Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Yep . . . That About Sums it Up!

Democrats probably can’t win in ’06 according to Victor Davis Hanson in this sweeping but clear essay. Of course, what he says assumes that Republicans won’t do anything so massively stupid as to change the current trend. On the other hand, I think that’s a rather safe assumption. With the recent patch of good fortune for the GOP, all they have to do is do nothing (and they’re pretty good at that). Still, it would be nice (and probably prudent) if they at least tried to do a few good (read: conservative) things to seal the deal. And I, for one, would hope that they were more serious and substantive things than flag burning amendments.

Discussions - 31 Comments

I think some thoughtful steps towards solving the problem this country has will illegal immigration would repair most of the damage done to the relationship between the GOP and its constituents, especially in light of the recent events in Iraq and the floundering response.

... and the Democrats’ floundering response.

A few good things to seal the deal;
1. Raise again a Marriage Amendment and repair rift with religous right.
2. Bring in bin Laden -if he still alive. 3. Reveal proof that bin Laden is dead. 4. Crush in the insurgency and open the first Wal-Mart/Target/Best Buy in the Middle East. 5. Anti Flag burning amendment -remember that the children of the whackos (just the antiwar crowd as opposed to the rest of the whackos) are in high school and/or college and many have no respect for authoirity nor tradtion.

Sorry, I was refering to the late 60’s whackos.

I think it is a toss up - polls look good right now for Democrats, but we have a long time until November. The article does seem to kind of "skim the surface" of the issues it points out.

For example - in my experience the economic concerns of the lower & middle class don’t really have to do with being able to buy the TV or DVD player - it is more about health insurance, the cost of college, the cost of gas, natural gas, etc. and in Ohio at least - the loss of manufacturing jobs.

The economic concerns are of course one part of the total concerns - I just used that as an example. Do Democrats have all the answers - no. Do Republicans - no. With the Republicans having an advantage with incumbency and the Democrats having an advantage with a public looking for change - toss up.

polls look good right now for Democrats

Translation: Democratic polsters asked Democrats how they were looking right now in the pols and Democrats told Democratic polsters they were looking good right now in the pols.

I’ve told you before, Nick, just because the Democrats say it’s so doesn’t make it so.

toss up

If that’s the best you can hope for, and I think that IS the best you can hope for, your party is in a world of hurt.

Uncle Guido - I’m just trying to be realistic. The Republicans are currently the majority in both houses. No matter what polls say in June, it will not be easy for the Dems to overtake both houses. However, I don’t think it is out of reach.

I must admit, my knowledge of National House and Senate races is pretty limited. If I look at Ohio, I do think there are 3 or 4 House seats and the Senate seat that are competitive and held by Republicans and probably only 1 House seat currently held by a Democrat (Strickland’s).

As far as the polls - it seems that at times, both sides either cite them or discount them based on how the poll favors them at that moment.

I think even Newt Gingrich said (based on polls) that if the election were held today, it looked pretty bad for Republicans, but that the election won’t be held until November.

Anyway - we won’t really know until November.


I have not been one to follow this sort of thing either until recently, but from what I’ve read in this and other blogs, the mid-term election of a president’s 2nd term is traditionally the best one for the opposition party. Those who claim to speak for the Democratic party, however, Dean, Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi, Reid, Murtha, Biden, Feingold, etc., have left a crystal clear impression that the Democratic party is far more interested in the "civil rights" of terrorists than it is in our national security. I don’t mean to start up a new direction of this thread, and I do not intend to suggest that the Democratic party really does care more about the civil rights of terrorists, I merely intend to say exactly what I did say. The IMPRESSION IS that’s what your party stands for.

Consider such events as killing Zarqawi, non-filing against Rove, the rolling up of al Qaeda in Iraq, capture of terrorists in Canada apparently due in part to investigative techniques Democrats have been trying so hard to stifle, Kerry’s disasterous vote to cut and run and Murtha’s redeployment to Okinawa proposal. Join that to THE IMPRESSION mentioned above and you have a recipe for disaster in the elections this fall for the Democratic party.

Of course I think your "toss up" comment is realistic. I also think it bodes terribly for your present party and wonderfully for your future party.

