REPUBLICAN COMEBACK IN 2010?
UNLIKELY BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS
"Voter Turnout In Presidential And Midterm Elections"
A ten to fifteen per cent drop in voter participation from Presidential to "off-year" Congressional midterm elections:
WHY VOTE DEMOCRAT IF THEY'RE JUST LITE REPUBLICANS?
YOUTUBE: OBAMA IN SOCAL FOR DEMOCRATIC FUNDRAISER
"Obama: I've Done as Much as FDR"
""One of them said, 'Obama keep your promise,’ " the president said. "I thought that’s fair. I don’t know which promise he was talking about." Ha-ha! "
Why Vote At All If Obama Doesn't Keep His Promises On Gitmo, The War, Healthcare, Cardcheck, Etc, Etc, Etc?
[In response to a post on Docudharma.com by Something The Dog Said:
' ...There has been a lot of talk about the demise of the Republican Party. The Dog has, himself, been part of this talk. Whenever this topic comes up there are those that point out the various times where the Republican Party or even the Democratic Party were down and looked as though they might be out, then have come back in with surprising swiftness. These arguments are true as far as they go but one of the major failings the Dog always finds with these comparisons is they only look at the results and fail to take into account the circumstances which allowed these changes of fortunes for the Party. One of the major influencers has been the direction of the nation over time. This is often ignored by folks making the come back argument. Over the last 30 years we have been seeing a general trend towards a more conservative point of view. This coincides with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. It is a sociological fact that folks tend to be come more conservative as they age, so the fact that the biggest generation, to that point, in American history were all moving towards middle age at the same time it make sense that the conservative point of view would gain traction. As the Generation Y citizens have grown up and become more politically active in their 30's they are overcoming the conservatism of their parents the Baby Boomers. This combined with the consequences of eight years of Republican rule is how we have gotten to this place where the Democrats control both Houses of Congress and the White House. But a big part of our electoral victory was the ability of our Party and President Obama in particular to articulate a positive vision for the future. In the 2000 election, then Governor Bush had this positive message on two fronts. First he and his campaign talked about returning honor and dignity to the White House. We can see from this vantage of 2009 how completely hollow that message was, but at the time the nation was tiered of the controversies (real and fabricated) of the Clinton Presidency. This made the returning honor and dignity message an appealing one. The other positive vision was the "Compassionate Conservative" meme. It was just what independents who leaned Republican wanted to hear, a Republican Candidate who was not tied to the perceived meanness of the Republican culture warriors. These two factors combined were enough to get President Bush close enough for the Supreme Court to award the Presidency to Mr. Bush... ' (continues)]
I would agree with Somethingthedogsaid (now I know why he chose that name: He doesn't want people to say that, or to agree with him) on some points. But, on others, I think he is way off base. It is far too early to count the Republicans out. Wishful thinking will not win us any votes. We have to look at this realistically, and never underestimate the power of the corporate & redneck Right. Also, keep in mind, Americans like divided government, generally speaking, and most voters no longer give permanent allegiance to any Party. Plus, we like to punish our Presidents in the midterm Congressional elections. The Democrats could gain in the midterms, but they could lose if they fail to get out the people who normally don't vote, but did vote in 2008. That won't happen if Obama keeps heading to the Right.
Having said that, let me address some of the "The Dog"s points. It will take up too much space on his website, so I will include a link to the bulk of it on my own blog.
Trends: If what Dog says is true about the "boomers," then we're headed for a more conservative era as they all retire and keep hanging on well into their 80's & 90's: 30-40 years for the youngest "boomers." Meanwhile, the oldest "boomers" oldest kids are getting near their 50's, so, more conservatism, according to Dog.
"Conservative. "Liberal." "Democrat." "Republican." "Boomers." "Gen-X." We need to take a big old Q-tip and clean all this nasty old label sh*t out of our ears, here. We're people, not robots or trendoids or demographics or electoral units or partisan acolytes. America never has been and never will be an ideologically-driven country. We're not much for partisan politics, either. We're pragmatists and all we expect from government is to be protected from the bad guys, i.e. foreign & domestic enemies both military and economic; to not be impoverished and otherwise to be left alone. It's only the tiny minorities on the fringes that give a sh*t about all these philosophical "issues" that just don't concern the vast majority of us.
What the last 40 years have shown us (based largely on bread & butter and certain hot-button issues) is that the vast majority, though economically & socially center-Left more and more, will still cross Party lines back and forth at will. The Democratic majority of Kennedy & Johnson shifted very slightly to a thin Republican majority for Nixon and Ford, based on the contracting economy and inflation, as well as racial issues and Vietnam. That majority shifted again to the Dems with Carter, and back again to Republicans Reagan & Bush, on money, race & "national security." Then back to Clinton on "the economy, stupid."
