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Tilting at Windmills

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September 16, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

MIDTERM MADNESS....Ed Kilgore picks up on an interesting point from Charlie Cook that I hadn't especially noted:

As a general rule, election-watchers under the age of 40, regardless of their party or ideology, see the contest for control of the House as fairly close....Observers over age 40, meanwhile, tend to see a greater likelihood of sizable Republican losses. They think that the GOP could well lose more than 20 House seats and more than five Senate seats.

Hmmm. Ed, as a certified Old Guy, puts himself in the optimist camp. "It's hard to find any precedent for a presidential party controlling Congress in the sixth year of an administration that avoids disaster when the electorate is completely sour on the status quo."

Conversely, Young Turk Chris Bowers is cautious. "In my experience, with few exceptions, Republicans have consistently won elections, while Democrats have consistently lost....Most of my friends don't really believe that we will win in November, and while I am not as pessimistic as some, I am certainly not the most optimistic forecaster out there."

This is a little perplexing on both sides. It's true that the midterm elections of 1966 (Vietnam) and 1974 (Watergate) were landslides, but that's a pretty thin data set. Besides, just how sour is the electorate? They might have more to be unhappy about than in 1998, but nothing like Vietnam or Watergate. How do you calibrate that?

As for Republicans always winning elections, that just isn't true. In the past ten elections, Democrats have gained in the House six times. During that same period they've won the presidency two out of five times. Granted, the last few years have been fairly grim, but it just isn't true that Democratic activists under 40 don't know what it's like to win an election.

In any case, since we're being wonkish about this I'll toss out a chart that I think explains more than either of these theories. Up until 20 years ago, wide swings were pretty common in congressional elections. Democrats and Republicans routinely saw gains and losses of 30, 40, or even 50 seats.

But as the chart on the right shows, that all changed in the mid-80s. The House has become remarkably stable since then, with no more than ten seats changing hands each year. The sole exception was the Gingrich-led 1994 election, which I've always considered more a one-off tectonic shift than anything else. Basically, a bunch of conservative southern districts switched to the GOP column all at once instead of switching slowly over the course of a decade. That dynamic isn't going to happen again and doesn't really tell us much.

The overall trend, however, is clear: It's really, really hard to generate a change of more than ten seats in a House election these days. That's the reason that a 20-seat gain is going to be tough for the Democrats to pull off. It's not impossible, especially if Dems focus like a laser beam on voter disgust with Congress (Who controls Congress? Republicans! I can't hear you. REPUBLICANS!!!), but it's going to take both hard work and a bit of luck.

Does that sound about right from someone who's 47?

Kevin Drum 3:08 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (89)

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Hey, good guys, read this and take heart!

http://tinyurl.com/mm6qr

As they say, keeping Pelosi from being speaker is worth killing for, so that is nothing!

Posted by: Al on September 16, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

True it was a one-time happenening and it won't happen again. But it won't UNHAPPEN either. Given its one-time happening produced a 40 vote majority and all other elections have produced a

Posted by: lee on September 16, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

It's not impossible, especially if Dems focus like a laser beam on voter disgust with Congress (Who controls Congress? Republicans! I can't hear you. REPUBLICANS!!!), but it's going to take both hard work and a bit of luck.

Kevin, maybe you should start stating the facts for once instead of just repeating liberal spin coming from Kos. If people don't like the way Congress is acting they should kick out the Democrats and elect more Republicans. One of the horrible things Congress did was to put out the liberal biased partisan Senate 9/11 report that tried to make Bush look bad. As Powerline points out if we want to stop these acts of naked partisanship from the Democrats, we need to get a Republican majority in control of the Senate.

Link

"First the Senate Democrats browbeat a television network into changing a program so it won't reflect badly on a Democratic administration. Then a Senate committee puts out a report that airbrushes history, leaving out the most important evidence of links between Iraq and al Qaeda, for the sole purpose of making a Republican administration look bad. I think it's really important to work hard to get a Republican majority in the Senate, so the Dems won't be able to pull stunts like these!"

Posted by: Al on September 16, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

As they say, keeping Pelosi from being speaker is worth killing for, so that is nothing

Actually what Hannity said that it is a cause worth dying for. Do you have any ideas on how we can take them up on that?

Posted by: Alan on September 16, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

We've all read it, but that doesn't mean it isn't true: computer software allows parties to pick their voters, rather than the other way around. That's why the big swings are now unlikely.

