November 11, 2006

Remember, the Democrats have a special obligation to please people like me.

Seeing the letters to the editor today, I realize I missed David Brooks's column "The Middle Muscles In" (which I think you'll be able to get to during TimesSelect free access week):
On Tuesday, 47 percent of the voters were self-described moderates, according to exit polls, and they asserted their power by voting for the Democrats in landslide proportions....

Their disaffection with the G.O.P. was not philosophical. It was about competence and accountability....

So voters kicked out Republicans but did not swing to the left. For the most part they exchanged moderate Republicans for conservative Democrats. It was a great day for the centrist Joe Lieberman, who defeated the scion of the Daily Kos net roots, Ned Lamont. It was a great day for anti-abortion Democrats like Bob Casey and probably for pro-gun Democrats like Jim Webb. It was a great day for conservative Democrats like Heath Shuler in North Carolina and Brad Ellsworth in Indiana....

Realignments are achieved by parties that define big new approaches to problems (see F.D.R.’s Commonwealth Club speech), and neither party has done that yet. In the meantime, if I were a Democrat I’d be like Lee Hamilton, the former Indiana congressman and serial commission member. The country is hungering for leaders like him: open-minded, unassuming centrists who are interested in government more than politics. If the Democrats are smart, this could be the beginning of a new Hamiltonian age.
I said it back here:
If [the Democrats] win because they found moderates to run in key districts, I think they'll have a special obligation to please people like me. I'm going to hold them to the bargain.
Go ahead, lefty bloggers. Throw a fit. Curse me out again. You know it makes you mad because it's true.


Derve said...

Oh fuck off Ann.
Always trying to weasel your way in with the winners.

:) What?!? You said...

Internet Ronin said...

Derve: You skate beautifully! How thin is that ice over there??

DBrooks said...

I continue to think that Nancy Pelosi has neither the political acumen or fundamental belief system necessary to juggle the warring factions in the Democratic Party. There is still a lot of seething anger out there on the left. Even in victory, there is a lot of venom and vitriol being expressed. Given that I see Pelosi as a bit of a lightweight, that anger will be difficult for to handle adeptly, and that doesn't bode well for the Democrats, or, especially, the country.

DBrooks said...

difficult for HER to handle...

Tim said...

Democrats cannot win without crabbing to the center. The nation is more conservative than the average elected Democrat, his or her staff, and the Democrat primary voters who nominated him or her. They have to crab to the center to win - after all, the nation's tolerance for statehouses and Congress filled with the likes of Derve is close to nil; smart Democrats know that and act accordingly.

However, Brooks is right - neither party has sufficiently defined a big new approach to problems - but this is a bigger problem for Dems than Reps, as the Dems are locked into position defending the wealth-redistributionist policies of the unnecessary New Deal programs, as well as balkanizing, group identity social policies that run counter to the founding principles of the nation. If they try to jettison those policies, their party blows up. But as the Democrats are no longer the majority party, chances are they'll continue to iterate to a smaller minority party in the thrall of its ever-dwindling special interests (this election notwithstanding).

LarryK said...

The country is hungering for leaders like him: open-minded, unassuming centrists who are interested in government more than politics. If the Democrats are smart, this could be the beginning of a new Hamiltonian age.

Who among the potential Democratic candidates for POTUS fits this description? No one (Hillary may pretend to be centrist, but open minded, or more interested in government than politics...come on)

Who among the potential Republican candidates fits this description?
Only one: Rudy G (except for that unassuming thing - but anyone with the ego to imagine themself as President cannot by definition be unassuming).

Say hello to the next President of the United States...

Adam said...

Ann, the whole picture tells a different story -- Republican moderates like Nancy Johnson, Rob Simmons and Mike Fitzpatrick got thumped by anti-war progressives in their races. Voters in the Northeast simply rejected the idea that there was such a thing as a "moderate Republican".

Sherrod Brown obliterated moderate Mike DeWine in Ohio. Sen-elect Jon Tester, in Montana, wants the PATRIOT Act repealed -- not fixed, but repealed.

The partisan moderate said...

Unfortunately, David Brooks as per usual is given to broad generalizations and his evidence is faulty.

(1) "47 percent of the voters were self-described moderates." The key words are self-described. Lot of people describe their positions as moderate but are not when you compare them to the average American voter. At top law schools, moderate means you don't think everything Bush does is evil just most things. Better data would have shown have broken down these voters by their stated positions to see if the way they self-described themselves matches with reality.

(2) Populism won, not moderation. When Republican politicians are pro-life, they are called social
conservatives and unfairly they are usually labeled extremists in blue-states. Being pro-life and favoring the overturn of Roe v. Wade is a respectable position but a minority one (although sizable), so classifying a candidate who is pro-life as moderate is not entirely accurate.

