Simon said...

It's really becoming quite clear that the nominee is going to have to be Rudy in '08, isn't it. Whoever wins is going to have to find a way to make good in Ohio, which we lost last night by quite serious margins (23% in Gov., 11% in Senate).

As I've been saying for some time, the result in the House is unpleasant in degree, but I'm sanguine about the kind; I can live with a Democratic House for two years. The Senate is looking like an utter disaster; whatever Ed Whelan is smoking, I'll take some. This is 1986 all over again, but don't look to Bush to have the stones to nominate a Bork. Expect him to go directly to a Kennedy. I'd also suggest that if the Senate does go Dem, then Bush needs to find that veto pen and hold every piece of legislation that comes out of the Congress hostage if the Senate starts blocking nominees.

All in all, that was a painful night, but looking at the numbers in the cold light of day is pretty horrific.

Goesh said...

GMT - 13:07 / تهران - 16:37

News numbre: 8508050254 16:21 | 2006-10-27
POLITICAL
Cleric:

US Republicans in Crisis

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Tehran's interim Friday Prayers Leader Seyed Ahmad Khatami stressed that the savage and devilish performance of the US President George W Bush has placed Republicans in a very critical condition.

Addressing a large fervent congregation of the worshippers on Tehran University Campus today, Khatami noted the upcoming US Congress elections and the decisive role that the election results will play on the next presidential elections in that country, and said, "The savage and devilish acts and performances of Bush, as a Republican, have placed his party in a very critical condition."

The cleric stressed that the only move helping the US administration to escape its present crisis is unconditional withdrawal from Iraq."

Nancy has friends where she least expects them.

Simon said...

One thing that did surprise me was just how well the abortion measure in South Dakota went. We lost, but the big picture is that a total ban with no loopholes can command 45% of the electorate's support. To my mind, that suggests that a more narrowly drawn ban, that made some concessions to popular sentiment, could pass comfortably. It also demonstrates the continuing necessity of overruling Roe. A case that still bitterly and viscerally divides the country 55/45 over three decades after it was decided has to be looked at with some skepticism.

Looking forwards towards 2008, it is readily apparent that taking as many Democratic seats in the Senate as possible should be the GOP's principle concern. The seats expiring in '08 are: Baucus of Montana, Biden of Delaware, Durbin of Illinois, Harkin of Iowa, Johnson of South Dakota, Kerry of Massachusetts, Landrieu of Louisiana, Lautenberg of New Jersey,
Levin of Michigan, Pryor of Arkansas, Reed of Rhode Island and Rockefeller of West Virginia. Of those, at a maximum, Montana, Iowa, South Dakota and Louisiana are in play. West VA isn't inconceivable, but it's very unlikely. On last night's results, South Dakota is clearly the best chance of a pickup.

Lastly, Rumsfeld should be shown the door by lunchtime today, as should the entire House leadership team. If it becomes clear that we're losing the Senate in January, Frist should ram through any and all pending judicial nominations while he still has time. This mess is as much his fault as anyone else's.

Gregg said...

Thanks for being our eyes and ears. My question about the political bloggers......Mac's or PC's??

Donald Douglas said...

Well, that's a pretty good analysis and self-appraisal of the evening. The event was an experiment, with all the bloggers as the "lab rats" you mentioned. It looked like a fun party to me, and I wouldn't be able to write and analyze in such an environment! Besides, the way information came in seemed anticlimactic. There are so many House races -- it's hard to pin down any decisive contest. When Nancy Pelosi came on to make her victory speech it seemed almost like a premonitory vision. Blogging updates seemed infrequent, apparently because of connectivity issues. But analysis was thin, considering that one of last week's news articles about the blog party suggested that most of the political analysis these days is online! Kudos to you for working hard and putting a realistic face on the challenges of blogging in that medium.

Burkean Reflections

Anthony Cartouche said...

You left out TRex's next sentence when you quoted him. This is what he said about you: Ann Althouse came by a few minutes ago and took photos of me and John Amato. Amato was nice to her. I just growled under my breath and kept typing. Comity is one thing, but I thought that her writing about the infamous Clinton lunch was inexcusable.

