Agreed on all points. The Republican party needs a rude awakening. That doesn’t mean that I want a permanent Democratic majority. That way lies madness. We do need checks and balances, not group think and going along to get along.
Hear, hear. Political hegemony of one party is an anathema to a democracy.
I think that folks around here will be shocked that it’s closer than the current board wisdom seems to THINK it is. I still think Obama will win…but these kinds of thread are seriously getting annoying.
Hey at least the GOP waited until they were in power before they dreamed of a permanent majority.
Be real. The time was right for the pendulum to swing and Obama has taken advantage of it. It will swing this way for a few administrations perhaps. But the GOP will regroup and will be back in force in future years as a new generation gets in charge. What it will look like when it does is the interesting question.
This is incorrect. The idea (in its modern form) was conceived during the Clinton administration.
That’s one of the best articles I’ve read on why a Republican is jumping the fence. (He also addresses the fact no one would care if he weren’t WFB’s son.)
If only we could get Nancy Reagan…
A few points here…
A Democratic sixty-seat majority isn’t quite the same as a Republican sixty-seat majority. The Democrats have always needed a larger majority to get things done than the Republicans due to our inability to get our people to march in lock-step. If we do get a 60 seat delegation in the Senate that would most likely include Mississippi ex-governor Ronnie Musgrove. He is as blue-dog as it gets. A lot of these bloggers talk about getting “more and better” democrats, but the truth is that we’re already scraping the bottom of the barrel as it is. Much higher than 60 seats and the “quality” of democrats will be diluted a great deal. So I don’t really fear an outright Democratic control of the government as we have a history of being unable to get things done as it is already. It won’t look like Bush’s government from 2002 to 2006.
I don’t care what happens to the GOP. All I care about is that Rovian tactics die. This is pretty difficult to do as the cat is already out of the bag. Rove is the man who learned that you almost never get busted for underestimating the intelligence of the electorate. The way he plays the victim card in combination with unfounded, useless attacks is incredible.
But hopefully a period of economic hard times will let us refocus on what is really important. Think about this, the last time we had a real “recession” was when Bill Clinton took office. Things haven’t been great under Bush, but they certainly haven’t been bad enough to force people to vote their pocketbooks. If Rove were truly a genius (and not just a guy with zero scruples) he would have made it a priority to keep the economy going in order to continue his divisive politics. When times are good, people can be divided over what their favorite color is.
Personally, I believe that the majority of Americans really don’t appreciate these Rovian tactics of division. The beautiful thing about the economy being the way it is that these tactics are being called out in the media for the bullshit that they are. I love every second of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m scared shitless about the economy, but this is the silver lining. Hopefully we’ll be a nation led by our better intentions if only for a while.
Her astrologer says the signs are not good…
I once used to think that way, but now I am convinced that it’s going to be much, much worse than Republicans can conceive it to be. Much worse.
The point is that any time the economy dominates the headlines it’s an automatic win for Obama. Why is it that way? Because the Republicans have no idea who to blame and how. Rightly or wrongly it’s on their heads. The best they can do now is to figure out a way to come up with a coherent message, but they are having trouble unifying because their coalition is flying apart in the face of this defeat. The worse it gets for them the worse their ability to turn it around gets. Again the best McCain can do at this point is to do his best to appear to have a competent alternative on the economy that draws a clear distinction between not only himself and Obama, but also between Bush too. That’s really the best thing for him to hammer on for the last three weeks. He can roll the dice one last time if he needs to, but he needs to keep it steady
Any reason you don’t think the GOP is in bad shape? Their whole platform is taking a beating by real events. Since Bush took office, you had the war in Iraq and abu ghraib expose how wrong neoconservatives were. You had studies come out showing that the social conservative policy of denying global warming was wrong, and that abstinence education will increase the amount of anal and oral sex children were having. You had events like Hurricane Katrina make people realize that maybe we needed more than a President was just “one of the folks.”
Up until a few weeks ago all McCain had left that wasn’t proven wrong in dramatic fashion were tax cuts and deregulation. The futility of which was exposed by the Wall Street crisis. Deregulation was the last real issue to hold Republicans together.
Now they can only promise social conservative culture which isn’t something all Republicans want. If you don’t think a party is in bad shape when they can’t credibly talk about any issue, then I don’t know what it will take.
Republicans became a catch-all for anyone that was against gay rights, abortions, gun control, the separation of church and state, and many other “anti left” views. They stopped having a platform and ebbed and flowed depending on what would cost them the least amount of vote losses.
Of course they will fall apart, it was such a diverse group they couldn’t hold it together. The fear of the left is not enough to hold it. Rove was able to glue it together in 2004, but even then it was obviously cosmetic and temporary.
If they would stop pandering for votes from such a diverse group based on wanting that vote, they could possibly come up with a platform that allows me to vote for them again. And I think other Republicans will come back as well. Of course this is all my opinion, I watched the Republican party splinter apart in local as well as national elections for too many years.
Please don’t make the mistake of “misunderestimating” the general board’s wisdom. I think most people here acknowledge that there’s a distinct possibility that it may be close (in terms of popular vote, if not electoral votes). In fact, I think most will even acknowledge some chance that McCain will pull it out…although it does seem, based on multiple things (e.g., polling, current events, debate performances, etc.), that that chance is in rapid decline.
In my own case, I look at the polling and surmise that there’s a decent chance that the Dems will pick up a bunch of Senate seats, perhaps enough to get 60. Personally, I don’t think it’s likely, but I put the odds at about the same (or only slightly less) that McCain will win. And that worries me. A lot. I want a strong counter-party. I want some serious opposition. I want there to be give & take in the legislative process, with serious discussion by serious people. And an overwhelming majority of one party can skip right over that.