Furthermore, most of the candidates like Heath Schuler did not run as third-way Democrats but as populists. They ceded ground on social issues as they completely blurred the difference between their and their opponent's positions on abortion and guns and instead campaigned on pocket-book issues like health care, minimum wage, and in Schuler's case protectionism.

(3) There is a a discernable difference between populism and moderation even though the two are often confused although I would expect a little better from an op-ed columnist at a major newspaper.
This is the reason why liberal bloggers are enthusiastic about politicians like Brian Schweitzer, Jon Tester, and Jim Webb and unenthusiastic about politicians like Rahm Emanuel,
Hilary Clinton, and Joe Lieberman. The latter are at least in theory moderates the former who are more conservative on social issues are populists. They are not one in the same.

(4) Brooks can spin it anyway he likes but in actuality voters rejected his positions as they chose populism. Brooks is a social liberal, free trader, and foreign policy hawk and the swing voters in this election (the Reagan Democrats) rejected all of his entire platform.

Christy said...

I'm beginning to rethink Pelosi, which is not a bad thing since I've considered her evil incarnate for years. I figured when she was first made Minority Leader that she was a bone thrown to the feminists by the Powers that Be during their years in the wilderness, never expecting it to transcend a return to power. Apparently I was wrong.

Was she really behind recruiting moderates like Heath Shuler who could win in conservative districts as she is claiming? Has her loony rhetoric up until now simply been pandering to her district? Can she really give America what we want? Or are the new Representatives 2 year cannon fodder for her agenda?

Ahhh, typed to the sound of someone else mulching up my leaves.

TMink said...

I am so amused about lefties and their potty mouths! And the lagnuage is generally sexual. Really funny when sexual crudity masquerades as cogent commentary.


dick said...

All you have to do is listen to the editorial writers in the liberal Northeastern cities like Boston to see what they expect to happen.

In the Globe you have them talking about how the democrats are going to have to use probes to get rid of the republican partisanship. That means committees are going to have to "investigate" and force "bipartisanship" on the republicans. Funny how lockstep the dems were also and now they want bipartisanship.

Then in the WaPo you have Henry Waxman saying that there are so many investigations to perform he just does not know which one he should pursue first. He wants to overturn all the "rocks" and investigate Halliburton, KBR, the military procurement, the military suppliers, the troop activities, Abu Ghraib, etc.

Then you have Chuckie Schumer talking about how now the republicans are going to have to dance to a different piper and there will have to be a ton of different taxes coming along.

Really looks like the only one talking about bipartisanship is "Botox Nan" and she is talking about naming the worst of the crucifiers to the main committee posts.

Add to that the possibility of Leaky Leahy at Judicial Committee and Rockefeller who has a direct line to the NYT for all the intelligence he gets on the Intell committee and you might as well invite Al Qaeda to set up shop in the CIA and NSA; it will save time and newsprint.

We are in for a rocky couple of years and I personally don't think anyone is going to be well served by this crew no matter how many conservative democrats were elected. The new democrats are going to have to work within the party and that has been taken over by the LLL. Good times!!

If the dems let his crew do what it wants, the dems will be right back out in 2008.

PatCA said...

I think Pelosi and Emmanuel are very strong leaders! They ran candidates who could challenge and win on the Reps' own ideological turf, and they kept the LLL rhetoric to themselves, at least until Nov. 8.

But in a party that denies that we are at war, in a country that no longer experiences Great Depressions, what is left as governance, except to divvy up the booty taken from one group to their own groups of pet interests. They will balkanize and amnestize and will look really small.

Meanwhile, I'll dream of Scoop Jackson and enjoy for a while his heir, Democrat James Webb, until he is forced to become a Nancy boy.

Webb’s Classy Statement

Bruce Hayden said...

I somewhat agree with Partisan Moderate here. To some extent, it was populism, not moderation that won. But the problem that the Democrats have there is that nationally, they aren't a populist party any more, but rather probably more elitist than the Republicans. Arguably, this is part of why Clinton won, but Gore and Kerry did not (as both of them are really elitists who tried to pretend like they were populists).

So, the image that the country is going to have of the Democrats over the next two years is a woman whose husband is worth at least $50 millon, and has had too much Botox.

The partisan moderate said...

Bruce, excellent post. Just in sort of plea for help from someone less technologically challenged, I am a new blogger, and I was curious how one links to a news story but shows only a small blurb such as "The Middle Muscles In" as opposed to having the whole web address appear on the blog? In other words just a short link.

Sorry, any help would be greatly appreciated.

johnstodderinexile said...