Naturally you'd leave that part out, as it was unflattering to you. But TRex was right about the inane things you wrote about the Clinton lunch, and he was right to have snubbed you. If anything, I think he showed admirable restraint in not insulting you out loud, as some might have done.

MadisonMan said...

Simon, maybe Bush'll go back to Harriet.

knoxgirl said...

anthony, Ann quoted that in a previous post. But naturally you'd leave that part out.

If anything exercise some restraint before flying off the handle. I guess you're one of those commenters who just scans through the blog for something to jump on and bitch about. Get in line behind all the rest of em. I'd like to introduce you to a lovely person named derve/Mary, depending on the mood she's in.... and you both *really* need to meet dave....

Simon said...

MM - I think that's pretty unlikely; I more had in mind someone like Consuelo Callahan as the kind of nominee he's likely to look to.

LetMeSpellItOutForYou said...

To answer your question: I had only two small glasses of red wine. FYI, I wasn't implying you were getting impaired; I was mostly marveling at CNN's folly in setting up such a contrived situation. Get visuals of a bunch of bloggers, and of course, it has to be in a fern bar. Were they aware that when you get a decent-sized group of bloggers together in the same place, the subject quickly becomes the group of bloggers?

Ann Althouse said...

"I think he showed admirable restraint in not insulting you out loud, as some might have done."

Actually, you're quite wrong. Passive aggression is not admirable. If he had confronted me, I would have explained things and defended myself. He's afraid of that. That's not at all admirable. You think it's easier to sit there and growl and throw stink bombs from a distance or to engage with me and have to defend your arguments?

I am not the slightest bit impressed by such weaselhood. He's lied and distorted about me, and he's afraid of the risks of dealing with it in person. He kept his eyes locked on the screen like an unprepared law student in the back row. People like that aren't impressive. Why do you let yourself be impressed by that sort of thing?

LoafingOaf said...

Naturally you'd leave that part out, as it was unflattering to you. But TRex was right about the inane things you wrote about the Clinton lunch, and he was right to have snubbed you. If anything, I think he showed admirable restraint in not insulting you out loud, as some might have done.

Well, she linked to it.

There's a lot in his post which one could mock if they wanted, what with a grown man (far older than I'd have guessed) going on about "rightards" and "Reich Wingers."

In contrast, it's clear from the pics that Ann was happy to chat it up with people of all stripes in good spirit.

bearing said...

Thanks for the photos. Sometimes, photoblogging is the best kind of blogging.

I watched the Pipeline thing (got to unsubscribe now before they start billing me). I was mainly irritated at not knowing who was who. How hard would it have been for CNN to stick some text on the screen identifying the blogger currently on closeup? ESPN manages it with football players.

Maybe you need numbered jerseys.

Derve said...

But thanks to TRex for embodying the stereotype I'd had in mind.

I suspect many will be reading your work of last night and concluding the same -- you reinforced the stereotype some hold of you.

Derve said...

"I would have explained things and defended myself. He's afraid of that.

This is your blog. You've done that already. He just didn't/doesn't buy it.

He's an out gay man too. Do you really think selling your explanation in person was going to change things? Your interpreting a polite snub as fear is another wonderful misapplication of facts to a pre-determined conclusion. You seem to be good at that; the blog keeps score.

Derve said...

"He kept his eyes locked on the screen like an unprepared law student in the back row."

It looked the blog he was writing for was consistently posting copy throughout the night. Yours was not, which is fine, giving you more time to socialize and photograph?

Perhaps he didn't want to take time away from writing to "debate" you or hear your explanations about something that died a long time ago?

Stephen said...

Ann:

So is it your judgment that this is a "modest margin" for the Dems? Isn't it a much, much bigger shift in their favor than one would have predicted six months ago?

And isn't it Rove, and other republican operatives, who put their claimed superior ability to get out the vote front and center over the last week? On Sunday, Dole, Reynolds, and other Republican ops were saying that they had a big advantage in that department and that it would carry the day. Why isn't Nagourney's comment on that score a wholly appropriate newsman's response to how that prominently featured Republican claim played out, rather than pro Democratic tub thumping, as you hint?

LoafingOaf said...

Whoever wins is going to have to find a way to make good in Ohio, which we lost last night by quite serious margins (23% in Gov., 11% in Senate).

The chickens were coming home to roost for the Ohio GOP no matter what the national party did, given how deep the crookery and incompetence ran. Politics here just makes me either wanna cry or laugh. So I voted for a libertarian for governor. *shrug*

It's really becoming quite clear that the nominee is going to have to be Rudy in '08

He'd be the first candidate I'd actually consider volunteering a bit for. I like him so much that I'm sure he won't be the nominee. :(

Fenrisulven said...

Perhaps he didn't want to take time away from writing to "debate" you or hear your explanations about something that died a long time ago?

Something that he obviously still holds a grudge over. His behavior was petty and cowardly.

Ron said...

Well, it did seem to be 'news porn', but without a finished off Senate? No money shot!

Derve said...

His behavior was petty and cowardly.

Because he didn't leap to his feet to meet and greet her? Please.

Simon said...

Mike Pence - soon to be Minority Leader, one has to expect - says:

"It is the duty of the losing party in a free election to humbly accept defeat ... Some will argue that we lost our majority because of scandals at home and challenges abroad. I say ... [that] [w]hile the scandals of the 109th Congress harmed our cause, the greatest scandal in Washington, D.C. is runaway federal spending.

"After 1994, we were a majority committed to balanced federal budgets, entitlement reform and advancing the principles of limited government. In recent years, [however,] our majority voted to expand the federal government's role in education, entitlements and pursued spending policies that created record deficits and national debt.

...Our opponents will say that the American people rejected our Republican vision. I say the American people didn't quit on the Contract with America, we [Republicans] did. And in so doing, we severed the bonds of trust between our party and millions of our most ardent supporters
."

That seems right to me. This election is already being spun (the Wapo, for example) as "the end of the Republican Revolution." It is not that; it is a rebuke to Bush, it is a rejection of what is happening in Iraq (although not necessarily a call to surrender), and it is a rebuke to the 109th Congress. But it is not a rejection of the Contract with America, or of the animating principles of the Republican party.

Fenrisulven said...

Because he didn't leap to his feet to meet and greet her?

Who said he had to "leap to his feet to meet & greet"? That you must exagerate to defend his childishness is telling. The point is he's still nursing a grudge and is too petty & cowardly to even acknowledge her.

MadisonMan said...

He kept his eyes locked on the screen like an unprepared law student in the back row.

This is a fabulous description.

Derve said...

The point is he's still nursing a grudge and is too petty & cowardly to even acknowledge her.

Actually, that's an opinion, not a point. If the blogger in question would have run off to the bathroom or crawled under the table, that might be cowardly. Please don't lecture me about "exagerating" things with words; I have a non-military education behind me.

As for petty, he did acknowledge her. Your complaint is that he did not spend his writing time allowing her to explain herself in an old matter, and merely noted that she had passed by and the reason for his clipped response. (Perhaps you expected better treatment because she is a woman and he is a man?)

Fenrisulven said...

As for petty, he did acknowledge her.

"I just growled under my breath and kept typing."

Please don't lecture me about "exagerating" things with words; I have a non-military education behind me.

You should demand a refund.

Derve said...

Define acknowledge.
And would you believe it? They paid me.
Came out unscratched too.
No pushups, no AA needed.
Just reading and living. Freedom -- you should give it a try. Might be more relaxed, less angry.

Internet Ronin said...

Ann: As I said before the election, I was more interested in what you said afterwards (and the reaction to that) than what you said at the time.

FWIW, I thought that, all things considerd, you were quite gracious in your post about the poor soul so consumed by his self-righteous partisanship that he couldn't rise to the occasion to be polite. Thus, I was surprised that you were lambasted for leaving out his follow-up comment to his blog.

Which, of course, is also why I was interested more in the post-election night discussion. A quick review shows me that you are still an "enemy of the people." It doesn't matter that you probably agree with 80% of what these people believe.

Interesting reactions all around, but that's my first impression.

BTW, like you, I was interested by Arizona's close vote on gay marriage while Wisconsin's result was pretty standard for the issue. I'd like to find out more what went on in Arizona.

Fenrisulven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fenrisulven said...

Derve: Just reading and living. Freedom -- you should give it a try. Might be more relaxed, less angry.

No, not your brand of "freedom without restraint." You should add some C.S. Lewis to your reading list - get some control over your appetites. As for angry, like TRex, you are the one who chose to make it personal & petty by countering with ad homs about my "military" education [Centenary College & SMU, btw].

Too Many Jims said...

Simon,

It is good to see that Republicans are returning to fiscal responsibility. Pence is one of the few who can be taken seriously on that front. Unfortunately, in the short term (2 to 4 years) I doubt that "small government" fiscal responsibility is something the Republicans can turn into electoral successes in the House while there is a Republican President.

In retrospect, maybe 1994 wasn't as much a revolution as it was a refutation of a corrupt congress and dangerous policies and spending of a unified government. Hey, that sounds familiar.

Maxine Weiss said...

Huh? There was a snubbing? Somebody got snubbed?

TRex shunned Ann.

Ann, if you wanted engagement from him, you should have gone to the afterparty, like I said.

Who knows what new developments would have occurred had you gone. That's when the real fun begins.

Peace, Maxine

Derve said...

You should add some C.S. Lewis to your reading list - get some control over your appetites.

Ugh. Lewis = too slow for my tastes. As for my appetites, I've never been fitter, really.

SMU in defense? That don't impress me none. Of course, just my own opinion, background value. Wouldn't try to impose it on you any. Heard they've got a great cheerleading tradition. We're done.

Derve said...

Maxine--
Click on his blog.
He didn't go to the afterparty, contrary perhaps to stereotype.

Simon said...

Jim,
I think I'd characterize 1994 as a combination of that with a major paradigm shift caused by the Reagan administration. It just rippled through to the Congress in '94. I would tend to see this election as aberrational, in the sense that the factors that drove it will no longer be on the ballot in 2008. That doesn't mean the GOP should do what the dems did in '94 -- sit back on their asses and wait for what is rightfully theirs to come to them -- but it does mean, in my view, that if the GOP really cleans house and struggles back to their feet, they can retake the Congress in '08.

I do think, though, that this election makes it very clear that the 2008 election is the province of the moderates. What we need is a moderate who the social conservatives can none-the-less get behind. Snowe or McCain could win in a landslide if the base would only get behind them, but there's no way. So that leaves, really, Giulliani or Romney. If the nominee is anywhere to the right of John McCain, we lose. And I've got to tell you, I think that sucks, but that's the simple math of it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Painterly". Have to remember that one. Man, did I get painterly last night!

Fenrisulven said...

Derve: SMU in defense? That don't impress me none.

Not interested in impressing you. The point is you attacked my "military" education [more of the troops are dumb meme from the Left]. SMU is not military.

You're dishonest. And when cornered you weasel out by pretending you said something else. In that, you are no different than TRex, so I'm not surprised you would defend his cowardice.

Maxine Weiss said...

"Because he didn't leap to his feet to meet and greet her? Please."---Derve

Chivalry, in all things, in all areas of life.

But it's up to the woman to drop hints. She usually drops her handkerchief, and he rushes to pick it up.

An "accidental" touching--those are always fun.

The possibilities are endless.

Peace, Maxine

Internet Ronin said...

Too Many Jims:

Good points. It looks like we shall see very soon if the GOP got the message about ethics. Not chastened by barely surviving in what is typically a 65% GOP district, John Doolittle (CA-04) is trying to move up the ladder in the House leadership.

