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October 23, 2006


It's the war!
It's the war!
It's the war!

I have said it all along.

But don't think that the Democrats are becoming very much more popular than they have been, they are not.

The vote will be against the Republicans, or NO VOTE at all.

For the Democrats to gain semi-permanent votes which could become permanent over time, they will have to PRODUCE in the House and the Senate. They will have to take care of business, and not just be like little terrier dogs, snapping and snarling and being ineffective.

They will have to modify their Gay Marriage, Abortion, Gun Control, Anti-Religious, Anti-Security, Anti-Military views. They will have to do a lot more than just say, when the Republicans kick themselves in the head with stupidity, "we offer an alternative."

That will not cut it in the long term.

There are some ominous signs of movement toward third party candidates on the part of the disaffected middle. This is one consequence of the barrage of negative attacks by the GOP, and the unwillingness of the media to publicize Dem programs like the 100 hours agenda. But it is also because those in the disaffected middle don't think that govenment can solve problems, while many Dems (especially ones old enough to remember what it was like with the Dems in power) do think that's possible.

I still think there is a Dem wave. If we are ahead in the generic ballot by 14% then we will get about an 8-9% advantage in the seats. I am curious to see Mystery Pollster's sequel on the structures of stability, but my sense is that they will turn out to be a bit more flimsy than the GOP thought.

We had a discussion last week about gerrymandered seats with a smallish GOP advantage where the House candidates racked up 60% of the vote against underfunded opposition or 80% against little or no Dem opposition, as in upstate NY. Those seats are going Dem now, and I don't think that the +3 or +4 PVI or lots of money can save them.

Same way, districts like NM-01 are going Dem as Dems and Latinos desert Heather Wilson. Same thing is happening in the midwest. And voters are deserting GOP cookie cutter kooks in the West and elsewhere. I am still hopeful for something around 30 seats and taking the Senate. The Senate comes down to VA, IMHO. We get the rest of the contested seats.

But if it is the war, and it pretty clearly is, how can we dislodge Bush next year?

The fact that independents voted with the GOP for a number of years wasn't necessarily an across the board endorsement of Republican values and should the presumed shift to the Democratic Party take place in November, I would still argue that they haven't made a clear ideological shift. Frankly, I tend to believe that they would actually prefer that values issues be personal decisions and not an integral component of a political agenda...but they aren't usually offered that choice so they vote on the issues that they find meaningful and accept that they are attached to a larger agenda.

In my opinion, independent and moderate thinking voters appear to have made the conclusion that the GOP should no longer be in power and they plan to vote accordingly. Further, if my theory is correct, it shouldn't be difficult to predict when this group of voters is going to say enough is enough. We often hear assertions that voters are stupid...but if my speculation is correct...it may well be the politicians and those in positions of power that are guilty of stupidity. The bottom line is that it looks like that message is about to be delivered.

Read more here:


the funny line here is the first one, "an improving economy nonwithstanding....."

Hey--improving for the top 1%--whaddya want?

No doubt. The strength of the stock market is not the same as a healthy economy. In fact, 'the market' seems rather retardedly exuberant right now, and seems to be posting a rally clearly contrived to support the trough sloppers currently in power. You just watch it tumble after the elections - doesn't matter who wins. It's a house of cards it will come down.

``An improving economy notwithstanding''

As the NYT's article on the election said, the folks in the middle income brackets are just treading water. Then again, mimikatz, probably more than the top 1% are seeing improving economic prospects :-):-) But the R's, or so I hope, are finally going to lose on the merits of their policy, that is, a policy designed to benefit the top 20% of the income distribution, or perhaps even a smaller percentage higher up in the income distribution.

Of course, if there is a serious recession in the next two years, as seems likely as the housing bubble deflates, the D's might take the blame for it, instead of the R's. One can perhaps understand, then, billmon's wish that the R's not lose the House or the Senate, so that when the time comes the R's will take the fall.

The Democrats will have a chance to be seen and heard with the 2006 election. A chance to count.

What they will make of that opportunity remains to be seen.

My own preference is a political party with characteristics of the Republicans and the Democrats, and maybe something else.

I just don't see a shifting of party values on either side that will amount to very much.

There are just too many entrenched interests that are very happy with their slim piece of pie.

Third tier/? candidtates may take this opportunity to cut across the entrenched interestes.

Personally a rise in Independents for me would be agreeable, and might portend a shift of values of the two major parties.

Dare I say back into the mainstream of the people.

Dare I?

The market is primarily mechanical now.

Likewise the housing market.

On the stock market people have to put their money somewhere.

In the housing market they have been doing it to an excess.

Now we see the correction, the damping out of previous actions.

If there's anything you dare not say, I haven't seen it.

Paul Lyon, I've heard that "the Dems will get blamed" theory before, and I think it has no historical basis. Dems took back one house and got to parity in another in 1930; Hoover and the GOP still took all the blame in 1932. The election in '08 will be first and foremost a referendum on the second Bush administration, and his party will bear the brunt.

Ok. The top 5% have benefitted. But tax policies like the cut in rates on dividend income really disproportionately benefit the very top 1-2%, like the estate tax repeal, now thankfully probably dead.

Jodi--Many people probably agree with you. The problem is that one group wants the Dems' social values (pro-privacy and personal choice) with the GOP's lack of economic regulation, and the other half wants a the government to impose conservative social values but massive government spending on the military and protect Social Security too.

The actual Republican agenda--deregulate the economy but subsidize favored companies, undercut the safety net and make individuals absorb mroe risk and give the social conservatives just enough to keep them happy, no longer commands a majority.

I'd like to see a party that protects individual choice but doesn't force people any particualr way, that has enough economic regulation to keep the strong and amoral from exploiting the weak, that reduces obstacles to individual success like poverty and poor schools, and that builds a sense of community and solidarity through shared goals like energy independence and combatting global warming.


I hope you are right.

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