Rudy Guiliani would be a shoo-in for President in 2008 -- if he ran as a Democrat. He could actually get the Democratic party's nomination, and he would excite a bunch of Dem voters who are already dreading having to listen to the insincere burblings of focus group tested candidates like Hillary and John Edwards.

But as a Republican? Guiliani's got about the same chance as Jim Leach.

My fear for the Republican party is they will react the same way to defeat that California Republicans have done; by burning all their moderates at the stake, especially social moderates, and steering to the hard right, out of a fantasy perception that it was the lack of hard-rightness that cost them the election.

Internet Ronin said...

This constant repetition of Nancy Pelosi and botox is lame, boring, and frankly, no one's business. It is about as funny or informative as one of dave's screeds.

Just my opinion,of course.

Ernie Fazio said...

You are all so young and sooo opinionated and so prescient. Nancy Pelosi wants to be Speaker until she retires. She will moderate her views to reflect her exhalted position. Her Chairmen by and large were chairmen in 1994, and they do not want to go back to minority status. Rangel, Frank, et al will change the rules, will play fairly and will win over a country thirsting for leadership, accountability and competence in governance.

Over the next few months you "right leaning moderates" should compare The Nancy Gang with the mean spirited, fire breathing Newt and the special recognition he and his class of 95 gave to the ugly relentlessness of 1992-94 Rush. It was nice to see him climb out from under his rock long enough to give the Dems the Senate. Book ends to a career of cynical screeds and pain killers.

Internet Ronin said...

Guiliani's got about the same chance as Jim Leach.

I'd laugh, but it is true. Frankly, I wish they'd get it all out of their system and nominate someone like Santorum. I would look forward to the ensuing electoral disaster with no one to blame but themselves.

Maxine Weiss said...

Yes, but why didn't you say all this when it mattered...????

---At Tryst, when you had a world-wide audience, rapt, eagerly awaiting a statement.

Timing is everything.

I know I know....there was too much piped-in noise and you couldn't think.

You needed time to let things marinate and formulate.

If you are trying out for a TV gig, you've gotta be able to think on your feet.

Next time, rehearse, draft out pre-prepared soundbites and snippets for ANY possible outcome, right there, on-the-spot.

That's how it's done.

Peace, Maxine

Peace, Maxine

salvage said...

>have a special obligation to please people like me.

Hmmm okay... can someone arrange for Pelosi to go over to Althouse house and jangle her keys until Ann giggles and claps her hands in delight?

Or perhaps the Democrats could provide Ann with a nice red ball to play with?

Ann since your desires seem to be a muddled mishmash of nonsense I’m not sure what could be done to please you but whatever it would be would most likely be a disaster for the rest so, no, not going to happen.

The partisan moderate said...

I think Johnstodderinexile is incorrect.
(1) There is absolutely no way Rudy Giuliani could get the Democratic nomination. Second to McCain, he is the most hawkish Republican competing to be President. If you think Democrats didn't like Lieberman's stance on Iraq, you can be sure Giuliani would be less welcome. Furthermore, most of New York's African-American community never really cared for Giuliani, even at his zenith of popularity. Sharpton would really go out of his way to ruin Giuliani.
(2) Is that California Republican party you speak of, the party of Arnold and David Dreier? I fail to see how the Republican party in California has moved to the hard right. It appears more likely that moderate Republicans are having trouble winning in the swing districts which leades to a disproportionate number of Conservatives in the State Senate and Assembly.

Mark said...

Trey wrote: I am so amused about lefties and their potty mouths! And the lagnuage is generally sexual. Really funny when sexual crudity masquerades as cogent commentary.

I'm so glad to hear someone else notices this too! The people on the left use so many vulgar cuss words in their writing - and they seem to think that using gratuitous sexual references somehow gives their writing extra zing or something. I am so tired of that kind of crude, vulgar stuff. It's like they have to prove they are gentlemen or ladies.

This doesn't go for every left-wing post, of course - but go over to Kos and read some comments and at least one out of three uses vulgarity.

AJ Lynch said...

I like Brooks but what is he smoking? Hamilton strikes me as a colorless, idealess, generally spineless, blend into the background phantom who has no real ideas hence he goes with the flow and never dares to ruffle any feathers or make any waves. Hence II, all the committee apointments he reaps.

If Brooks wants that, count me out cause those kind of people don't get things fixed- they hang around for 30-40 years, get their big pensions and leave little evidence they were ever there. You know like Specter, Kerry and Hugh Something (Specter's predeccessor in the Senate).

[Ann- are these word verifications getting longer or is it my imagination??]

Wade_Garrett said...

I don't see how that's much of an insight. Everybody needs the middle to win national elections.

Gerry said...


Ah, good. Drink the poison, Socrates!