I want truly independent commissions to do the redistricting in each state, not partisan legislatures.

Posted by: Linkmeister on September 16, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

"They might have more to be unhappy about than in 1998, but nothing like Vietnam or Watergate."

HUH?

The Bush Administration has combined Vietnam and Watergate!

If people don't react as strongly, it is not because the scandals are not serious, or the war not costly.

Iraq is not as deadly as Vietnam, but it is on track to cost vastly more in dollar terms, and has far more serious implications for American power and security in the long run.

Abramoff, the K-street project, firing the 3 top CIA officials -- those aren't serious scandals? Illegal wiretapping, illegal imprisonment and torture?

Invading Iraq on a the pretext of WMD doesn't compare to the Tonkin Gulf incident in fakery?

The real story, here, is the complacency of a middle America receptive to the advent of fascism.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder on September 16, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Can't wait to hear the crazed conspiracy theories after this election.

Posted by: rnc on September 16, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Al, I never know when you're moonbat apeshit, when devil's advocate, and when you've been smoking a new supply of crack.

Anyway, Kevin linked to TPM earlier. I'm gonna quote from another recent post there:

As a number of recent reports have made clear, the Republican's GOTV efforts are formidable. The Democrats, despite trying to keep apace, are not in the same league anymore. But you get the sense that many Democrats, accustomed to decades of dominance on the ground, don't yet fully appreciate the disparity.

I was talking to a union political operative last week who told me that it's real difficult to convince union members that campaigns nowadays start well before Labor Day. Meanwhile, Republican street money is already flowing.

Union turnout is going to be critical in several close Senate and House races, so this mindset is a problem.
Kevin, you know that computer programs for redistricting have made it harder and harder to unseat incumbents in states that have redistricting controlled by elected officials or that are otherwise partisan.

That's part of the problem. But TPM weekend leader DK makes clear here it's only half the problem, if that.

Example A: Remember Kerry, at the start of the 2004 general election campaign, saying: "I know how to handle Republicans. After all, I've won multiple Senate elections."

WRONG. You were clueless on how to handle Republicans, having been elected from one of the most liberal states in the nation and never, after your first election, having had a serious GOP challenger, at leaste one from enough to the right to get bare-knuckle on you.

Kevin, I'm over 40, so technically in the Old Guard. But I'm with Chris and other Young Turks on this.

I'll give you 60-40 the GOP keeps control of the House. And the Dems will claim moral victories (as may Kossacks) and wring their hands for two more years, while ginning up to likely lose the 2008 presidential race to boot.

Posted by: Socratic Gadfly on September 16, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Golly!

It looks like the RNC troll-paychecks arrived on time this Friday!
Al taps out his untruths wth such gusto!

Posted by: troglodyte on September 16, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

I want truly independent commissions to do the redistricting in each state, not partisan legislatures.

That's been tried and has failed. I'll bet its the money that plays a biggeer role. Not that gerrymandering isn't part of the problem, but it's probably a smaller part than most people think it is. Look at AZ, it's been a pretty big failure, IMO.

Posted by: gq on September 16, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans control congress and have for four years!

Whitehouse is the only one saying that sort of thing with any force behind it.

Posted by: gq on September 16, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I misplaced the closing blockquote above. The TPM quote is:


As a number of recent reports have made clear, the Republican's GOTV efforts are formidable. The Democrats, despite trying to keep apace, are not in the same league anymore. But you get the sense that many Democrats, accustomed to decades of dominance on the ground, don't yet fully appreciate the disparity.

I was talking to a union political operative last week who told me that it's real difficult to convince union members that campaigns nowadays start well before Labor Day. Meanwhile, Republican street money is already flowing.

Union turnout is going to be critical in several close Senate and House races, so this mindset is a problem.


The Example A is mine.

