Monday, November 13, 2006


Politics is full of highs and lows. Around this time two years ago Republicans celebrated after successfully defending their President from constant, dishonest and unjustified attacks which the far left bellowed for four straight years without coming up for air. We won that election, and knowing what we now know about John Kerry it was probably a very good thing.
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You can’t keep winning forever. The GOP lost last Tuesday after 12 years of almost uninterrupted electoral victories.

Unlike some political parties, we aren’t going to call the American people stupid for handing us a loss. We aren’t going to create fantasies of stolen elections.

Mike DeWine and Kenneth Blackwell lost big in Ohio despite the fact that all Diebold machines are rigged to give 100 votes to the GOP for every one vote cast by an African American.

No, we’re better than that. We’re good losers. And we lost.

After almost six years of one party government, the people have once again divided power among the parties. But will they get what they wanted from their new liberal congressional leadership? Probably not. Let’s examine.

First off, lets make it clear what the American people said a week ago. The message they sent was a clear rebuke of the President’s handling of the Iraq war and Congressional corruption and scandal.

It was not about the President’s domestic agenda or the economy.

Had the American people been upset about those things the GOP would have lost 50 seats in the House instead of 28. Of course despite this fact, newly elected Democrats like Missouri Senator-elect Claire McCaskill continued the class warfare, by promoting boneheaded economic policies like repealing tax-cuts for the top wage earners and putting it towards a tax cut for the middle class. Pretty talk, bad policy.

It’s also incredibly ironic that the day the folks decide to kick the GOP out on their rears was the same day the Dow Jones hit a record high.

By the way, the people did not vote for national health care Senator Clinton. Didn’t you learn anything the last time Congress changed hands.

Next up, Iraq.

After telling us for months leading up to election day that they did not want to “cut and run” Pelosi endorses the king of the “cut and runners” for the post of House Majority leader in John Murtha. So much for moderation.

This is borderline retarded.

If I were Nancy Pelosi, I would be constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure that Steny Hoyer wasn’t following me with a meat cleaver.

We should have known that feel good policy ideas like immediate troop withdrawals and timetables would be the first ones brought forward by the party, which has thus far put forth no sensible solution to our problems in Iraq. That’s just what Democrats do during war- time. But they should tread much more lightly if they want to hold on to their majority for more than two years and have a shot at taking back the White House in ’08.
They don’t yet appear to realize that Ned Lamont lost by 10-points on Election Day.

Within a week of their victory, the Democrats have mistaken the American people’s understandable displeasure with the Bush Administration’s Iraq policy, with an endorsement of the far-left’s anti-growth, anti-War on Terror agenda.

The Democrats who gave the party its new House Majority are mostly moderates. They are not in any way ideologically similar to the Democrats who make up the new House leadership.

These Democrats are now in the precarious position of having to explain to their constituents why the first two things they did when they got to Washington was to vote for a San Francisco liberal as Speaker of the House and give up in Iraq, two things that the American people don’t want.

The situation is similar in the Senate. Again, Jim Webb and John Tester are the two candidates who gave the Dems their Senate majority. They are fairly conservative guys and won by a very slim margin in both of their races. One death in a state with a Republican governor, one unhappy Democrat who decides to jump parties (I’m looking in your direction Senator Lieberman) and everything changes.

In the House, the GOP must detach itself from the leadership that blew it for them in the first place. There are plenty of good candidates out there, but new blood is the key. Hastert is already out and John Boehner should follow.

Same thing in the Senate. Bill Frist is gone as are Rick Santorum and George Allen, who would have been in line for leadership positions. The party needs a friendly center-right face. Sorry Mitch McConnell. Your'e just too grumpy.

Lamar Alexander would be an excellent choice on this front. The capable Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Liddy Dole would also be good choices, bringing a prominent female into the GOP leadership to help counter the media’s love affair with Ms. Pelosi.
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President Bush has lost much of his power to push through legislation, but he pushed through most of the important stuff in his first term so it’s not that big of a deal.
He will have to make some concessions. Rumsfeld’s resignation was the first one, and a modest increase in the minimum wage is another mostly harmless compromise.

While he only has two years left, Bush can use the innate power of his office, as well as the fact that he is ideologically more in step with the electorate than The House leadership, to win battles on the federal budget and veto any tax increase that they manage to get to his desk.

As Clinton showed us in his battles with Congress in the mid-nineties, it is far easier for a president to appear moderate than it is for a 435-member body which must appeal to dozens and dozen of different factions to get anything done. Especially a Congress whose leadership is as far to the left as that of the 110th promises to be. Bush could benefit significantly from this.

Bush also has the power to finally be a real Republican and curb spending. If you thought the last congress loved to spend, wait until you see this one go. It would not surprise me the least bit if Democrats intentionally tried to run up the shrinking budget deficit in order to use it as a tool against Republican’s next time around. Remember, the President gets the blame for bad economic news. Especially a Republican President.

The dynamics of the presidential sweepstakes have also morphed significantly as a result of the election.

George Allen is done. John Kerry is even more done than he was after the ’04 cycle.

Hillary’s stock has risen dramatically among Democrats who owe her big for her help in winning a handful of House seats in New York, and for raising ungodly amounts of cash.
As long as she doesn’t fall into the health care trap again she should be fine.

She wont be anywhere near the Senate for the next two years. She will be in Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina, so she doesn’t have to worry about voting, taking positions or any of that messy stuff.

Speaking of senators with no positions. The Democrats have remained true to the principles of Affirmative Action, by continuing to gush over the possibility of Barack Obama running for President. His qualifications for being made the leader of the free world? He’s black and speaks in complete sentences.