I hope they buy that, hook line and sinker. It will be great having another Schrumian approach to the coming Presidential election!

Ann, I really hope that things go as you seem to think they must. However, I do not see this election as a triumph of conservative Democrats. Conservative Democrats won, liberal progressives won. This was a "I am fed up with the GOP" election, not an embrace of anything particular as an alternative.

Tim said...

Partisan moderate,

FWIW, gerrymandering of California's legislative districts generally rules out moderates from both the Reps and the Dems as the more conservative or liberal candidates are elected by regular primary voters, which tend to be further from the center than most voters. The parties actually prefer this, as it gives voice to their most active supporters and members, and avoids unpleasant ideological fuzziness (this is esp. true for the Dems, who are absolute death on pro-life candidates, whereas Reps run and win with pro-choice candidates).

California has trended liberal since the defense cuts in aerospace and subsequent state recession chased all kinds of defense workers and other Republican leaning voters out of state (as net emigration from California in the early to mid-90's exceeded net immigration and native births), leaving the state literally poorer and bluer, notwithstanding the dot com and high tech communications boom in the Bay Area.

Internet Ronin said...

partisan moderate: Arnold would never have won a primary in California if it were not for the recall. Dreier dropped a Senate bid over a decade ago for the same reason, and things have not improved since. Arnold is tolerated but not accepted by the party activists here.

All of the "true-blue" conservative Republicans on the statewide ballot went down to defeat and the activists are blaming Arnold for their candidates' shortcomings.

AJ Lynch said...

And just so you know- McCain wins the Republican nomination easy. And he wins the general election too. I see perhaps Condi or Romney as VP. The Dems will take someone like Vilsack/ Webb as VP to run with Feingold or Clinton.

I think McCain wins big in 2008 and that thankfully kills Hillary's prospects forever but it gives Webb the inside track to replace McCain by 2016.

Lastly, there is a chance the Dems could splinter with a 3rd party (pushed by the nutroots) if Pelosi and company don't push full-speed ahead for gay marriage, abortion on demand, and govt-paid healthcare for all.

Wade_Garrett said...

For what its worth, I see a split between the religious right and the Wall Street/Cato Institute-type Republicans as much more likely than I see a split between the Kos Democrats and the mainstream democrats.

The partisan moderate said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
johnstodderinexile said...

For what its worth, I see a split between the religious right and the Wall Street/Cato Institute-type Republicans as much more likely than I see a split between the Kos Democrats and the mainstream democrats.

Does it have to be either/or? Why shouldn't we expect both parties to tear themselves apart along these divides?

I have a suggestion for a name for moderate Democrats like me. "Blue Dog" is okay, but I'd rather be embrace the name the Kos-types call us.

We are the Fuckwits Faction. I'm proud to be a Fuckwit, enjoying Fuckwit fellowship with the likes of Joe Lieberman and Jim Webb.

Next time Atrios or Matthew Yglesias calls me a Fuckwit, I'm going to say, "Fuckin' A!"

Paul Zrimsek said...

Democrats have been dreaming in vain for a quarter of a century now about a civil war between economic and religious conservatives. What hitherto absent factor is now present to bring it about?

johnstodderinexile said...

I stand corrected on California, but I am correct on Giuliani: he couldn't win the Democratic Party nomination.

I think you're looking at this too narrowly. Yeah, some of the hyper-liberals in New York didn't like him, but outside the context of New York, Guiliani's positions were hard to distinguish from moderate Democrats'. He wouldn't have been so successful in NY if a huge number of Democrats hadn't crossed party lines to vote for him over Dinkins. Liberals I knew in NY told me their view of him was, "I should hate him, but he's made the city better."

He is socially liberal, but tough on law and order -- domestically and globally. If the Democrats of the '70s and '80s hadn't been so in thrall with the ACLU mentality about crime, my guess is Guiliani would have registered as a Democrat. He is much the same kind of politician as Ed Koch, who remained a Democrat despite his scorn for much of what they stood for. Gray Davis won two terms as California's governor on a very similar platform (his recall was more due to corruption and his inability to manage the budget than any ideological wind-shift).

Daley in Chicago is another Democrat whose views are close to Guiliani's. Ed Rendell. Lieberman, of course. Guiliani has more star power than these others, but he would be comfortable in their company.

I can't think of one thing that John Kerry didn't pretend to be that would contradict Rudy Guiliani's actual positions and performance.

Maybe that's what I am: A Guiliani Democrat.

The partisan moderate said...

Reposting just to correct some grammatical mistakes.

I stand corrected on California, but I am correct on Giuliani: he couldn't win the Democratic Party nomination.