Posted by: Socratic Gadfly on September 16, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Although only 22 of their 53 House gains in 1994 came from the Confederate states, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, I agree that 1994 was largely the result of a culmination in the decades-long movement of the South to the Republican Party. The movement has continued thereafter, with the result that Democrats are 14 seats worse off in the region now than we were after the 1994 landslide.
The reaction to the ultraconservative dominance of the Republican Party which 1994 produced has been movement away from the Republican party in the Northeast and West Coast, and to a lesser extent in the Upper Midwest and the Southwest. There is at least the potential that all of New England, almost all of New York State, the suburban areas around Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Columbus, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, northern Virginia, the heavily Hispanic areas in Arizona and Nevada, and the remaining Republican enclaves in southern California will shift decisively toward the Democratic Party in the next ten years. All of these are shifts that are already perceptible, but have not yet reached critical mass.
2006 could be the year when that shift picks up major steam, and the momentum could be carried through 2008 if the loss of the House this year produces a dozen or more retirements among Republicans from these areas. With the bribes, junkets, and freebies they've become accustomed to, life in the minority making only their salary may encourage quite a few Republican House members to get out while there's still a market for them.

Posted by: Ron Thompson on September 16, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'm 25, meaning that the first election in which I was able to vote was 2000. If you think the under 40s are pessimistic...

Posted by: keptsimple on September 16, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

The real story, here, is the complacency of a middle America receptive to the advent of fascism.

Sad, but true. Richard Dawkins says 'species in which the interest of the individual depart especially strongly from the interests of the species... could well be more likely to go extinct'.

The same could be said of countries.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on September 16, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Thirty-eight and about 53/47 pessimist/optimist. Redistricting, the financial advantage GOOPers have, the number of voters who prefer emotion to facts (Hi Al!) all make me see an uphill fight for Democrats.

I actually think Bush's tantrum of a press conference yesterday was the best knews for Dems in a while. What could be better than for Repub candidates to pick a fight over national security and have Dems respond: "I stand with John McCain and Colin Powell, my opponent support Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld"? That's why I think KarlCO will back down, at least put the fight off till after the elections.

Posted by: Jim on September 16, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin seems to think that Republican-bashing is enough for the Dems to win elections.

How many more elections do you Dems need to lose before you will get it?

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on September 16, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

I like the graph Kevin, but it really doesn't prove what you state. I'd like to see that same graph - year X number of seats changing parties - extended back further than 20 years, to show what you claim. I don't doubt it, but it would be interesting to see.

Posted by: BRussell on September 16, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Here are prior swings (from wikipedia). If those numbers are right, the median party change in the past 20 years has been 5, whereas the median change from the preceding 20 years was 16. (Using the mean the average swings are 23 and 10, but I think the median is the more appropriate measure here.)

1984: 16
1982: 27
1980: 35
1978: 15
1976: 1
1974: 49
1972: 13
1970: 12
1968: 5
1966: 48
1964: 36
1962: 3
1960: 21
1958: 49
1956: 2
1954: 19
1952: 22
1950: 28

Posted by: BRussell on September 16, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

BRussell wrote: "I like the graph Kevin, but it really doesn't prove what you state. I'd like to see that same graph - year X number of seats changing parties - extended back further than 20 years, to show what you claim. I don't doubt it, but it would be interesting to see."

Kevin hinted at what the graph would look like--the changes would be significantly greater than they are now. Between 1964 and 1984, the average number of seats that changed between parties was 23.4. Between 1986 and 2004, it was 9.9--and that includes 1994 with its weird 54-seat turnover. Between 1964 and 1985, there were only two elections where the change was less than 10, 1968 and 1976. Congress was a much less certain place before the 1986-87 term.

Why did it get so stable in 1985? I don't know, but I have one theory. After the adaption by Paul Volker of monetarism (and after the severe recession that followed), the business cycle has been less extreme. Recessions have been less severe from the mid 80s to the present. Obviously we still have recessions, and they have political effects. But on the face of it, the reduction in volatility in Congress seems to coincide with the reduction of volatility in the business cycle (1994 notwithstanding).

I would like to see a regression of this data going back 50 years or so. Decreasing business cycle volatility might explain the change.

Posted by: RWB on September 16, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

To clarify what I just wrote, if my hypothesis is correct, people vote with their pocketbooks--but not in terms of absolute value, but rather in terms of risk. I have no idea if this is really true--I offer it up for discussion.

In any case, as Kevin observes in his post, it doesn't bode well for Dems. I wish there were a Democratic Newt Gingrich, plotting a revolution. I haven't seen that kind of bomb-throwing leader yet.

Posted by: RWB on September 16, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

RWB we had the same idea, and we came up with approximately the same numbers - that should count for some reliability!

That's an interesting idea about economic stability. Usually people point to gerrymandering and the increased nationalization of the political parties.