Therefore I’m proposing that freshman Senator Jim DeMint consider running for the Presidency in ’08 as well.

Who? You ask.

Exactly. He’s white.

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John McCain is the one who stands to gain the most from the GOP’s election debacle. He can now position himself as the one who can successfully lead the GOP out of the political wilderness. He can say that if nominated he would have coattails, and he would probably be right. Republicans want to win. If McCain can convince them that he is the only one capable of doing that, then conservatives may hold their noses and choose him over Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, the two men who appear to be emerging as the biggest obstacles to McCain’s presidential ambitions.

Despite all of the changes that have come to pass over the last week however, one thing has not changed. Bush is still the President. He still must do whatever he feels necessary in order to win The War on Terror, and should not be deterred on that front by the political posturing of the opposition party. A bad idea is a bad idea, even if supported by an electoral mandate.

I will leave you this week with an interesting observation made by Michael Barone, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite journalists. For a good quick read check out the Almanac of American Politics.

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President Bill Clinton tried to create a natural majority for his party but fell short. George W. Bush attempted the same for his party but has also missed the mark. The 2002 and '04 Republican majorities were too small to withstand the winds of 2006.
For a dozen years, our politics has been bitterly polarized, dominated by two baby boomer presidents who happen to have personal characteristics that people on the other side of the cultural divide absolutely loathe. Clinton in 1992 and Bush in 2000 both made genuine efforts to run as unifiers, but once in office proved to be dividers.

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Anonymous said...

I really think McCain is toast regarding 2008: He morphed from a 'Straight Talking' moderate independent, to a Jerry Falwell, intelligent design supporting right winger seemingly overnight. And he wants Americans to "Just trust me" regarding sending tens of thousands of extra troops into Iraq? Maybe the 1999 John McCain, not version 2.0...

Matthew said...

So'd you hear about Fox News paying terrorists two million dollars to release their captive journalist, and that those terrorists have pledged to use that money to buy rockets and other weapons? It just hasn't been a good week for your guys, has it?

Falling Panda said...

Actually, nowhere has it been reported that any money came from FNC in exchange for their reporters. Read the news.

travel said...
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Falling Panda said...
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Falling Panda said...
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matthew said...

You're right Roger Ailes himself did not put up the money himself. Of course they won't say they didn't have prior knowledge that the exchage was going to happen.

So, let's just say hypothetically, if you were the one who knew that money was going to be funneled to groups that have committed terrorists acts against Israel and the U.S. would you speak up to stop this from happening?

I understand that people want their family memebers back, but how many good guys are now going to die because of the weapons these groups will buy? How many more people will be kidnapped now that these groups have seen that their strategy works?

Even if no money came from, or at the behest of, FNC, they're not denying that they knew of the transaction. Seems a bit fishy.

Falling Panda said...

Until you have some real evidence of FNC's knowledge in the matter, I'd curb your speculation.

matthew said...

I'll curb mine when you curb your speculations that Americans like Obama and think he could potentially be president because "he’s black and speaks in complete sentences."

pimping said...
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creation said...
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Falling Panda said...
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Falling Panda said...

I don't think Americans know anything about Obama other than the fact that he's a likeable guy and that he's a minority.

He certainly hasn't sponsored any legislation to speak of, or taken a stand on any important issue.
Maybe you can tell me why this untested two year senator is getting so much consideration from those in his party and why other senators who are equally if not more qualified for presidential consideration are not.

I'm not saying he couldn't be president. Hey maybe he'll be the best president we've ever had. Who knows?

But there is no other reason other than the color of his skin and his speaking ability that he is getting Democrats so excited, so early.

Matthew said...

I think it's his charisma and his willingness to forge compromises that have people excited. When you've watched the same old assholes on both sides of the aisle posture endlessly, you're excited by someone who's willing to try to put the bullshit aside. I think he gives people a sense of hope in the same vein as Jack Kennedy.

As for taking positions, have you read his latest book?

Personally I don't give a rat's ass if he's black. I think it would hurt him in a national election because there's still a group of people who would base their vote against him just because of his race. The same way some people won't vote for a female candidate.

Falling Panda said...

Hey may say he's willing to compromise, but his voting record looks more like Ted Kennedy's than Joe Lieberman's or Evan Bayh's.

Speaking of Bayh. He's an attractive candidate, who could potentially win the election. He's been there a lot longer than Obama as well. So why aren't Dem's drooling over him? I think it's simple. Obama's black, and Democrats have a long history of favoring race and gender over qualification in terms of positioning people in power. It's one of the cornerstones of their whole platform.

I think that maybe, maybe 5% of the population would not vote for someone based on their race or gender.

I know it is to the advantage of many to convice the nation that racism is still this huge overwhelming issue, but that's not the way it is when you look at those who actually obtain power in this country.

I think Obama's color would help him nationally and I think it certainly works in his favor with liberal democrats who want to see the so-called "white-male power structure" torn down, in their typical Elijah Muhhamed-esque way.

tortoise said...

nice blog

the brothers lane said...

"Again, Jim Webb and John Tester are the two candidates who gave the Dems their Senate majority. They are fairly conservative guys and won by a very slim margin in both of their races."

What is it about John Tester that leads you to call him a "fairly conservative guy." He supports raising the minimum wage, allowing medicare to negotiate for lower prices, preserving social security, preserving open spaces, he is a sustainable organic farmer, and supports raising gas mileage standards. In fact aside from his pro-gun stance there isn't really too much about his politics that are conservative. And even that is more libertarian than conservative. I think in labeling him a conservative we only sustain the cultural debate that has obscured the much more important economic debate for the past twenty years. Tester is an economic liberal, full stop.