A few Comments:

(1) Terry there is
"no Wall Street/Cato Institute-type Republicans". There are Libertarians and there are Rockefeller Republicans, most Wall Street Republicans fall into the latter category (although some are quite conservative socially), they are not one in the same. Remember Libertarian Barry Goldwater and his feud against the Wall Street Candidate Nelson Rockefeller. Furthermore, some of the most ardent Libertarians on domestic issues are also very socially conservative (i.e. Mike Pence, former Congressman Dick Armey, and Jeff Flake to name a few). I have posted on my blog a number of times about Libertarians.

(2) Aj Lynch, Feingold has no chance of being VP. He is not palatable to many in the Democratic party nor to the electorate. McCain may win the primary but he is hardly a shoo-in for that or the general election. He barely leads Hillary Clinton in polls.

For my money, although I am not particularly fond of him, I think Edwards may have the best shot and I wouldn't be surprised if Vilsack entered the race just to trip Edwards, who is currently leading, in Iowa. Vilsack would be a potential VP candidate for Hillary.

Webb would be lucky to win re-election never mind seek the presidency or vice presidency. He won this race because Allen had a problematic background which was heavily exacerbated by his macacca comment. If you look at Rasmussen polls, many people who voted for Webb did so not because they liked him but as a vote against Allen, while most who voted for Allen genuinely liked him.

On a side note, don't be surprised if Allen runs for VA governor in 08 or Kean does in NJ in 09.

The partisan moderate said...

I happen to really like Giuliani and would vote for him but the comparison to Koch is not apt. Koch is in favor of universal healthcare and more socially liberal than Giuliani ever was or pretended to be although they have similar governing styles and constituencies. BTW, Koch is one of the Giuliani haters for personal reasons as opposed to politics. Sharpton on the other hand has always considered Giuliani a racist for his defense of cops and his opposition to affirmative action.

Giuliani differs from Kerry on issues like: affirmative action, foreign policy (as I mentioned earlier), the death penalty, and taxes.

Furthermore, even if Giuliani was alright on the issues, he has tons of personal backage along with the typical shady deals that go with being mayor of New York. He was originally married to a cousin, second divorce was so messy that his wife at the time wouldn't say if she voted for him, he appointed the liberal party head's son to a deputy mayor position, Giuliani's father was rumored to be connected to the mob, and the whole Kerik situation who was a great cop but he was originally Giuliani's driver amongst other things.

Maybe the electorate would look past all these things because of his excellent job as mayor but I doubt it and I further doubt it for a Democratic primary.

The Exalted said...

the dems won the senate popular vote nationally 55 to 44 percent.

and heath shuler is not a conservative.

to the extent that bush's 3% win in 2004 constituted a "mandate" to do whatever the heck he wanted, i dont expect that the democrats owe the right anything.

johnstodderinexile said...

tpm: If all the things you say about Guiliani are true, then he's got no hope of winning either party's nomination. But I still argue that he's closer to what the Democratic party is evolving into than what the Republican party has been since 2000.

Wade_Garrett said...

Partisan Moderate - You're right in saying that the Wall Street Republicans and the libertarian Republicans are not one and the same. My point (which in hindsight I could have stated more clearly) is that both are traditional die-hard Republican voting blocks. The religious right hasn't been part of the Republican base for all that long, perhaps 25 years at most, though they've really only dictated Republican Party policy since the early 90's. Because they are so all-or-nothing in policy beliefs, I can see them supporting a third party far-right candidate more easily than I can see the Kos/LaMont Democrats supporting a third-party candidate.

PatCA said...

For a link with a title:

Richard Dolan said...

Unlike Brooks and some of the commenters here, I wouldn't characterize the '06 elections as the triumph of moderates or populists. The overriding issue was the Iraq war. The voting public wants a policy that will both win that war, in whatever way "victory" is defined here, and also point the way forward in the larger war against Islamo-terrorism. Until September or so, Bush's policy was "stay the course." When he abandoned that slogan, and added the unconvincing claim that he had never embraced it, he just created a lot of confusion to no good purpose. By September, "stay the course" had became synonymous with "keep doing what we've been doing," and that is a policy that a large majority of voters concluded, understandably, was not going to achieve the desired victory.

There was no mandate for any alternative policy because the Dems declined to offer one. Just as Bush abandoned "stay the course," the Dems objected loudly whenever a Repub claimed that the Dem policy was "cut and run." Quite apart from the immediate issues of how to handle the Iraq war, the Dems declined to tip their hand as to their intentions with respect to Iran, N Korea, Afghanistan, Hamas/Fatah, among other issues on the international front; as well as the domestic counterparts represented by the Patriot Act, the NSA intercept program, etc. Now that they control Congress, they will no longer have the option of hiding their proposals.