Posted by: BRussell on September 16, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

BR--I always thought gerrymandering as well, until I looked at the table you created (I created one for myself). The coincidence really struck me.

Still, computer-aided ultra-gerrymandering only became feasible when the technology got good, which may have been right around 1985. How long after the 1980 census did were new congressional lines drawn? And do they all get drawn by each state at the same time? (I have no idea.)

It could be a combination of the two factors (and other factors that we don't know), of course!

Posted by: RWB on September 16, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

The main reason I think this thing could be a squeaker is that, while the public is sour on Bush and the Republicans, the Democrats are not running a particularly smart campaign, and many of them come across as timid.

Except in the reddest districts, the Democrats should be pushing full out to nationalize the election. In any district where there's a Republican incumbent who's more popular than Bush, the Democrat should be saying "Lots of people like Joe Blow in this district, and for good reason, he's a familiar face and he's a well-meaning person. But after you vote in November, Congress is going to vote in January. He's going to vote for Congressional leadership that will rubber-stamp everything George Bush does and hand out your tax money to Republican cronies, leaving a massive debt that your children will have to pay. I'll vote for Congressional leadership that will hold George Bush accountable and stop him from ruining this country."

Posted by: Joe Buck on September 16, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

51

My guess? Dems p/u 3 Senators and about 17 Reps.
A narrow miss. Maybe just as well, because 2008 is the big one, and an opposition party wants to be careful about the timing on assuming responsibility for policy. Sill...it's frustrating.

I think the Democrats have mis-handled this for years - no vision, no message, no risks. That's the trouble.

Posted by: Andrew II on September 16, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

As someone (me) noted elsewhere: "One of the key reasons for the 1994 House results was the banking scandal. In all, 350 members of Congress were implicated and 77 chose not to even run for reelection. So the door was wide open for a huge swing, and that's what happened, with guys like Dan Rostenkowski and Speaker Tom Foley losing, and a total of 34 incumbent Dems going down."

I still think it's better than 50-50 the Dems take the House in November.

Posted by: JJF on September 16, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Of interest is this study linked to by Donkey Rising earlier this year that downplays the importance of redisticting.

http://www.emergingdemocraticmajorityweblog.com/spsa/spsa.html

Posted by: richsul on September 16, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

You can't beat something with nothing.

I agree that Bush is a less than mediocre prez, I agree that the Repubs deserve to lose the House this year, but it ain't gonna happen with the crew and the policies you folks are advocating.

The tectonic shift that needs to occur is at the center of gravity of the Dem Party, where the nutroots come up with policies that are allergic to the great unwashed that might otherwise be inclined to vote for them.

An example: I'm voting for Heath Schuler here in NC11, against good-time Charlie Taylor, but you guys are going to lose this race because Charlie has effectively tied the Dems to San Francisco Pelosi and "We killed the Patriot Act!!!" Harry Reid. Your jihad against Walmart, the Boy Scouts and sensible judges don't go over very well either.

My recommendation to all you progressive guys comes from Berthold Brecht: If you are unsatisfied with the masses you are given go out and elect another. I'd suggest the nutroots faction emigrate to Canada and let Lieberman and the DLC rewrite your platform. Until then I really don't think you have a chance.

Besides, we always have Diebold.

Posted by: minion of rove on September 16, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Yep.

Odds are a great deal better than 50-50 that the Republicans retain control of the House. 60-40 or even 70-30 sound like good odds to me. The odds that Democrats manage to control both House and Senate in January I put at about 1%: only a little better than infinitesimal.

Oh, and I'm 56 years old.

However, one proviso: if the Republicans lose control in the House, then — due to the built-in "tipping points" that seats gerrymandered for incumbency create — the loss of seats for Republicans would likely be huge. That is, either the Democrats pick up about a dozen seats, or they'll pick up 40-50 seats.

What we're more likely to see, however, is a Republican Congress with only a few seats in the majority (in either house), and that will present a great difficulty in ruling (or at least steamrollering). It will give marginal Republican members more influence on policy if they decide to bolt (or not vote) on an issue. Normally this means more compromise on issues or nothing gets done. I think that is why BushCo is (and will be) pushing Congress to pass certain CYA bills in these last few months before and after the election, so the legal policies on numerous subjects post election are more comfortable for the Administration to contemplate in their last two years in office, and when they leave office.