This is a guy who pockets 15% of contributions to his political campaigns by paying his wife for "fundraising." Some people think that the fact that he's never hidden it makes him honest. That's not honesty, it is very "in your face" hubris, as in "I can't lose in this district." And, as he survived the perfect storm this year, he's probably right.

If the GOP rewards Doolittle, they learned nothing from this election.

Ricardo said...

Maybe it's just "me", but I was very disappointed with the quality of commercial television coverage of the election results. It reminded me of the current status of the weather report industry, where there is a victory of graphic design over content and analysis. On some channels, there were jumbo maps of the U.S. swirling around (I felt like I needed some dramamine for motion sickness), but there was a virtual absence of any thoughtful reporting on "what does this mean". The closest thing I saw to professionalism was the roundtable discussion hosted by Charlie Rose on PBS, where David Gergen, David Brooks, Katrina vanden Heuvel and others discussed "the road ahead" for about an hour. Even this morning, Britney Spears seems to be getting better coverage than the elections. Maybe it's just election fatigue setting in.

Gahrie said...

I just wish toi state, that while most of the leftwing blogosphere has behaved as utterly gracelessly in victory as they did in defeat, Harold Ford Jr. was a class act last night. His concession speech was everything that Kerry and Gore's should have been. My estimaton of him was raised several notches.

MadisonMan said...

If the GOP rewards Doolittle, they learned nothing from this election.

So true. Similarly, if Pelosi does nothing to attack corruption, Democrats will have learned nothing.

MadisonMan said...

And I should add that Santorum's concession speech, what I heard of it, was very classy. He's a very polite man. I'm still glad, though, that he'll soon be an ex-Senator.

Freeman Hunt said...

Derve, you posted three comments in a row followed by several more comments sprinkled throughout about the TRex thing, a mild aside in Ann's post. Are you starting a TRex fan club?

Internet Ronin said...

Gahrie: I agree. Rumor has it that the DSCC didn't support Ford as nuch as they did the others in close elctions. I wonder if it that is true (time will tell - when the final campaign reports come out and everything is totaled).

I was sorry to see that Duckworth lost in IL-06. Like Ford, she would have been interesting, while the victors in both races are highly likely to become almost invisible back-benchers who will excel at little more than playing "follow the leader."

knoxgirl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Internet Ronin said...

Give quxxo his due: when Ann asked him to go away he did. No arguments or theatrics.

Simon said...

Knoxgirl,
I think it's a little unfair to stick geoduck2 in with that list. She was a liberal, sure, but she was interesting, respectful and intellectually engaged. Not a troll so far as I recall.

Maxine Weiss said...

"To be on camera, under the lights, in the middle of a whirl of activity, expected to perform on cue the way you ordinarily perform naturally in the privacy of your home... oh no! "

It's not the venue that was the problem.

And, it wasn't the cameras, lights, or loud noise, that was distracting, either.

What was most distracting, was the endless....watching of others, as they watched you.

It was the unending...being facscinated by the fascinating fascination of others, as you actively fascinate right along with them.

I was distracted by all that .....watching and fascination....and I wasn't even there.

How much fascination can humans take, in one evening?

Peace, Maxine

Simon said...

Rumsfeld is out.

Here's how I'm envisioning the meeting went down. Bush brings in Rummy and says "you know, Don, in certain older, civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords."

"Well, unfortunately, George, I forgot to bring my sword."

"Well, I'll accept a resignation instead, then."

Fenrisulven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RogerA said...

Congratulations to those of the democratic persuasion that post on this blog--As a citizen I do wish them every success in legislating and do sincerely hope they take an important lesson from the GOP. I find myself in full agreement with Glenn Reynolds earlier pre-mortem, and Mike Pence's analysis. The GOP moved a long way from the animating principles of 12 years ago; they deserved to lose and I hope the democrats do a lot better--god knows, the GOP certainly set the bar awfully low.

Joe Baby said...

I would prefer disagreeing with Ann on every issue in the spectrum before enjoying one minute in agreement with that TRex jerk.

Civility reserved only for those you agree with goes by another name.

MadisonMan said...