I think that one issue that could really help the Democrats (especially in Ohio) is the minimum wage increase that will be on the ballot in November. I think that this could finally be a really unifying and appealing initiative that could sweep through the majority of the states (it’s only going to be considered in about 5, I think, this November . . . but 19 [including D.C.] have minimum wage laws higher than what’s required by the Federal Government) and is appealing to independents and Christians as well as liberals (and God knows we always need those Christian votes . . .).

Uncle Guido - please stop with the doomsday predictions. The Democrats are not going to be facing "disaster". I certainly doubt they’re going to lose seats in Congress, although I’m not confident they’ll gain many. Quite frankly, I think people are getting sick of tired of the war in Iraq, the high gas prices, the continual problems the Republicans in Congress have been having with bribes and other such things, the cost of education, the cost of health care, the ultra-low minimum wage rate, and the ever-growing power of large corporations (and, for several of them, the no-bid contracts handed to them from Congress). You’re not going to sweep the nation. Sorry.

As for Ohio . . . I’m not too optimistic about Strickland’s chances. Coleman would have really had a shot. He could’ve won. Now, I honestly think we’re going to have another Republicans governor for eight years.

Just what Ohio needs, when it is already a state discouraging to small business and driving it away; a raise in the minimum wage! Personally, I do not see minimum wage as a Christian issue, so perhaps you could explain yourself, there.

And if minimum wage is the great unifier here, then Republicans have nothing to worry about in Ohio. I hope you’re right.

But Hanson has it right, at least about the Democrats, that they are not placing anyone on offer who looks up to dealing with the messes. Of course, do the Republicans, either?

Rather than useless minimum wage legislation, what is needed is the staunch the flow of illegals. They have virtually replaced teenage employment at many establishments I frequent, and until these companies face a tighter labor market they will never willingly raise wages.

I think Andrew is correct...a turnaround on illegal immigration could pull the GOP cookies out of the fire. Thousands (perhaps millions) of the faithful are extremely angry about this’s my prime complaint against Bush (and his failure to veto big spending is second on my list).

Uncle Guido:

Of course I think your "toss up" comment is realistic. I also think it bodes terribly for your present party and wonderfully for your future party.

LOL - ;-) I doubt I will change parties, but there are many local Republicans that I support.

Matt - I don’t know why you wouldn’t be optimistic about Strickland’s chances. He’s doing great in the polls, good on fund raising, decent at putting together a campaign network, etc. I think his chances are great and he will be the next Governor of Ohio.

I really think imigration will be their saving grace if they can do anything; the abuses are so brazen and of all the issues out the on the table I feel the one which GOP members feel the most discouraged about is this one.

Ohio Brass, I really don’t think the FMA would be a unifying act for the GOP’s conservative base- there are many concerns by the conservatives over changing the Constitution. And further, they have tried to pass it- twice- and it got shot down by a large margin both times. As such, most of the GOP Congressmen already have their traditional marriage credentials and have not estranged themselves from their base in that regard.

Matt, the Democrats have gone way too far out into left-field to turn anything into a Christian issue (although I think your argument has its merits- especially among the rapidly declining Catholic Democrats). Like the article says, all the GOP needs to do is not screw up big time and they’ll come out on top.

Kate - anymore the Christians won’t vote for ANYTHING that has to do with Democrats (unless they’re Catholic . . . and we’re losing them too these days). Gay marriage, abortion, and the emphasis on a seperation of church and state have made the Democrats and nearly all of their initiatives unappealing to the religious right. Minimum wage has the potential of getting votes from low-income or middle-income Christians. The majority of them aren’t as ideologically pro-business owners over employees as the academic conservatives usually on this blog.There’s a good chance that it could pass . . . hopefully, easily.

That’s what I meant . . .

Hanson happy-talk. He should know by now that just because the Repub case is sound, and the Dems are all over the map, the populace isn’t necessarily going to see it that way. 9/11 Repubs like Hanson and I have had that tendency to think, "Well, if I see the light, surely most of the other moderate Dems will." Methinks Hanson needs to face the question I sometimes ask myself, "How could you have misled yourself about the Dems for so long?" and apply it to the good people of America as a whole. November is 50-50, or unpredictable, as is the second stage of the Iraq war (in which victory will in any case be years away and look nothing like a quantifiable electoral win). The National Review editorial on Z’s death struck the properly sober note that’s missing here. As for November, I’m more likely to say Repubs have a slight edge when I continue to hear the likes of Barone saying so.

Dude Matt, minimum wage is a no go. Do you know people who make minumum wage anyway? Most people don’t care. Its been long enough since we raised the stupid thing that the market has people making more (Fast Food and most service jobs start around $7). I’ve been working on the bottom for 5 years and never made minumum wage. If that’s the Democrats bread and butter issue, they are in worse shape than I thought.

That said Nick is being the most realistic here. Uncle Guido is even more optimistic than Karl Rove. The GOP is hurting, but the good thing is that they are near rock bottom (or seem to have bottomed out). Even in this state it appears they will hold the Senate losing 2-4 seats. Likewise the House is probably a toss-up to slight Democrat Majority as it stands. This sounds bad for the GOP, but GOP is in the duldrums and has significant upside potential. If Bush could get into the low 40s, he would become useful on the campaign trail again (and he is a darn good campaigner). Also the economy continues to grow and things in America are generally on the upswing economically.

Wildcards like Iraq seem more likely to improve than regress too, but thats harder to be sure of. The last issue is immigration, which is not yet tested at the polls. We know how gay-marriage plays, and abortion play, but immigration is unsettled. Not being a black and white issue, it seems that most Americans agree with anything that is cloaked as reform and don’t care much for the devilish details. This probably hurts the GOP because they (The House) is staking their election to a specific immigration idea, while the Democrats (and Senate moderates) have grabbed the broad middle ground.

Optimistic prediction--GOP retains razor-thin majorities in both houses

Dude, John -

The Democrats are in really bad shape. I’m not denying that at all. You are considerably lucky to have never made minimum wage. You must live a charmed life. Heck, I made minimum wage last year at my job as the Assistant Manager of the Ashland University Box Office. All the employees at that Box Office make minimum wage (except the manager, who makes $6 an hour). I know plenty of people who aren’t students in college (who can usually more than afford to be in that situation) and make minimum wage. Wal-mart employees, Bath & Body Works employees (another place I used to work), and a lot of Springfield (Ohio) mall employees. Nearly all of my friends have made minimum wage and worked with people twice their age in a much worse financial position. I’m sort of disheartened that you’re so ready to dismiss the idea of businesses still paying people minimum wage.

I’m working at Honda this summer. They subcontract a lot of their work. Some of the guys I work with are contracted under "Waste Management" and make little more than $6 an hour ($5.50 is where they start). They drive forklifts all day and unload huge crates. It’s not easy or safe work. Honda saves loads of money by subcontracting them (their own starting rate is upwards of $15 an hour). Please don’t tell me how no one is still suffering from such a low minimum wage.

Yes a charmed life...painting roofs for $6 an hour all summer for two years, with considerable lawn work and grunt labor thrown in. Apparently we have very different experiences. My experience with these low end jobs is that they pay $6-$8 an hour. Home Depot, WalMart, and so many others pay more than minimum wage.

I think that you rightly point out that many minimum wage jobs go to college students like us. We can afford them, and many times its all we’re worth. We have to trust the market. If you raise minimum wage 20% there will be 20% fewer minimum wage jobs. Democrats seem to think its a moral crisis that people work for $5.25 an hour. Well perhaps it is a problem, but its a greater moral problem when people who want to work for $5.25 an hour can’t because the government falsly set minimum wage at $7.00. Chances are minimum wage already costs high school students a few jobs (I would have worked for $4 an hour when I was 14) and also society the labor of these people. Raising minimum wage will force more people out of work and rob society of their labor. My guess is that minimum wage increases will fail, and even if they pass, they won’t be a great issue. In general I am skeptical that ballot initiatives do much for turnout, or party unification--but I assume that the pundits way overestimated the effect of gay-marriage bans...

John -

If you raise minimum wage 20% there will be 20% fewer minimum wage jobs.

Really? That specific, huh? But if that were true, then wouldn’t the states with the highest minimum wage rates (shown here) have the highest rates of unemployment (shown here)? So why doesn’t it work out like that? Because there are a lot more factors to an unemployment rate than minimum wage. It’s not as simple as you make it out to be.

By the way - the minimum wage is $5.15, not $5.25 (believe me . . . I know . . .). If the government didn’t set a minimum wage, there would be erroneous amounts of exploitation (and there was LOTS of exploitation before our first minimum wage laws). I understand that you are saddened you don’t have the freedom to work for pennies. The majority of poverty-stricken households and their providers probably do not share your sentiment. They’re the ones who would end up getting stuck with those jobs . . . and inflation doesn’t just stop when you don’t have a minimum wage (or raise it).