Posted by: Dave Alway on September 16, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Al: If people don't like the way Congress is acting they should kick out the Democrats and elect more Republicans.

Wow. In what alternative universe does this make any sense at all? Normally I skip over Al's comments but this so Dada maybe I should start reading them again.

Posted by: k on September 16, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Kevin, being in the older group doesn't get it.

"In the past ten elections, Democrats have gained in the House six times. During that same period they've won the presidency two out of five times."

2004 GOP Wins
2002 GOP Wins (GOP Presidential Victory)
2000 GOP Wins (GOP Presidential Victory)
1998 GOP loses seats but still has iron control of Congress
1996 GOP maintains its iron control of Congress (Dem Presidential Victory)
1994 GOP sweeps into power and hell begins

There's the last 6 elections. The point Kevin, is that the GOP has continued to have the power to destroy this country no matter WHAT we have done. Nothing has stopped them. I was 12 years old in 1994, what do you think I remember?

Posted by: MNPundit on September 16, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Well I put the last victory at 2002 instead of 2004. Sorry.

Posted by: MNPundit on September 16, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

I think all you pessimists are forgetting about one thing: congressional seat turnover is related to voter discontent. A given amount of voter discontent may translate to a smaller number of turned-over seats than 20 years ago, but there is a lot more discontent now than since 1994. I predict a 25 seat pick up by Dems.

Posted by: EmmaAnne on September 16, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

From Tradesports.com

Contract BQty Bid Offer AQty Last Vol Chge
Trade SENATE.GOP.2006 1 83.3 84.6 4 83.0 15.3k -1.2
Trade HOUSE.GOP.2006 3 51.4 53.4 1 53.1 38.8k -0.4

GOP retaining the House was cruising in ths low 40s until last week when it jumped to 53. It looks about right to me.

Posted by: blank on September 16, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone that is yelling about the Democratic party not being agressive enough at this point in the cycle doesn`t, I think, understand the "environment" this cycle.

Technology changes (and I`m not just talking about "bloggers" here) has changed the dynamics of the cycle and shortened the "noise" cycle time. Pay attention !

The Democrats have another couple of weeks before they need to become active to do well this time around.

Then, of course, there is the issue of those so called "voting" machines...

(an over 50 person here...)

"...playin with matches in a pool of gasoline..." - Swamp Mama Johnson

Posted by: daCascadian on September 16, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, on the presidential side,things have improved for the Democrats. In 1990, the previous 7 elections only once (1976) produced a healthy showing for the Democrats. Clinton won the presidency with about the same percentage vote as Dukakis lost it. In the last 3 elections, the Democrats have managed close to half the vote. So, younger observers should be more optimistic about the presidency and more pessimistic about congress.

Posted by: diogenes on September 16, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, on the presidential side,things have improved for the Democrats. In 1990, the previous 7 elections only once (1976) produced a healthy showing for the Democrats. Clinton won the presidency with about the same percentage vote as Dukakis lost it. In the last 3 elections, the Democrats have managed close to half the vote. So, younger observers should be more optimistic about the presidency and more pessimistic about congress.

Posted by: diogenes on September 16, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

There is no reason to be optimistic. The Party leadership is losing this. While the Republicans are fighting dirty and hard, the Democrats are not even fighting. They throw tons of money at the same old clueless strategists and pollsters who don't know their asses from a hole in the ground.

I heard the first commercial from the republican slimeball congressman in my area. Guess what? It's about immigration. The Dems could easily have predicted this. All summer Fox News was non-stop pictures of illegal immigrants scrambling over the border. Dems could have countered this by using the phrase "cheap labor republicans" over and over. Should have made cheap labor and republican synonymous. Instead they lined up behind loser legislation that makes them easy targets.

Instead of attacking and attacking and attacking on some of the major republican disasters and unaccountability like Katrina, Iraq, Social Security (KISS) they seem to be hoping people will get it. They won't. They'll focus of Dems being soft on immigration, soft on terror and wanting to raise taxes. Why don't the Dems have anything to counter? Like the "hidden republican tax" (increased health insurance, gas as a result of republican rule). Or the confused and lying leadership and unaccountability for Iraq. Why haven't they lined up war heroes and military brass to swift these bastards before they can even get out of the gate with their soft on terror crap.

The one truly effective Dem commercial (it was brilliant) the Dems pulled because the Republicans started to squawk. Instead of pulling it, they should have set up more airtime. Losers.

