Tag: Elections

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My state has voted Democrat in every presidential election since 1992. Our failed Democratic governor won re-election handily the last time around. Both legislative chambers have large Democratic majorities, too. Our five US congressional districts are all represented by Democrats, and both US senators — you guessed it — have a “D” after their names. […]

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How would you have voted in your state’s primary election if you knew the final choice would be between Cruz and Trump?  The GOP shot itself in the foot yet again. Through its foolish and unjust system of staggered primaries, it not only refuses voters in later states the opportunity to vote for a full […]

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Party Like It’s 1988

 
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Remember how well that went? We should.

Disappointment comes from events failing to meet your expectations, so I understand why many here are disappointed, angry, disheartened, and depressed. Plenty of folks hoped and expected that Tuesday night would end You-Know-Who. But I am not disappointed in the slightest with the results because I’d been expecting them for months. This is not to say I rejoice in them, am satisfied with them, or relish them in any way; merely, that I was prepared for them. And really, everyone else should have been prepared, too. We are seeing echoes of 1988.

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After Super Tuesday, it’s clear the GOP and the conservative movement are faced with few options: an American Revolution option, a Goldwater option, a French Revolution option, a bar fight, and a miracle. All of them leave the GOP possibly staring into the wilderness after eight years removed from the White House. The first option is […]

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Folks, it’s time to stop talking Trump, start talking turkey. Life is long, & it’s longer if you make bad choices. For better & worse, we’re conservatives, & what does that mean in America? It means you get the Congress, but maybe not the presidency. Time was, the GOP had no big problem winning the […]

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None of us here are big fans of The New York Times but the one thing I do is follow their Twitter feature On This Day. (@OnThisDayNYT) Here they tweet out photos of articles and front pages from years past and as a history buff some of it is just fascinating. On Tuesday, they tweeted […]

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My earlier post was regarding the idea of a Third Party Candidate in 2016. The most numerous complaint about a third party is that it would split the vote, and ensure that Hillary Clinton would win the election. This brings up an interesting idea which I have never really heard brought up in the United States, […]

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Changing of the Guard

 
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Hartford Mayor-elect Luke Bronin (left) and current Mayor Pedro Segarra.

Yesterday, Hartford selected its new mayor. To be precise, it was primary day, and the Democratic Party selected its candidate. But in this Democrat-dominated Northeastern city, the winner of the primary is almost certain to win the general election in November.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Victory, oh Victory!

 

shutterstock_158132165The most common form of contemporary conservative electoral argument is flawed in its premise. They argue that we don’t win elections because we don’t follow their advice (give up on social issues / double down on social issues / the same for fiscal issues and/or foreign stuff / use stronger language / use more moderate language / educate the public on abstract issues / stop talking about abstract issues / talk about gaffes more / talk about gaffes less).

In fact, we win elections. We run the legislature in most states, reaching a level of (small d) democratic control rarely seen in American history. We have most governor’s mansions, again, right at the edge of the historical record. We have the House; after decades of suffering from Ike’s neutrality and Watergate, we got it back in 1994 and we’ve mostly kept it. We have the Senate. Even presidentially, we’ve lost just five out of the last twelve races, with the “always losing” argument often resting on the last two. If you decide on the basis of receiving two tails after tossing a coin twice that the coin must be faulty and have no heads on it, you’re probably excessively predisposed that belief.

When people tell you that we’re losing and the only way to win is to buy their snake oil, whether classy snake oil like Arthur Brooks’ or off-brand oils like Mike Murphy’s or Mark Levin’s, they’re wrong in two ways. Firstly, we’re winning, and secondly, many of those who are winning are not from their faction of the party. Ron Johnson and Pat Toomey win in blue-purple states while being unapologetically socially conservative, whatever Murphy might prefer; while Graham, McCain, Murkowski, Capito, Cochran, and Alexander can win in red states despite Levin’s assurances that their path is doomed to fail.

Moderation Isn’t Compromise

 

Responding to a Vox article by Ezra Klein, Mark Steyn explains how the common understanding of “moderate” voters is mistaken:

Because the first position is “left” and the second position is “right,” the pollsters split the difference and label such a person a “moderate.” But he isn’t actually a moderate, so much as bipartisanly extreme. In practice, most “moderates” boil down to that: They hold some leftie and some rightie positions. The most familiar type of “moderate” in American politics are the so-called “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” red governors of blue states. […] As Trump’s detractors see it, he’s just a reality-show buffoon with a portfolio of incoherent attitudes that display no coherent worldview. But very few people go around with a philosophically consistent attitude to life: Your approach to, say, health insurance is determined less by abstract principles than by whether you can afford it. Likewise, your attitude to the DREAMers may owe more to whether your local school district is collapsing under the weight of all this heartwarming diversity.

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Have you ever encountered soap that doesn’t produce a lather?  It works. Hands that smelled like wet dog before had no scent after rinsing. But I couldn’t tell from the look or the feel that the soap was covering my entire hands and doing its job. Without the lather to show me the work in […]

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On Friday night, along with my Marriott overpriced club sandwich and glass of Malbec, I cozied up to a film I had never seen: Richard Dreyfuss in 1978’s The Big Fix. It’s a forgettable film about an ex-’60s radical who works as a private eye. Dreyfuss is hired to stem a smear campaign against a […]

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There Is No Long Game

 

shutterstock_180292460During his excellent speech before Congress, Sen. Ted Cruz repeated a common complaint of Republican voters:

The American people were told, “If only we have a Republican majority in the House, things will be different.” Well, in 2010, the American people showed up in enormous numbers and we got a Republican majority in the House. And very little changed. […] Then the American people were told, “You know, the problem is the Senate. If only we get a Republican majority in the Senate and retire Harry Reid as majority leader, then things will be different.” Well, in 2014, the American people rose up in enormous numbers, voted to do exactly that. We have had a Republican majority in both houses of Congress now for about 6 months. What has that majority done?

While debating the possibility of de-funding Planned Parenthood the other day, a fellow Republican insisted we needed total control — a Republican president and a Republican majority in both houses of Congress — for that to happen. Appropriations are not a significant authority, apparently. Since Roe v Wade, he told me, Republicans have enjoyed such total control for only two years, under President George W. Bush. That’s two out of 40 years. In order to prevent about a million children from being slaughtered every year, I’m being asked to wait for an electoral scenario which has only happened once in my lifetime.

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DocJay asks What scenarios could start a shooting war in the US?.  It reminded me of a post I’d been thinking about. A few months ago I was at a pot-luck party with a bunch of property-rights activists, people who deal concretely and practically with political questions that I encounter only theoretically.  I asked Suppose […]

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Considering that religious preference can be a poor predictor of political leanings, and my Facebook page is focused on conservative politics, I thought this exchange with a guy who requested friendship was interesting.  It’s a daily struggle to persuade the politically ambivalent that Republicanism doesn’t promote theocracy, but guys like this don’t help. (note: his […]

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