Rumsfeld is out.

I wonder how yesterday's outcome would have differed if Rumsfeld had left last week.

And I see the replacement is not Lieberman, so I guess there goes that rumor of how Republicans would regain the Senate.

Fenrisulven said...

And I should add that Santorum's concession speech, what I heard of it, was very classy.

Howard Dean, of all people, came across as sane and mature on FOX news. No gloating, no victory dance, even gave "its the team" speech when congratulated on his 50 state strategy. The only stupid thing he did was blame the GOP for partisanship in the same sentence promising the Dems would be less partisan and more civil.

I do find Pelosi to be hypocritical. She wants everyone to stop throwing rocks now that the Dems have conn - after years of plinking us with "Bush Lied - Bush Stupid - Troops Are Terrorists". One thing we've learned in the last 6 years is that the Dems are willing to destroy the country if they aren't allowed to have power.

Fenrisulven said...

I wonder how yesterday's outcome would have differed if Rumsfeld had left last week.

I doubt it. The focus would have shifted to "replace Cheney" within minutes.

MadisonMan said...

fen, I disagree. Military editorials were calling for Rumsfeld to step down. DR was the man in Iraq. It would not have taken many people to see Bush accepting Rumsfeld's resignation and thinking "Finally, Bush knows the course has to change!" and changing votes from D to R (From Don to Rumsfeld?) for the outcome in some key races to change. I don't think accepting Rumsfeld's resignation last week would have caused many changes in the R->D direction.

It's a lot harder to fire a Vice President.

Revenant said...

Military editorials were calling for Rumsfeld to step down. DR was the man in Iraq.

If you're talking about the Army Times, that's not a military paper. It is a paper aimed AT the military, but it is written by ordinary journalists and published by USA Today, if I recall correctly.

altoids1306 said...

I think this is a good time to demonstrate that Republicans can be gracious in victory as well as defeat. The American people have voted, and they wanted a change.

Bush, for his part, will need to accomodate the opinions of others with regard to the Iraq War, even though I think he was still essentially right.

Democrats will have to stop second-guessing and start proposing constructive solutions. Personally, I think they'll fail miserably. But one can hope.

Worst-case scenario: Dems decide to go on a destructive celebratory orgy, scare the daylights out of the American electorate, and Republicans win again in 2008

Best-case scenario: Dems recover their senses, realize Bush isn't to blame for Islamic terrorism, and work with Bush to create a responsible solution to the problem. The last six-years of Dem crazy just become a puzzling chapter in boring history books.

knoxgirl said...

Simon,
You need to read what geoduck2 would say about Ann and this blog's commenters on other blogs... her civility here was totally disingenuous.

Revenant said...

Similarly, if Pelosi does nothing to attack corruption, Democrats will have learned nothing

The canary in the coal mine on that particular issue will be whether or not Alcee Hastings gets a committee chairmanship.

Simon said...

I have to agree with MadisonMan on this, Fen - in terms of raw politics, it would have been better to fire Rumsfeld last week, and it would have been much better to fire him months ago.

Fenrisulven said...

Perhaps, but as I posted in the newer thread, I think the only reason Bush is replacing him now is to throw a bone to the Dems so they will buy-in on a solution that doesn't abandon Iraq to Islam.

boston70 said...

It sounds like you didn't enjoy yourself and the environment was not condusive to "think" or write.

There is something to be said about being home alone, and yes, in your pajamas, putting word to screen.

Personally, I don't even like to be in a coffee shop on my computer let alone being on a stage with tons of other bloggers and lights and many "Wolf Blitzers" asking questions.

They allow smoking in bars/restaurants in DC? How 2000.

Hey, did you notice if anyone hooked up? Maybe a little red meets blue in the restroom? Now that would be a great story.

The Jerk said...

A case that still bitterly and viscerally divides the country 55/45 over three decades after it was decided has to be looked at with some skepticism.

Try 66/25.

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

The country isn't bitterly divided. The minority is just emotional and ridiculous, which creates that appearance.

Joe Baby said...