Sorry to vent, but the leadership sitting on their rears while they're being set up to lose is sickening.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 16, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

The one truly effective Dem commercial (it was brilliant) the Dems pulled because the Republicans started to squawk.

Sounds about right. What was it?

Posted by: craigie on September 16, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Off the cuff, just relecting.

I think as you get older you have more experience, or you think you do, and trust your judgement to a greater degree, and don't arrive at conclusions in the same way: either so quickly or so slowly depending on the matter.

Self-observation, being on the long side of this observation: Run-in to 2004, I really thought that common sense would prevail and the voters would turn against Bush; the belief coming from the certainty that voters would see through the lies. The closer we got to the election the more incredulous I became until I had to admit that I was wrong and the wool had truly been drawn.

So my non-scientific deduction would be that the over 40s make up their minds early and are harder to change. Looking at age oriented voting habits, it will take a considerable effort to move those votes of the over 40s.

I'm hoping the Republicans will be crushed, but I'd be a lot happier if I knew that the Democratic Party would do right with what they get.

How do we know? They're silent even on moral issues.
============
Al et al, just to beat you to it, the repugnuts have no morals and the proof is out there.

Posted by: notthere on September 16, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Craigie, don't remember the title, but it touched on the monumental failures of republican leadership - the horrors of Katrina, Iraq and really highlighted Dem positions. Republicans squawked because they claimed the images of Iraq were off limits. Dems caved apparently because of some house member from S.C.

Maybe someone else here remembers and can drag it up on the web. It was powerful.

Posted by: Chrissy on September 16, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm over 40 and I'm 100% pessimistic. I look at the individual races, and I can't see where the necessary upsets will come.

I cringe when I hear Democrats predict that the discontent of the electorate will restore a Democratic majority in the house. When the inevitable occurs, the media will spin our failure to retake the majority as a brilliant Victory for conservatives. The Democrats will seem like double losers, and the Republicans will claim they have a mandate from the people.

I would be thrilled if it happened, but politically, we should anticipate the worst. The stunning upset is a much more satisfactory narrative than the comeback that falters.

Posted by: PTate in MN on September 16, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote "During that same period [1986 to 2004] they've [Democrats] won the presidency two out of five times." By both the national popular vote, and the electoral vote based on the votes lawfully cast (not all of which were ever counted) Democrats won the presidency at least three times: 1992, 1996, and 2000. As for 2004, I don't think we will ever know the truth.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on September 16, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Diebold, Sequoia, ES&S.

There will be no change in control.

Posted by: angryspittle on September 16, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Very good post by Kevin. But I'm not sure history provides all that much guidance in predicting future elections. And if only 23 of the 53 seat change in 1994 was from Southern states, how can Kevin be correct is assessing 1994 as a southern phoenomena?

In any event, incumbent protection through redistricting is the principal issue that has operated to keep change low in recent years and probably will do so again this year. It also is probably a bad idea and definitely not what the founders had in mind. I guess Iowa has legimate non-gerrymandered districts? Anywhere else where it has been a success?

As to this year, I think dems gain less than 10 in the house and 3 or less in the Senate. I don't know if the repubs will successfully exploit the issue, but the democrat cast of characters (from Pelosi to all the old very liberal prospective committee chairs) is a very scary, weak group that presumably a clear majority of the country would not like to see in charge of the house if they knew who they were. How can the dems put a "San Francisco liberal" at the top? Don't the smart dems realize the problem? It would probably be worse if she becomes speaker, because her liberalism and inarticulateness/shallowness will be there for all to see.

Posted by: brian on September 16, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

I would be thrilled if it happened, but politically, we should anticipate the worst

Those who expect the worst usually get just that.

Posted by: Reprobate on September 17, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

I've said that if gas prices are below $2.50 by election day, the GOP would hold both Houses. With gas prices expected to be at or below $2, I believe that the GOP will suffer only nominal losses, no more than 5 in the House, 1 or 2 in the Senate.

Sorry guys, no power for you.

Posted by: Chicounsel on September 17, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

"aggressive" yes! But in what way? And about what?

Aggressive about 100% Port inspections, and better body armor...and, you lose: aggressive about the wrong issues. (Biden)

Agressive about bring the troops home and "Bush lied", with smash-mouth political ads...and you lose. (Kos)

OR
Very low-key and smooth, about bring the troops home, and reduce hassle at the airport...and YOU WIN.