Those who focus on labels like "moderates" and "populists," or even "conservative," need to recognize that those terms are meaningless in the national security area. As long as national security issues are paramount -- and I think they will remain paramount for quite a few election cycles -- what is needed is a strategy that will lead to a safer and more peaceful world, free of the threat of terrorism, combined with tactics that will get us there. What we need are national leaders who see the problem, understand the difficulties and can come up with a policy to win. Bush lost the support of the country because most voters don't think his "stay the course" policy is a winner. The immediate challenge for the Dems is to show that they really see the problem here, and understand that it's not a "law enforcement" issue. By definition, "cut and run" either in its purest form or repackaged as "redeployment" won't do. Americans can recognize retreat and defeat when they see it. Assuming they get past that hurdle, the Dems will have to offer a better policy that will achieve that goal.

I am not sanguine that the Dems will rise to the challenge. But, like Ann, I wish them every success. If they fail to engage these national security issues seriously, I suspect that their newly won Congressional will just as quickly be lost. And, in passing judgment, voters won't be interested very much in whether those Dems call themselves "liberal," "moderate" or "conservative"

Lettuce said...

You're absolutely right, Ann. Represented as you are by cut and running populists like Jim Webb.

Of course, it's not me who considers him a cut and runner, that would be you, judging by your reaction to his positions when held by other moderates like Howard Dean.

The partisan moderate said...

PatCA much appreciated.

hdhouse said...

ahh its silly season in ann land.

the left owes you nothing. in this righty-legal-land you should know that it takes two to make an agreement. one side simply can't assume and therefore can't state an obligation that is not agreed to...david brooks the rightyloony notwithstanding.

and ann...weasel that you are...the democrats will take care of you just because they are inclusive. after 6 years of the moron in chief, you should welcome that.

TMink said...

Terry wrote about the religious right saying "Because they are so all-or-nothing in policy beliefs, I can see them supporting a third party far-right candidate more easily than I can see the Kos/LaMont Democrats supporting a third-party candidate."

I agree on all counts. We are prone to stick very close to our issues and not be very pragmatic. I think it is that religious part!


Mortimer Brezny said...

I love this topic heading. Because I am a registered Democrat. And I would looove to fulfill my special obligation. Ole!

Juliet said...

david brooks the rightyloony

Shields and Rightyloony is my favorite segment on the NewsHour.

Sloanasaurus said...

but it gives Webb the inside track to replace McCain by 2016.

You better let Webb take a few turns in the Senate before you put him in line for President. Besides, I have a feeling that Webb is going to be thin skinned.

Sloanasaurus said...

Wait until you see the faces of the House Committees. Talk about old and cold.

E&C will be chaired by John Dingell, age 80, who has been in Congress for 50 YEARS! (he succeeded his father who was in for 20 years before that).

Judiciary will be chaired by John Conyers, age 78 who has been in COngress for 41 years.

Ways and Means will be chaired by Charlie Rangel, age 77, who has been in Congress for 35 years.

It's hard to imagine these crusty guys taking orders from spritely Nancy Pelosi (age 66). Maybe they will listen to John Murtha (age 74) or Steny Hoyer (age 67)

Contrast this to Gingrich and Armey and Delay who were in their late 40s/early 50s when they came to power in 1995.

In fact the entire House Leadership and Committee Chairs will be collecting Social Security. How can we expect them to address entitlement reform?

Maybe its just me, but I have a hard time imagining this group appealing to young people.

It will be quite a difference if the Republicans pick Mike Pence and John Shadegg as minority leaders. They are both in their mid 40s. Even Boehner and Blunt are fairly young (mid 50s).

Cedarford said...


1. There is a lot of Republican denial, just as there was in 1994 by Democrats that the voters were wanting anything by voting - "Why, they're just venting! Our policies are fine! Stay the course!"

The Dems painfully, slowly realized that they were saddled with some very losing ways - but the denial continued with Kerry and continues on in other matters.

For Republicans to pretend that "what the voters really want" is more tax cuts for the rich, massive pork served up by the most corrupt - and not being "reckless" on a minimum wage increase on a minimum now worth 84% of it's 1997 value - is fantasy. Same with their ideas of foreign adventurism, and imposing a Deep South religious right theocracy's values on the rest of the country.

2. I am sick of people describing Lieberman as a conservative. He is an ACLU-loving liberal Jewish Northerner with among the most Leftist lifetime voting patterns in the Senate. He just differs on matters of Israel's security (hence Iraq) and some cultural matters (from his orthodox faith).

