Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Post election wrap-up

“Pruned; it will grow again.”

Assume the Republicans stay at 49 in the Senate and both Indep. Caucus with Dems.Time for the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Funny.

The Good:

This wasn't a Dem '94. About 30 seats vs., what was it, 52? With the horrible leadership, the dozen years they have held power, mood, the press, the war, and just the numbers of seats open - the Dems could have done much better. But they won, let them enjoy it.

- Pork can’t buy you love. A lot of the appropriators (AKA, Minority Makers, lost). Too bad Jerry Lewis (R-CA) didn’t join them, but oh well.

- Ohio Implosion: Better to clean house in the horrible Ohio Republican Party now than in ’08. Outside the New Jersey Democrat Party, no other State Party deserved to be beaten hard and thoroughly. Now, go clean up your house.

- Webb (D-VA). Allen deserved to lose with the campaign he ran and the Dems will be fun to watch with a loose cannon on their deck.

- Drake (R-VA2) stays: A close election, but she won. MoveOn wanted her dead. Sorry kids!

The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) (the ballot initiative banning race, "gender," and ethnic preferences) won.

Lieberman (I-CT) wins: Proves that we are not a KosKids nation. OK, we will caucus with the Dems, but that is OK. Even though I do not agree with the majority of his positions – he is an honourable and honest man worthy of the title Senator.

Chafee (R-RI) gone: All he did was make the Republicans piss off their base. Let the Dems have the seat.

Pawlenty (R-MN) Wins: Good Gov in a tough state.

The Bad:

Casey (D-PA) wins: Say what you want about Santorum, but Casey is a poster child for someone who is a professional politician that plays off his name and his machine. That is OK if you are a Harold Ford (D-TN) and have some “there there,” but not Casey. Shame on PA.

- Menendez (D-NJ) wins: NJ, you are as corrupt and bad as The Sopranos makes you look. Fools.

- Maryland. All of it. Steele (R-MD) and Ehrlich (R-MD) deserved to win. Solid guys. A normal year and they would have been OK.

- Ford (D-TN). I liked Ford, still do. His family lost this for him. At least he brother lost too.

The Ugly:

House Intel Com. Chairman - Rep. Hastings (D-FL)?

- Misreading this election. Already you have the “It was a referendum on Iraq” babble. This had more to do with a Republican Congressional power rot than anything else. That’s OK. If the Republican’s see this for what it was, and the Democrats misread the election – then it will blow up in their face and they will have to be content with having power for only 2 years.

- Any Pentagon Staff job. Ungh. Nothing but a focus on answering questions from Congress. Little else will be done. Will be even harder to find good folks to take the tough but needed DC jobs. Give me an IA anyday.

- Hearing-o-rama: Like a Crack addict who just got out of jail and won the lottery, the Dems are going to spend tons of time doing investigations. They will love them, the MSM will spend lots of time on them – but little of use will come out of them. I am bored already.

- Senator Nelson (D-FL): Ungh. Terrible Senator. Lucky timing. Only good thing is that we no longer have (soon to be former) Rep. Harris (R-FL) hanging around.

And to get ready for '08, Byron wants to share this.


- Congressman Sestak (D-PA). Lucky timing. He will stay in the House as long as he wants as long as he stays out of scandal and absorbs oxygen and staffers. Classic case of where luck really is the place where preparation meet opportunity.

What to look for from here:

Democrat overreach: Forget who you voted for, it is the Committee Chairmen who count. With rare exceptions, they are not just Left, but far Left. They will overreach and cause backlash. It will fester.

It’s ’93/94 all over again. “God, Gays, and Guns.” The Dems are going to try, with mixed success, to get back on the track they thought they were on when they last had power – with a difference. Because they do not hold the Executive Branch, they cannot do as much on the God front as they would like (abortion, prayer, marriage), but make noise around the status quo, sure they can do that. Block any center Right action on that front? Done. Guns will see a couple of fights from the Old Bulls, especially in the Senate, but I would be shocked if they wanted to through that fight again. It could happen, but I doubt there will be any fire from the smoke. Status quo will stay. Gays? There you will see movement. Expect a push to kill “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” It is their habit. They will make progress on that front politically – but we won’t be going the Dutch or British way yet. They need the Executive Branch for that.

It’s the ‘70s again. They are now in a position to try harder to make Iraq Vietnam by proxy. You will, again, get sick of investigations about Iraq looking backwards. To win in ’08 they have to stop Iraq from looking anything like victory. Investigate, smear, spin. Repeat. I am bored already.