Nobody gets this? Better policies, and no nasty campigning...is that so bad?

Posted by: Andrew II on September 17, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

RWB... monetarism is part of it. The larger part, though, as detailed in "What's the Matter with Kansas," is that many people don't vote their economic interests. There, you have to turn to GOP politicking on two hot-button moral issues for your explanatory power.

Dave Alway, about 1 pct sounds right for Dems taking over both houses.

Minion of Rove, et al, I voted Green in 2004, will vote a Green if she officially qualifies as write-in under TX law to run against semi-semi-liberal Dallas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. So, personally, if the Dems don't know how to win an election, and do so on issues as well as politicking, I'm not crying. And I wouldn't mind living in Canada.

Cascadian: Dems are WAYYY behind the curve on Get Out The Vote work.

Posted by: Socratic Gadfly on September 17, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

"Ed, as a certified Old Guy, puts himself in the optimist camp. "It's hard to find any precedent for a presidential party controlling Congress in the sixth year of an administration that avoids disaster when the electorate is completely sour on the status quo."

1936. The Democratic realignment had really begun in 1930 (with significant GOP midterm losses), and although confidence in FDR remained above present levels of support for Mr. Bush, there was growing unease in the country that the New Deal had gone "too far," and a rabble rousing new generation of Republicans (the Lost Generation Taft cons) was gaining momentum. It really wouldn't be until 1938 though (which happened to be the year Taft was elected Ohio senator) that the opposition movement would begin to see significant gains.

To the extent that there was a realignment-that-followed-the-beginning-of-a-major-crisis-in-American-history this time around (if you're following the analogy), it was nowhere near as dramatic in 2002 and 2004 as it was in 1930 and 1932. As others have noted ad nauseum, the political geography of this time looks more like the Civil War and Reconstruction era than any other time.

I believe the odds are stacked against major Democratic gains. There is the gerrymandering, the turnout (which favors Republicans in most off year elections, especially [obviously] in red districts and states), illegal immigration, superior resources, often un-compelling Democratic candidates, often nimble Republican candidates (who will wisely run on local and regional issues), and other issues.

But I believe the Democratic chances in coming years are good, both for the fiery left-libertarian generation xers (like Hackett; war and authoratarianism-fatigue will continue to set in - just as it did in the 1930s and 1940s with FDR's messianic and often autocratic style of governance...the kossacks will be the beneficiaries in the some places), and for the centrist, Wilkie Democrats (like Hillary Clinton [who I believe will be our next president]).

Posted by: Linus on September 17, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

But I believe the Democratic chances in coming years are good, both for the fiery left-libertarian generation xers (like Hackett; war and authoratarianism-fatigue will continue to set in - just as it did in the 1930s and 1940s with FDR's messianic and often autocratic style of governance...the kossacks will be the beneficiaries in the some places), and for the centrist, Wilkie Democrats (like Hillary Clinton [who I believe will be our next president]).

Posted by: Linus on September 17, 2006 at 1:45 AM

Hillary, president? Oh, God. (And I'm a liberal.)

Posted by: Vincent on September 17, 2006 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

We all know that Al is in favor of a one-party state. According to him, the worst thing to happen this decade was the appointment of a so-called bipartisan hearing into Bush's 9/11 fuckups. They don't make that kind of slip in North Korea.

Posted by: Kenji on September 17, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

Can we issue a moratorium on the phrase "focus like a laser beam"? It's overused, and lasers aren't even focused to begin with.

Posted by: matt on September 17, 2006 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats can not benefit from the "sleaze factor":

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/16/washington/16jefferson.html?hp&ex=1158465600&en=84a5254a5879c293&ei=5059&partner=AOL

Posted by: republicrat on September 17, 2006 at 3:25 AM | PERMALINK

Socratic Gadfly >"...Dems are WAYYY behind the curve on Get Out The Vote work."

That is sooo 19th Century

Why ?

Because here in the 21st Century if american citizens are so fu*kin infantile that they can`t get off their a** and vote w/o someone babysitting them then they DESERVE to have all this go down the rat hole & end up suffering the consequences

NO MORE BABYSITTING & NO MORE WHINING ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES !!!

