Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Midterm elections

The U.S., as we know, regularly holds national legislative elections midway through the term of its executive officer, and this is rather unusual among so called democracies. (see Andrew Busch’s Horses in Midstream: U.S. Midterm Elections and Their Consequences, 1894-1998). These so-called midterm elections are fascinating and sometimes have tremendous effects (see 1994). George Will reflects on this. Sometimes, perhaps often, his pen can be so nimble that the reader doesn’t get what he is up to. This might be one of those times. Yet, some numbers and facts are brought up, and you can just feel why some Dems are salivating at the prospect of another election in which the GOP’s toughness is tested. Since 1962 , when the president’s job approval has been between 50 and 59 percent, the presidential party has lost an average of 12 seats in off year elections. Now, when his approval rating has been below 50%, the average loss has been 43 seats. Bush’s approval is at historic lows. Yet, it is said that only 35 seats are currently competitive, and then there is the "breakwater".

Still, the Dems are hoping for an electoral tsunami in November. But, warns Will, let’s say the Dems gain 20 seat in the House, do they want this victory? I think it’s an academic question, but let him explain.

Discussions - 19 Comments


We can’t let the Democrats gain another inch of power. They will use it to take a mile.

We need to fight this election every bit as hard as they will.

David: Why can’t the Democrats get a little power back? While I don’t support them, the world won’t stop if they are back in power. There have been Democrats in power before and there will be again; there is almost nothing we can do to stop it. The Democrats will retake the House in 2006, probably gain 2-3 seats in the Senat, and win a majority of governorships. Not good, but not the end of the world, and the GOP deserves it.

The Democrats are radically irresponsible. They are also ruthless and very adept at abusing power. The issue isn’t whether the "world will stop." The issue is whether our freedoms and our culture and our lives will be in (even) greater danger with a Democratic House or Senate. Do you really think they won’t?

Recognize the Democratic party of today for what it is.

As for letting the Democrats have "a little" power -- they already have a great deal of power. See many of the recent Supreme Court decisions, the death of most of Bush’s program in the Senate, the lack of serious conservative reforms at the state level, the Democrats’ dominance of the bureaucracy almost everywhere ... I could go on and on ...

"Almost nothing we can do to stop it"?
I’m sure this line has been used in every struggle that has occurred in human history. The winners of those struggles certainly did not say: "almost nothing we can do to stop it."


The way I see it, the Republican control of the White House, and the small Republican margins in Congress, the governorships, and some major statehouses, are simply an exception to a general rule, which is: A society dominated by Democrats and their laws and their court decisions and their propaganda.

Considered realistically, there is a large Democratic cake topped by Republican icing.

To speak of letting the Democrats "get a little power back" is to misunderstand power and who has it.

David- Could you be a bit more specific? What Supreme Court Decisions reflect Democratic Power? If Bush’s stupid programs couldn’t get through in this Republican-dominated Washington, perhaps it is because even Republicans could not get behind them, and not because Democrats have power! What bureaucracy is dominated by the Democrats?

Instead of going on and on, maybe just specify what you mean by what you have already said!

Here’s a notion: What if Democrats DO get power, again, and we witness a return among our allies of trust and respect for the U.S. A., a slowdown or reversal in global warming, a reduction in the growth of new terrorists, a real committment to reducing our dependence on foreign oil, a return to pre-Bush job growth and prosperity, a return to pre-Bush budget surplus, instead of exponential debt increases, real integrity among Senate and congressional leaders, a real integrity at Homeland Security. I could go on and on, too!


Yes, you could go on and on. We know that. Why don’t you just go away?

David: I see no reason to think that our lives would be in greater danger if Democrats controlled the House. Such a claim is pretty weak. First the House (or Senate) does not control the military, and the opposition party always talks about way more change than they ever implement when elected. Politicians are adept at abusing power, on both sides of the aisle.

The liberal Supreme Court is just one more example of Republican Failures. Seven of the nine justices that are on the bench now are Republican appointees, yet you balk at them. Likewise a majority of federal judges are Republican appointees as well. Of course the majority are awful, but the fault lies not with the Democrats. The blood is on the GOP’s hands. Voters are tired of the GOP whining about the Democrats when they equally participate in the coruption and liberalism. It’s kind of an issue of don’t go after your neighbors speck when you have a beam in your own eye. Since the GOP did not select Shadegg as Majority Leader and show they were serious about cleaning up their act, voters will punish them this November.


The Republican leadership has failed time and again. So what? That doesn’t make the Democrats harmless, and it doesn’t make the Republicans as bad as the Democrats.

You could have saved quite a few words by saying: "I recommend that we cut off our nose to spite our face." Stripped of banalities and pieties, that’s what your message comes down to.

Most readers of No Left Turns will have the intelligence to say: No thanks.

" Yes, you could go on and on. We know that. Why don’t you just go away? "

Why don’t you bring some substance to the table, David? Otherwise, I’ll never go away. And even if I do, someone else will take my place. We will needle you until you see the error of your ways. We will be a stick in your craw, a needle in your eye, a pain in your neck.

Do you think that Democrats would sell our ports to the UAE? Do you think Democrats would put us in hock with the Peoples’ Republic of China? Do you think Democrats would have put "Brownie" and Chertoff and Delay and Libby in places of such influence and power? Do you think a Democrat Vice President would have shot a 80 year-old lawyer? Do you think it was Democrats behind Plame-gate? Iran-Contra? Was it a Democrat in office when terrorists hit the World Trade Center? Has a Republican successfully tired any terrorists? Has a Republican found OBL? Does a Republican have a clear exit strategy in Iraq?

Come on, David! Go on and on!

That should read "tried" any terrorists, but that is a pretty good parapraxis (Freudian slip) as is.

Everyone can play this game!

Who illegally collected campaign contributions from communist China? Which President had the most number of his Cabinet members come under criminal investigation? Which party gave us Mike Espy, Henry Cisneros, John Huang, Ron Brown, Janet Reno, Federico Pena, and Jocelyn Elders in places of influence and power? Which party illegally requested the FBI files of 900 prominent members of the other party? Whitewater? Monica Lewinsky? Who looted the White House of everything from furniture to silverware after the other party won the Presidency? Was it a Democrat in office when al Qaeda laid the groundwork for 9/11? Was it a Democrat who had the opportunity to assassinate Osama bin Laden before 9/11 and decided against it? Does a Democrat have any strategy for fighting terrorism other than to deride the Bush administration as a bunch of fascists?

This is a fun game!

Of course it’s a fun game to point out the lack of principle in both parties. I enjoyed Fung and Dominick’s accounts; the only scary thing is that they are both right.

And since both parties are this way, David has no good point in claiming that what the Democratic party is today is so much different than the GOP. Our lives and liberties are in danger from both the right and the left. My point is that little noticable change will occur if the Democrats capture the House and make gains elsewhere. A slightly different mix of a bad party and a worse party won’t be a big deal.

I believe once there was One so banal and pious enough to say something to that tune...check out the Sermon on the Mount maybe.


Fung, your ilk are certainly good at "sticking needles" in people’s eyes, etc., etc. I readily admit that. But you will have to content yourself with doing that where you have power, with your students and colleagues. I won’t play your game.

I reserve, and exercise, my right to ignore your demands that I justify the Republican party. I won’t waste time on people who are interested in baiting conservatives, not in talking things over with them. So get lost.

Thank you, David, I accept your surrender.

I reject your presumptuous interpretation of my comments. No one is interested in yours. Why don’t you just go back to Deanworld and leave us to talk amongst ourselves? The covers of your book are too far apart.

" I won’t waste time on people who are interested in baiting conservatives, not in talking things over with them."

Davey- I am sure that the readers can see that I invited YOU to discuss:

"David- Could you be a bit more specific? What Supreme Court Decisions reflect Democratic Power? If Bush’s stupid programs couldn’t get through in this Republican-dominated Washington, perhaps it is because even Republicans could not get behind them, and not because Democrats have power! What bureaucracy is dominated by the Democrats?....."

and it was YOU, who could not stand the heat:

" Yes, you could go on and on. We know that. Why don’t you just go away? "

So, reject all you want, and exercise your catechismic lexicon all you want. You can only discuss with people who agree with you. Your only solution is to whine "go away!" when you are challenged.

So, okay Davey. I won’t be mean to you, any more. Is it okay if I still play with the grownups?

Do you think a Democrat Vice President would have shot a 80 year-old lawyer?

Fung, do you actually have data demonstrating that Democrats are less prone to hunting accidents than Republicans? The other things on your list are debatable points, but this just sounds like a cheap shot.

John - It IS a cheap shot! I don’t think that this incident is important at all. It is just fun to pick on Cheney, and his supporters. I hope that I have not claimed to be above a bit of low humor.

Do you see what happens when I’m not around to check Fung...he gets mean (and silly).

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