It’s ’98 all over again. The tax cuts have done their magic again and the deficit is shrinking faster than most thought, even with the war going on. With most of the free-spending Republicans gone and many of the new Dems to the Right (on spending) than their caucus, expect a fun fight over spending. Expect Presidential vetoes – 4 years of so late – but expect vetoes on spending bills.

It’s the ‘80s all over again. A huge battle over tax cuts in on the way. If they are not permanent or extended – they end. A family of 4 making ~$50,000 will see and increase of ~2,500 a year. You will see the tragic suicides of both the money and land rich (farmers) elderly before the Death Tax returns who wan to leave their kids what they spent their lives building.

The Next Election

‘08 will be bloody and nasty. ’06 but worse. Unless Iraq implodes, this is the short/medium term high-water mark for Democrats. Because of the nasty nature of the next 2 years, there are two underlying themes for ’08.

(1) If you are a Senator, you are tainted goods.
(2) The American public wants a new face in the front office, one who can rise above the filth.

Here is the problem for the Dems. Their bench for ’08 is full of both. Gore violates #2 and is a loon. Kerry violates #1 and #2 and is despised by victory minded Dems. Clinton violates #1 and #2 and energises the Republican base like no other. Obama, BTW, is not going to beat Hillary as long as she breathes. He isn’t all that either. He looks and sounds good, but won’t be the nom in ’08 – though odds are he will be looked at hard for VP. Dean will be back. He and Hillary will fight it out, I think. Hillary will win. This is all 18 months from now when it is done, but that happens fast. All could change.

Republicans? You can add a #3 for Republicans. The Republican nom, heck even the VP methinks, will not have a Southern accent or sear cowboy boots. Period. Point Final.

Republicans are more interesting. McCain fits the “it’s his turn” habit of the Republicans, but he violates #1 and #2. he also is seen by many as being part of the “weak sister” Senate that pissed off the base. Libertarian Republicans do not trust him either. If he is smart, and considering his age in ’08, he will take a clue from Teddy Roosevelt and take the VP offer.

Frist? Please. Don’t bother. Even though he will leave the Senate, a lot of the blame for the ’06 loss will rightly be put on him. Violates #1, #2 and #3.

Duncan Hunter. Stay in Congress. Too angry. Too narrow.

Kasich? Yea, him. I think he might try. He won’t go anywhere I think and in the end his gun ban back-stab from the ‘90s will come back to haunt him…again. Keep your day job John.

Let’s see. Who else on the horizon besides some also-rans? Hmmmm. I am looking for a non-Southern, non-Senator not bloodied by the trench warfare will have/will see. He needs to ooze intelligence and have a proven record of performance both inside and outside the political arena. Needs to be able to not alienate the Republican base, but have a proven ability to appeal to the squishy 35% in the middle who decide elections. He also needs the next 2 years open on his dance card to campaign for the election.

Being that no one of the Dem Horizon comes even close to getting a though of my vote, the Republican nom will get my money, time, support, and vote. Who meets my requirements?

Mitt Romney (R-MA), soon to be ex-Gov of Mass. I made that decision this summer in case you were wondering. Just to nuke the first snarky comment, the fact that he is a Mormon is the largest non-problem in the political soup of ’08. If it wasn’t an issue in the post-Catholic Mass., it won’t be a factor nationally. The religious right likes him, so his Right flank is secure. Will the Dems try an undercurrent anti-Mormon whispering campaign from the Left? Not likely. You see, another good byproduct of the Senate going to the Dems; soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) is a Mormon.

One last serious final note; I hope Rich Lowry is right.
We're hearing from GOP insiders if it's a big loss, there will probably be total turn-over in the House leadership. Even with a narrow loss, Barton and Pence run against Boehner. Multiple candidates will probably challenge Roy Blunt. Shadegg will be a strong candidate for that spot. And there would be a big race for head of the conference. Even if Pryce holds on tonight, she'll be challenged for that leadership position (and might not even run for it again). Probable candidates in that race are Marsha Blackburn, Jack Kingston, Adam Putnam, and Mike Rogers. Putnam would be in a strong position to win. This is the sort of speculation that is pre-occupying insiders as they wait for the results.
Best quote is from the first place to link to CDR Salamander, Old Whig's Brain Dump.
I voted today.
Straight Republican.


No comments: