As Tim noted, it was a good night for Democrats, and I am not even remotely surprised (even though I did not follow the elections, I do think I have an awareness of the general pulse of the country). I have been driven to the point of near despair with the spending, the anti-science attitude, the anti-gay attitudes, and what appears to be a near complete takeover of the GOP by a hostile religious right, so I am not even remotely surprised that there are a number of people out there who feel the same way. Not to be too snide, but when only 40% of the public (and that is generous) approves of the behavior of the head of your party, crushing electoral defeats are not too difficult to predict.
As far as I can tell, it is going to be even worse in 2006 for the GOP. At Red State, Mike Krempasky writes that “When Republicans don’t give their *own* supporters a reason to vote for them (other than “the Democrats are worse!!”), how in the world can they expect to reach swing voters?,” and he has a point. The White House is already spinning that this was a ‘status quo‘ election, in that Democrats won seats already held by Democrats, and they have a point.
But what they don’t take into account is that 2006 won’t be a status quo election, and that far from just failing to provide reasons to inspire voters, this administration and this Congress have given what would normally be faithful Republican votes a NUMBER of reasons to vote against them. For me, you can start with Terri Schiavo and then just pick issues at random, and there is a good chance the Republicans have violated longstanding conservative principles or their own word. That doesn’ mean I think Democrats are, as a rule, any better, but I am sure as hell willing to give them a chance (and, more importantly, I will continue to support every libertarian on the ballot, as I have in the past).
So I don’t find these results unexpected, and I would not be surprised if whole swaths of Republican seats in the house go the way of the Dover Board of Education (speaking of the Dover Board, anyone who thinks all Republicans favor this ID/Creationist nonsense is sadly mistaken). We’ll call it natural selection, and the current Republican party, it seems, has become unfit for survival.
*** Update ***
This sums things up nicely:
I was part of that wild and crazy Class of ’94 that shook the political landscape by taking over the House after more than 50 years of unfettered Democrat control. We came to Washington full of ideals and conviction.
But sadly, what they say about absolute power is coming to reality in the 2005 GOP Washington. Republicans in just 10 years have developed the arrogance it took the Democrats 30 years to develop. – JC Watts, the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Even if you are a Republican who “would never pull the lever for a Democrat”, you are hardly going to be inspired to support your Republican option in 2006.
Republicans who stay home, swing voters who think a brake needs to be applied in Washington and Democrats eager for turnover combine for what I hope is a real shift next year.
Even if you don’t want Democrats running everything, I think many would agree having the Rpeublicans run everything (into the ground) hasn’t worked out too well…
If and when the Democrats consolidate as much power as the Republicans currently have in 2006, I will delight in joining you on eviscerating them for their shortcomings (whatever they may be) – whether they stoop as low as Republicans or not.
Here’s to government accountability (regardless of what it says on your voter registration card)!
Quite honestly, I can’t see any relation between these 2005 elections and the midterms next year. Having so little to vote on (and reportedly so few voters to do it) this year, I can hardly jump on your band wagon for any/all challengers next year and a sweep of Blue over the country. This is a quiet year for voting and nothing (outside Dover) is really that contentious to stir the populace to vote for/against.
Two things are true: the statement you quoted from RS, and that next year will not be “status quo.” I think next year will see major turnouts from
bothall sides, and the “majority” of the country will be heard. And that majority is Red and not Blue.
There is hope for this once-great Country yet. I just wish the Democrats learn from the past and don’t repeat the same mistakes once they’re in power. Power and complacency breeds corruption. I’ll tell you what, K street is in need of some serious fumigation. Untill those high-rolling lobbyists are cleaned out, Washington will just look like Amsterdam’s red-light district.
Mith still believes that empty land has a voting right.
Of course, we’ll just have to wait a year for him to suck it up and admit he’s wrong, because he’s a man with morals, after all, he’s a Republican.
Look, Democrats don’t ever need to have majority ever again, and neither do Republicans. I for one will always encourage balance and restraint in politics, especially while we’re stuck in this horrible 2 party system. Give me a general assembly anyday.
lets just hope that in 2006 things come to more of a balanced standstill where true debate and compromise become the general rule, where laws need to be well written and fair to pass.
Is that too much to ask?
God love ’em, they’re nothing if not efficient.
I have seen two readings of yesterday’s elections:
“If the elections in 2001 were any indicator of 2002 and the elections in 2003 were any indicator of 2004, it looks like the democrats will have a fairly good year in 2006.”
and the other is:
“So the incumbent party won in all of the governor’s elections, democratic initiatives failed in a republican state and republican initiatives failed in a democratic state. Clank. No net change.”
I’m leaning towards the former, myself.
Jaybird – Except in the past republican initiatives usually won in California.
Remember, this is the state which gave us the two of the Republican Presidents in the past 40 years. Nixon and Reagan.
“At Red State, Mike Krempasky writes that “When Republicans don’t give their own supporters a reason to vote for them (other than “the Democrats are worse!!”), how in the world can they expect to reach swing voters?,” and he has a point.”
Well, he might if he weren’t cosily in bed with those selfsame people.
I mean, hell, what is RedState, if not a venue designed for spreading the ‘the Democrats are worse!’ message?
John writes: ” anyone who thinks all Republicans favor this ID/Creationist nonsense is sadly mistaken).”
What’s more sad is that many Republicans may not favor it, yet favor its use as a get-out-the-vote issue akin to using gays as a boogeyman.
“Untill those high-rolling lobbyists are cleaned out, Washington will just look like Amsterdam’s red-light district.”
It’d be a fun project to put red filters on all the streetlights on K Street.
Except, in the post-9/11 environment, you’d probably get sent to Gitmo or shot.
one point about the Dover school board. The newly elected Democrats on the board are NOT anti-ID. Via Panda’s Thumb:
They are anti-ID in Science Classes… which is what most people care about on this issue.
If you want to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, fine. But it’s not science.
This wasn’t a status quo election….one look at the mayoral race in St. Paul. The mayor there had high approval ratings, but he lost decisively because he had endorsed Bush for President.
And the Democratic win in Virginia also strongly suggests that Bush is pulling down the entire party (not that the GOP is putting up much of a fight.)