Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Late night thoughts

I have a little more stomach for this than Steve Hayward does, but I’ll be in bed shortly as well.

Democrats will have the kind of majority in the House that Republicans now have; that is, they’ll pick up 25-30 seats. The two Democrat-held Georgia seats that RCP rated as toss-ups still seem to be too close to call, though I hold out only the slightest chance that Republicans will pick up one of them (either GA-8, where incumbent John Barrow is clinging to a lead of less than 1,000 votes with 92% of the precincts reporting, according to CNN, or GA-12, where Republican challenger Mac Collins has an almost 1,200 vote margin with 94% of the precincts reporting). I wouldn’t be shocked to see recounts in both races.

One thing to remember: there were an awful lot of close races won by Democrats in a year that was bad for Republicans. It’s going to take a bit of doing to convert those hitherto Republican seats into solid Democratic gains. In some cases--like Heath Shuler’s seat in western North Carolina--they’ll have to be able to establish their independence from the national Democratic Party, or the national Democratic Party is going to have to change to accommodate them. Will the Clintonian "Third Way" be resurrected? Will the netroots put up with this?

Of course, Republicans will have to clean house in order to be able to challenge these vulnerable Democrats in two years. And the situation in Iraq will have to look quite different.

As for the Senate, I think the three seats the Democrats need to take control are all within their grasp. Virginia is a cliffhanger, with Webb up by less than 2,000 votes with 99% of the precincts reporting. There will be a recount. Talent is leading in Missouri, but apparently no votes have been counted from St. Louis or Kansas City, which suggests to me that his prospects are dim. And Jon Tester is leading Conrad Burns in Montana; I suspect we’ve seen the bluest parts of the state report, but I’m not confident that Burns can pull that one out. Which leaves Maryland, which everyone but the Washington Post is calling for Cardin. There’s the small matter of 200,000 absentee ballots I noted here. In other words, we can all go to sleep because control of the Senate won’t be decided for a couple of days.

Update: O.K., I’m not quite ready to call it quits, though perhaps with these results Max Burns and Mac Collins should. Both races are close, but it looks like the Democratic incumbents will hold on.

Discussions - 7 Comments

The Republicans can win back about half of the seats they lost tonight -- in a good year. But about half are not really winnable again, provided that the Democratic incumbent works hard to hold the district and says the right things, which the Dems are very good at. There will be more Republican retirements, and almost no Democratic retirements in 2008 because the Democrats have majority status. Therefore, if a Republican president is elected in ’08, he will be hamstrung by a Democratic House, even if we win back the Senate. This is among the several horrors of Election 2006. This defeat is nothing short of disastrous. It is also hard to argue that "red America" is a viable political entity when districts like J.D. Hayworth’s, Jim Ryun’s, and Mike Sodrel’s are lost to the Democrats and Montana -- overwhelmingly for Bush in 2004 -- elects a hard-left extremist to the Senate.

I agree with David Frisk (see above). All this blather I read about this election being a "disappointment but not a disaster" is plain silly. The Democrats will hold both houses for at least 10 more years, perhaps longer.

Any hope of cementing the Supreme Court are gone ... for a generation or more.

But more importanly, Radical Islam will take notice that America blinked and turned inward. They do not need to wait to see what Democrats will do. They know what they’ll do. I fully expect Islam to step up to the next level of aggressive expansion. The Democrats will talk, but not act.

Bush is now a full-fledged lame duck. His last two years will be that of an impotent short-timer. He will have absolutely no ability to "work with" or otherwise influence the new majority in Congress.

The Republican leadership is utterly incompetent. They have no coherent message; no face of leadership or direction. The vision offered by Reagan is dead.

I doubt we’ll see a moon-bat congress ... that would be too easy to recognize and defeat. The Democrat leadership is too sly for that. They have become the wolves in sheep’s clothing. They will inflict great damage to our country over the next decade or more of their rule. We will not recover.

History will record that 2006 marked the final decline of the United States. I see no reason to hope that any kind of sensible, conservative majority will ever been seen again.

No fair, Joe, adjusting your earlier calls now that things are actually underway and becoming obvious, and making non-predictive predictions!! And anyone can see here (unless it would be changed, but c’mon that would be just too naughty!), that you actually predicted the Dems would gain 15 seats, when they have actually gained 28. You were wrong about Steele, Talent and Burns.

Don in AZ - I’m hardly a fan of most Dems, but your End-of-the-World rant gave me a great laugh. Thanks!

The Republicans lost big time because the country doesn’t like Republican policies and candidates.

Now you may argue that Republicans aren’t the party they used to be, and the party was hi-jacked. And I think most everyone would agree with you.

And then you’d have brought your mind in line with the way the rest of the country feels. Except you still refuse to vote that way.

The fact is that the Democrats are more like the party of Reagan than the Republicans.

Yes, my predictions were wrong.

Another point against blogging - having to eat crow... But, really, I like you all better doing political theory than political "science." Turns out that theorists are no better at predicting politics than our scientific friends (I’m shocked.. shocked...). I say, back to the thing we do best - thinking deep thoughts. Can we get back to that... PLEASE??!!?? Or does another several days or weeks of uncertainty in the Senate condemn us to more "science..."
Fondly, (of course), Patrick

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