But let’s face facts: the loosely tied together coalition of religion, big business, and libertarianism is coming apart in a serious way. The religionists know they’ve gotten close to diddly out of the last 8 years, with libertarians in a similar position. Being the party of big business just doesn’t mesh very well with the populist sentiment right now. And the true fiscal conservatives are the worst off, as far as I can tell, for they’ve not just been ignored but gotten the opposite of what they desire. Furthermore, as lee points out, some core issues seem to be changing.
Do I really think the Republican party will disappear? Of course not. It’s but a pipe-dream, a fantasy about actually being torn about which party better represents me. But, while Dems may be slow on the uptake, they’re not stupid: I expect they’ll adopt many DeLay/Rove tactics in the near future. Mixed with ascending numbers, I see a recipe for disaster on the horizon.
I really hope that Republicans will get their party in order soon. Granted, however, I’ll immensely enjoy any and all Republican trouncings in the interim.
I actually don’t get the big deal about hitting 60. 60 Dems all voting together? You do that and I have a bunch of cats I’d like you to herd. 60 or not, Obama (assuming he wins) is going to be engaged in some give and take and compromising and even fighting some to get things done. He will need to win enough Republicans over to offset the Dems who wander off and vote against his plans. He’ll give enough here to get some there.
He’ll be wont to ramrod legislation through because it doesn’t serve his long term interests in being able to get more good enough bills through. Not to say that he won’t ever play tough, but he’ll more operate more with others having the knowledge that he could play tough so wouldn’t you rather make a deal?
Institutional gridlock has its place but at this point in history we can’t afford it.
Karl Rove’s evil aside, it’s just not true to even suggest that Karl Rove was the mean who learned this or invented any of these tactics. Outright lies and incredibly dirty campaign tricks have been de riguer in Presidential elections since long before the Civil War.
While I agree that we need one party to be able to check the other, I wouldn’t mind giving Obama a blank check for two years. At least until the GOP can regroup and become a party that is something more than just a mouthpiece for the religious right.
Ignorant opposition isn’t really effective opposition. If Republicans want to have a say in politics they better come up with arguments that don’t involve either god or evil liberals. I think by giving the Democrats 60 seats (they don’t even need that much, 57 would be enough as getting three Republicans on your side isn’t too difficult) the public will be demanding more from the Republicans than they are getting. If they didn’t get the message in 2006, then we just have to keep voting them out of office until they figure it out.
Though with the way the Democrats have been running things, you can rest assured that no significant legislation will actually pass through Congress.
Rove style attacks will probably exist forever. What has to end is dividing the public in half and appealing to the larger half. Politicians have to appeal to more than 51% of the public to solve some of our most serious issues. You just can’t fix social security, global warming, or energy independence without support from at least 60% of the country.
I concur. The supply-side economics and trickle-down theory of “if it’s good for business, it’s good for Americans” may have had its time and place coming out of the bizarre stagflation of the late 1970s. But that theory just does not work anymore.
IANAE, but it seems to me the whole redistibution of wealth socialism that BOTH parties subscribe to - the Dems with their take from the rich and middle class to give to the poor and the Reps with their take from private individuals and give to corporations - is simply the wrong approach. I think that we need to return to pre-New Deal economics where the government used tarriffs, money restriction/expansion, etc. to control the flow of money in this country intead of stealing from Peter to pay Paul.
While I’ll grant that Dems have less party discipline than Republicans, I think you underestimate the power draw. You mention Obama’s give and take; what I think you’re overlooking is that Obama won’t be writing legistlation anymore, but only setting an agenda (I’m discounting veto power; with the majority granted by 60, it’s not clear that legislation requiring a veto would ever make it to his desk…yet another aspect of my worry). I sincerely hope you’re right that he’ll successfully work at unity (I believe he will) AND be strong enough to keep Congressional Democrats from wandering off. Furthermore, I note for clarity’s sake that there’s a substantial difference between “gridlock” and “opposition”.
I honestly think that the past 8 (14?) years have tainted a realistic view of the President’s power, which seems to be your focus. The Republicans presented such a monolithic bloc on most issues that it’s become easy to forget that Congress can (and will) diverge from the President’s direction. And beyond that, even though I’m a pretty hard-core Obama supporter, I don’t think any given policy will necessarily be good just because Obama backs it – he’s the first to admit that he makes (and has made) mistakes. A more evenly split Congress can only mean even more thoroughly hashed out bills.
However, now that I think about it, the converse can be beneficial in that it avoids “design by committee” issues. If Obama even comes close to my hopes, this would be a boon. But that doesn’t make my fears disappear…only looking back on the way things unfold will do that. And don’t get me wrong – I’m totally on board with:
But most of the above is a digression from the OP. I’d much rather revel in Republican dejection and disarray than make this about Democrats.
Many speculated that the Republican Party was dead when Nixon went down in flames in 1974. Gerald Ford served out his term and Carter took over. By 1980 Reagan was in office and the GOP dominated the Executive Office for the next twelve years. It would take a little research to see how Congress faired during that same period.
Don’t count the Pubbies out. I do think that the fisically conservative element is going to become more vocal.
It’s easier to be the party out of power and be able to backseat drive/ Monday morning quarterback the ones in power. The GOP is really good at that. It will rise again (and that’s a good thing–we need conservatives as well as liberals), but hopefully it will leave the religious wingnuts behind.