Yeah, there can be a tendency for pro-lifers to get all emotional and ridiculous.

No doubt the unborn aren't very rational about it, either.

boston70 said...

I do think this election is an excellent opportunity to Bush to become more popular over the next two years.

When Clinton lost all those seats in 1994 he had to reach across the aisle and regained his footing. Specifically, Welfare Reform.

If the democrats overreach like the republicans did with the impeachment of Clinton they will lose in two years.

I do think that is Bush is able to moderate some of his views and if the democrats are able to work with him it would be a benefit to his legacy and he will leave office on a better note than where he currently stands with the american public (as a whole).

Look at Arnold, 1 year ago he was dead in the water but moved to the middle and easily won re-election.

Many idealogues would not support Bush to moderate any of his views but I do believe it would benefit him as well as the country.

Also, he needs to find the veto pen.

Kyle said...

"if Democrats win even a modest margin, it's a dramatic turnaround, a sea change."

On the other hand, your first commenter feels the numbers were indeed pretty big ("horrific"), and he's a Republican.

MatthewC said...

But the Democrats’ victory in the House — overcoming a legendarily efficient White House political machine — represented a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the party and signaled a sea change in the political dynamics in Washington after a dozen years in which Republicans controlled Congress for all but a brief period.

That's through the eyes of Adam Nagourney. He's seeing drama. I love the way the Democratic victories count extra because there was a "legendarily efficient White House political machine" artificially boosting the Republican side. When the Republicans win -- don't you know? -- it's not because people actually want them to win, but because they have devious ways of jacking up the numbers.

--------

"Devious ways of jacking up the numbers?" You're practically spitting your prejudices at us. Nagourney's verbiage is generic newspaper talk that has the standard puffing given to any story to make it sound more interesting. That you would interpret it as some put down of Republican voters really shows us where you're at. And, Ann, the Republicans have had a very impressive voter turnout system. People like Karl Rove brag about it all the time.

Freeman Hunt said...

The Jerk, I went to your link, and the stats I see don't back up your comment.

Nationwide CNN Poll 8/30-9/2/06
"Would you favor or oppose a law in your state that would ban all abortions except those necessary to save the life of the mother?"
Favor: 45%
Oppose: 51%
"Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?"
Always legal: 24%
Sometimes legal: 50%
Always illegal: 24%

Nationwide Pew Research Poll 7/6-7/19/06
"Which comes closer to your view? Abortion should be generally available to those who want it. Abortion should be available but under stricter limits than it is now. Abortion should be against the law except in cases of rape, incest and to save the woman's life. Abortion should not be permitted at all."
Generally available: 31%
Stricter limits: 20%
Rape, Incest, Woman's Life Only: 35%
Not Permitted at All: 11%

And the results go on like that...

The only result on the page that comes out the way you describe is a Nationwide CNN/USA Today Poll from January/February 2006 about overturning Roe vs. Wade.

A little disingenuous to pretend that your outlier stat is illustrative of the collection of polling data on this site.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree that the 2008 election is the province of the moderates. If republicans are to regain anything in 2008, they are going to have to sacrifice the moderates and get back to conservative principles.

Moderate, neo-con, watered-down liberalism is what got them the boot to begin with. Someone like Mike Pence should run for President.

Simon said...

Badbeans,
There is a magic number. Do you know what it is? It's 270. Show me how nominating a very conservative candidate vs. a more moderate candidate wins us 270 votes in the electoral college. Explain to me how nominating a very conservative candidate wins us Ohio when Ken Blackwell lost even more heavily than the more moderate DeWine.

It's not about ideology. It's about math. It's about counting to 270.

Internet Ronin said...

Badbeans: IIRC, yesterday's exit polls in California showed that 31% of those voting ID'ed themselves as conservative, 25% liberal, and the rest as moderate.

Perhaps I missed something. but I don't recall the "genuine" conservatives like McClintock, Pachoogian, Strickland, and Mountjoy winning while the 2 of the three moderate Republicans won landslides (and the third did better than the other losers).