The Republican "victories" have in fact been largely Electoral College anomalies: Without Third Party candidates like Wallace and Anderson, the Right could not have won: Nixon won by a squeaker in the popular vote in 1968, and so did Reagan in 1980. Without Perot, Clinton might not have won, but in all these elections, the majority have leaned toward the center-Left, where the Democrats are (or should be), rather than the extreme Right, where the Republicans increasingly live. Only by virtue of these electoral tricks, i.e., covert support of splinter candidates, etc, has the Republican minority been able to win the White House.
It wasn't any "meme" or stylistic affectation that won Bush the White House. Nader cost Al Gore the White House in 2000, along with much help from Bush's brother in the Florida Governor's mansion, and Cheney's friends on the Republican Supreme Court. Bush then had the advantage of incumbency and war in 2004, plus voting-machine manufacturer Diebold's chairman running his Ohio campaign; but he still barely beat Kerry. He never had any kind of a "message." And there were no meaner culture warriors than Bush's brain, Karl Rove, and his boss, Dick Cheney. Nobody outside of his majority among rich people and Red State idiots could even stand Dumbya. He was a ridiculous, inarticulate, crude little moron and everybody who was paying attention knew that very well. He never represented anyone or any "vision" but those of the very rich and the very redneck, both minorities in this country, as Rush constantly laments. That's why Nixon, Reagan and both Bush's had to cheat.
Even after eight years of Clinton-bashing, people were still ready to vote for Gore. Bill Clinton was still wildly popular with the center-Left in 2000, thanks to a great economy and all those years the Repukelickin's wasted in bashing him, which only made him a martyr. If Gore had accepted Clinton's help campaigning, he probably would have won despite all the cheating by Bush. On that, and on the fight over the cheating, Gore screwed up. He actually still won the election, but then he lost the fight over it for lack of trying.
It wasn't ideology or "vision" that drove all this: It was electoral trickery and voter fatigue. Negative campaigning worked for the Republicans for years, right on up until the the point when the economy collapsed in the middle of McSame's campaign. In previous elections, up to 60% of those eligible to vote simply failed to do so, year after year. Negative campaigning was a large part of that failure to turn out, and that was its' goal. What was there to vote for? Wimpy, wonky Democrats trying to look like Republicans-Lite? Rich racist Republicans trying to look like good old boys? What a joke! That left it up to the 20% of actual voters who were hard-core Dems and the 20% hard-core Repub's to battle it out over the last couple of percentage points-worth left of those few who bothered to vote at all. But in this last Presidential election, it was money, not "vision" that won.
What Obama did was not ideological. Obviously, if you did look at his campaign website, or his Cabinet & staff choices, he's not a progressive, or even a liberal on many issues. But he did tap into a sentiment among the 40%-60% of those eligible to vote who frequently do not vote, and it was enough to counter any Republican dirty tricks. It seemed like he might actually be different on money issues that matter to the majority, if you didn't look too close. He wasn't ruling out things like healthcare, like McBush, who also stupidly admitted he was lousy on the economy. Mainly for economic reasons, many in the non-partisan majority voted for Obama, and for the "center-Left" issues we care about.
Certain very real bread & butter issues that the majority actually cares about are finally coming to a head now after more than forty years of suppression. Number one is health care. So far, Obama has effected little or no change that favors unions, gays, the anti-war movement, secularism, and other "leftist" causes. He will lose those people in 2010 & 2012 if that doesn't change very soon. If he continues to pander to the big healthco's and drops the ball on what the majority wants, universal single-payer national healthcare, then that 40%-60% is likely to sit out the next two elections in record numbers.
By energizing their own base, and discouraging the already disappointed Democratic base, the Republicans could not only stem any losses, but make some gains in the next election. This has been the pattern in mid-term Congressional elections for a long time. Democratic over-confidence, Obama's pandering to the corporations & the religious Right, and his Bush-lite stands on civil liberties and militarism may exacerbate this trend next year.
Don't count on Gen X or Y: If the economy is not back on its' feet well before NOV 2010, many of them could be unemployed, bankrupt and even homeless. They may very well register a protest vote with a Green, a Libertarian, a "reasonable-sounding" Republican; or None Of The Above, the real majority Party, by not voting at all. If they choose to stay home in large numbers next election day, Republicans can win, and they know it. That's been their very effective strategy for over forty years now.
All media bullsh*t and wonky "memes" aside, Barack had better watch his back and start producing for us, the center-Left majority, economically, or he could end up like Carter or Clinton. With all that inherited wealth and international corporate money behind them, the Republicans are not going away any time soon. And don't even THINK of another 9/11. The first one is murky enough: The next one could succeed in decapitating the government. Personally, I wouldn't trust the military or their friends the Republicans if Obama were to be sitting in the White House when a plane or a missile hit it, or Capitol Hill. Don't even THINK of it!
"United States midterm election"
"Midterm elections are sometimes regarded as a referendum on the sitting president's and/or incumbent party's performance. They usually don't turn out well for the party of the president; over the past 17 midterm elections, the president's party has lost an average 28 seats in the House, and an average 4 seats in the Senate: TABLE:"
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