Uncle Guido is even more optimistic than Karl Rove. heh heh

If Bush could get into the low 40s, he would become useful on the campaign trail again heh heh

Bush Job Approval Jun 23: 44 Rasmussen

You know, if the Democrats would focus on actually protecting working Americans (as they once did) and shutting down the borders, I’d consider voting for them. I’d vote for the Really Silly Party (of Monty Python fame) if they’d attend to the nation’s business. But with capital (and jobs) heading off to China and other places, and cheap labor pouring into the country, the political elite seem asleep at the wheel.

Minimum wage increases won’t fix much, nor will laissez-faire. We need our manufacturing base back, with the entry level (and relatively high-paying) jobs that such an economy provides. The intelligent use of tariffs could accomplish this.

But isn’t that part of the problem, Dain? That is to say, GM and the boys are taking some really serious hits and I think it is due to the fact that their workers are too protected (ie they are making $30/hr to do what machines are doing in Japan and a lot of their potential profits are going into pensions). Maybe the tariffs and such would help if they were implemented in the sense of fair trade (since China and Japan have tariffs on our goods we have tariffs on their goods), but I think overall we need to be flexible. I am not a proponent laissez-faire economics, but I think the market is trying to tell us it’s not worth it to force ourselves into sectors where we just can’t compete with Indias and Chinas.

Andrew, what sectors CAN we compete in against China and India? Except for a few advanced R&D and quaternary services (which employ a highly select, well-educated workforce), our competitive "edge" is long gone. And the problem with listening to global signals is that, instead of solving problems to make our industries competitive, corporations just relocate to China. The whole setup is suicidal in economic terms.

Yes, that specific because companies only produce products at a certain supply and demand that is based on prices, etc. So if you force them to pay 20% higher wages, that 20% is going to come out of the economy somewhere. When its done moving around it would all reach equilibrium and you would have created a dead weight loss that would be benefits lost to society becuase of minmum wage.

The figures are interesting and they certainly disagree with my point. Of the 18 states with higher minimum wages, 8 had higher than national unemployment, 2 had equal and 8 below national unemployment. My explanation would be regional. Unemployment and economics is extremely regional. The Northeast has low unemployment while the midwest and west coast is high. So if you could just take one state (preferably small) like Connecticut and raise minimum wage, unemployment would skyrocket.

This discussion is bypassing the real argument though. As a free person why don’t I have the right to work for another free person for $5, or $50 and hour if we both agree? Tell me why and I’ll be a believer in minimum wage, even if it does hurt the economy.

Oh Uncle, please don’t pull out one poll that has Bush at 44 and proclaim victory. Real Clear Politics, which is right-wing, puts together great averages of numerous polls on this type of thing. You might check it out.

John -

There is nothing I can say that will satisfy you here. I could run down the usual FDR-esque list of why I believe government intervention into captialism is more efficient, effective, and just plain better (in my opinion) that simply "being free", but that really wouldn’t solve anything.

So, I’m glad we got to the fundamental difference here, but that’s exactly what it is. I understand your concerns with it and respect them. That’s the best I can do.

Real Clear Politics, which is right-wing, puts together great averages of numerous polls

Rasmussen has been right on the money for the past 6 consecutive years. I go with the accurate one exclusively.

By the way, I’m not all that optimistic. After reviewing Rasmussen, I predict 6 senate seats will change hands. 2 Democratic incumbents will lose to Republican challengers and 4 Republican incumbents will lose to Democratic challengers.

But...will the GOP learn from defeat, UG? It blows my mind the way they’ve squandered their dominance.

squandered their dominance.

That’s one way of putting it. Another way is that they never learned how to dominate in the first place. They’ll act all the more as the minority party once they’ve lost a few seats.

I’ve just been thinking of the "nuclear option" when the Dems filibuster the next Supreme Court nominee. When the Pubs try to enact a law prohibiting filibusters, the Dems will filibuster that too.

Oh, I don’t think that Dem power is ever a good thing, but what can you do when the GOP acts so stupidly? Since they are going to take a hit, I just wonder if they will learn anything from it. And...would we have had Reagan without the Peanut King? Or the ’94 GOP landslide without Billary and their hamhanded socialist bid to "reform" medicine? The older I get the more I look at American politics as an engine driven by failure rather than party fails miserably, and the piston moves. It’s very cyclical.

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