3. Voters in the Northeast simply rejected the idea that there was such a thing as a "moderate Republican".

No, they were killed by "guilt by association" and the Democrats successful campaign to stain them as pawns of Bush and the Theocrats. Simmons, Chaffee, and the NH Reps had strong voter approval numbers but the rage agaisnt Bush was too strong. Amusingly, the final nail in their coffins was done by Bush himself concluding Rummy had to go but foot dragging, his "remain steadfast in Iraq" campaign barnstorming, and letting Cheney talk about "no deviation, full steam ahead in Iraq" - totally negating Kerrys great blunder. (all the races NE Republicans lost were razor close (Simmons) or reasonably close). Sources say several of the defeated moderates are livid at Bush's stupidity.

4. Brooks is a social liberal, free trader, and foreign policy hawk and the swing voters in this election (the Reagan Democrats) rejected all of his entire platform.

Agree. The hatred of Reagan Democrats over Bush's New Globalist & Warhawk Republicanism is so intense they are returning to being Democrats.

5. This constant repetition of Nancy Pelosi and botox is lame, boring, and frankly, no one's business. Ah, yes, because Pelosi has long been such a temperate lady never indulging in personal attacks - it is UNFAIR to malign her!

6. My belief is Rahm Emanuel would have for sure tried governing from the center, but he is being shut out of leadership spots by the senior bulls of the Black Caucus who have been gerrymandered into perpetually safe reelection districts and so continue on for decades. Hillary will try a new Centrist coalition out with her leading it. The other Dem leaders, including Pelosi - just can't help themselves - they will start with fruitloop Lefty inquisitions and wishlists very soon.

7. AJ Lynch said...
And just so you know- McCain wins the Republican nomination easy. And he wins the general election too. I see perhaps Condi or Romney as VP.

McCain is too old, and a cancer sufferer in remission. Rice is intimately tied to every WOT & foreign policy blunder Bush has made with her knowledge and previous advice being accepted or ignored, has not done well influencing Cheney, Rumsfeld, or Powell....and is not faring well as Secretary of State. Plus she has never held elective office or been in an executive military or civilian position. Giuliani is part of the growingly old, dated, and soured 9/11 era. He is also a cancer survivor (so far), has tons of enemies and skeletons in his closet. He has done an enormously positive job as a Republican fund-raiser while astutely using his 9/11 celebrity to make nearly 70 million for himself and his well-connected associates. But he just ain't America's cup of tea....just like the smarmy, aggressive, and narcissistic Schumer - he couldn't be elected dog-catcher outside New York.

hdhouse said...

Things I love about this thread:

1. Republicans telling democrats a. what they think and b. what to do.

You lost. Get in the picture 'k. You lost. Our turn. And if you are nice we might let you enter into the debate but we don't owe you that, you have shut us out for 6 years so a gesture of cooperation is a courtesy and certainly not an obligation to your rudeness.

2. Pelosi or Hastert...hmmm let me think. Pelosi, spokesperson and lightning rod for the party during times when the ruling party wouldn't even let the minority party bring legislation to the floor...or Hastert.."hey dennis, you have a loony from Florida trying to bed the male pages"..."oh ok...after the election then...thanks denny".

3. and then you trot out Rudy G. as the great white hope for 2008.

Just want you to know that when Rudy dropped out of the race against Hillary in 2000 he was what, 15+ points behind her...remember that? and in case you forget that, I have a million posters in my garage that have a copy of the restraining order keeping Rudy from bringing his mistress back to Gracy Mansion while his wife and kid were there.

Mr. Morals my ass.

Stop whinning you republican sissyboys. you got beat like a rented mule and perhaps, just perhaps it was a centrist fakeout by the democrats but a repudiation of the arrogance and greed, the corruption and the sleaze that has marked your administration and leadership for the past 6 years and not only were the voters sick of it but you can count yourselves luck that the entire senate wasn't up for re-election or you would be looking at 60-40 til the cows come home.

go suck an egg.

Akiva said...

Oh that last comment by hdhouse is exactly the dem's danger.

Mr. HDHouse (or mrs, or ms, or it), let me tell you something. I'm the reason the dem's won this election. How is that? I'm a Republican, member of the GOP, member of Blogs for Bush, member of GOP Bloggers, as well as my appropriate 'Ethnic Republican Committee'.

And I voted democratic in the election.

I'm that percentage that swung the election.

Now if the dem's govern moderately, reign in Bush, and slam the lid on the cookie jar, I'll be thrilled and visit you again in '08. If they push extreme positions and just redirect the money faucet to their pet projects (vs. the repub's pet projects), then my vote was wasted and you won't see me again.

Now I'm not telling you Dem's to be bipartisan, but if you want my support in the future, I am telling you to be moderate.

The Jerk said...

Akiva, you and Prof. Althouse seem to be suffering from the delusion that you're special. Sadly, no matter what your parents may have told you growing up, you're no more special than anyone else.

LarryK said...

Hey House

You don't sound like you're exactly savoring your victory. Shouldn't this be a happy time for you? :)

My guess is that we're going to see a lot of HDHouse attitude in the new House. And if the Democrats spend the next two years investigating Bush instead of doing something useful they'll get their asses handed to them in 08 (remember the Democratic victory was wide but very, very shallow - 24 of the D House pickups were decided by a 2% margin or less - so it won't take much of a shift to put everything right back to where it was).

Also don't forget that the most popular GOP candidate among self-described social conservatives is...Rudy Guliani, by a country mile. I'm sure HDH thinks these people are knuckle dragging morons who don't have a clue about who they're supporting, but what you fail to realize is that in a time of war, national security trumps all with these folks.

So again, say hello to President Guliani, even if HDH does have a garage big enough to hold a million posters of a non-existent restraining order.

Kev said...

Sloanasaurus: "Wait until you see the faces of the House Committees. Talk about old and cold."

Actually, it wasn't so much the age of the people on Sloan's list that sent a chill through me, but the length of their tenure in Congress. 35 years? 41 years? 50 years?

I was always sort of a fence-sitter on term limits for Congress, but now I've come down strongly in favor of them. There's simply no reason for anyone to feed from the government trough for their entire adult life, because the power, the perks and the isolation from "regular" people tends to create an entrenched class of elitists who, in most cases, probably think they're better than the rest of us and pass legislation accordingly.

(I blog a lot about education topics, and I find the same problem with many school administrators; just as education would improve if an "administrators must teach" requirement were in place, government would improve if a "legislators must be regular citizens on occasion" provision were to be implemented.

My thoughts? After two terms in the Senate or four in the house, you have to sit out a term (maybe two). No "alumni" perks like the congressional health-care-for-life or any of that. If these people actually had to live for a few years as private citizens under the laws they created, I think we'd see an entirely different result upon their return to Congress.

wv: ukyleaba--either a cousin of the ukulele or the newest Arabic coffee at Starbucks.

Internet Ronin said...

Kev: RE: Term limits. The biggest problem with term limits as adopted in most states is that, by the time those elected have figured out how things work, they are out of office for good. The political and bureaucratic staff end up running the legislature, and they are never up for election.

Kev said...

Ronin--I never said that the bureaucrats got to stay when the reprsentatives left office, now, did I? ;-) Under my plan, the bureaucrats would be the first to go (I'm no fan of bureaucracies either, as you might imagine). The idea that anyone (save for maybe the employees of pseudo-governmental agencies like, say, the post office) would get to spend their entire career with the government is something that needs to change.

And re the "figuring out how things work" idea: My point is that a lot of things don't work right now.

hdhouse said...

"Rudy Guliani, by a country mile."

i am drooling with delight. ohmygod. please. if you exist let the numbnuts on the right get their way...please god. please.

Justin said...

Can I ask a silly question?

Ann Althouse, despite calling herself some sort of centrist, in an election against one of the most scandal-plagued, incompetent, war-losing incumbent leaders in history, voted Republican and was depressed over the Democrats winning.

So somehow she thinks the Democrats have a special obligation? Why, exactly? What sort of support did Ann Althouse give the Democrats that they now owe?

Or is it increasingly clear that the student body of the Wisconsin Law School is increasingly ripped off by the idea of blog-flamed celebrity over even minimal levels of critical thinking?

Ann Althouse said...

You're not reading very carefully, Justin. Go back to the post where I said I was depressed. It gives a very specific reason. As to how much support I gave the Democrats, I voted for a Democrat for my Senator and for my Governor. And on this blog, I repeatedly showed favor for Webb over Allen. But quite apart from that, this post is not saying the Dems owe something specifically to me, but to people like me, that is the moderates. And the reason for this position is stated with crystal clarity at the end of this post. In short: your comment is quite inapt.

Justin said...

I can read fine, Ann. I just also read through your equivocating, and I understand your true feelings, which are pretty obvious.

You can defend this all you want, but you're also the person who thinks that while the GOP doesn't deserve your vote, they should get it anyway because if people vote Democratic, the terrorists have won. I mean, to truly believe that, you need to be more gullible than Harriet Miers.

hdhouse said...


maybe the issue is that elected officials should owe nothing to anyone. they should owe their entire constinuency everything but no one, no group, no party anything.

we have suffered through unbearable arrogance and "owing" these past 6 years and finally people said "i've had enough of this". there will be a period of readjustment while certain democrats play payback but generally, the incredible nastiness of the bush administration may be tempered - all to our benefit (collective)