Boo Hoo Hoo that the Blue Meanies ignored some ink on a piece of paper the populace didn`t have THE BALLS to defend; reality time clowns, the crooks are in control

If the American populace had any BALLS at all there wouldn`t be any question about the integrity of the electorial process or electronic voting machines & millions of people would be in the streets every week DEMANDING honesty

Oh so sorry to interrupt your oh so hip cocktail parties with reality

gutless is the word for this lack of sane behavior

"As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." - Voltaire

Posted by: daCascadian on September 17, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

Bruce Wilder: "The Bush Administration has combined Vietnam and Watergate! If people don't react as strongly, it is not because the scandals are not serious, or the war not costly."

It's because FOX held an American Idol marathon on Election Day, and people stayed home to vote for that.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 17, 2006 at 5:21 AM | PERMALINK

They might have more to be unhappy about than in 1998, but nothing like Vietnam or Watergate.

You sure about that?

Posted by: nota bene on September 17, 2006 at 5:53 AM | PERMALINK

minion of rove: I agree that Bush is a less than mediocre prez, I agree that the Repubs deserve to lose the House this year, but it ain't gonna happen


shorter minion: america is screwed...but we win!

Posted by: mr. irony on September 17, 2006 at 6:35 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Irony nails it.

Bush was very beatable in 2004, the fact that the feckless gigilo you guys put up got 47% of the vote proves that. Mondale or Dukakis were ten times more qualified than Jean Francois, yet they didn't come close to his vote totals or percentages. I honestly think if you had run Edwards, Gephardt, hell, maybe even Dean, you could have won that election -- but noooo, you had to have a war hero to bamboozle the boobs with.

Now we have another election that the Repubs truly deserve to lose, and you guys are muffing it again. The reason you don't attack on the cheap labor immigration issue [a true winner if you had the balls] is because your multi-culti caucus hates middle American culture so much they want us to be swamped with immigrants - poor working stiffs be damned. You whine about gerrymandering but refuse to look at the most obvious culprit - the Voting Rights Act that concentrates Dem votes for a few charlatans and clowns like Conyers, Hastings, Jefferson, etc. If you ever corrected this bantustan legislation that Lee Atwater suckered you into, you would be a lot more competitive.

It doesn't really matter though, we always have Diebold.

Posted by: minion of rove on September 17, 2006 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

I know you don't have to be an obsessive worrier to be a Democrat but is sure helps.

Right now should be about getting the message out.

Posted by: Ron Byers on September 17, 2006 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 搬场 11 12 搬场 机械 15 16 17 18 19 搬场 注册 泵阀 彩票 设计 25 泵阀 机械 泵阀 化工 搬场 工业 搬场 注册 安防 搬场 机械 化工 泵阀 工业 化工 工业 工业 搬场 民品 安防 机票 机票 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 设计 仪器 旅游 彩票 62 63 彩票 65 66 67 彩票 69 70 71 72 搬场 74 安防 安防 77 78 79 80 81 82 培训 数码 泵阀 租车 注册 民品 机械 机票 化工 安防 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 化工 工业 搬场 化工 租车 安防 注册 泵阀 机械 机械 机械 机械 搬场 126 127 设计 设计 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 民品 机票 化工 工业 安防 搬场 搬场 安防 安防 机械 设计 机械 155 156 157 158 159 泵阀 161 162 163 164 165 166 泵阀 工业 搬场 安防 171 172 173 民品 租车 机票 177 化工 租车 工业 搬场 租车 安防 安防 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 安防 搬场 搬场 工业 化工 仪器 仪器 化工 数码 数码 机票 租车 民品 民品 民品 民品 注册 数码 机票 机票 机票 仪器 旅游 机票 机票 223 224 225 彩票 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 安防 化工 化工 化工 化工 化工 工业 工业 工业 工业 工业 设计 搬场 安防 安防 搬场 数码 工业 租车 民品 旅游 数码 260 仪器 262 263 264 医疗 266 267 268 租车 270 培训 培训 数码 数码 民品 仪器 仪器 旅游 旅游 化工 化工 化工 化工 彩票 化工 工业 工业 工业 工业 机械 机械 机械 机械 设计 设计 设计 设计 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 设计 安防 仪器 化工 注册 泵阀 彩票 搬场 安防 安防 安防 安防 安防 安防 租车 注册 民品 机票 工业 工业 搬场 搬场 安防 安防 民品 民品 机票 机票 机票 机票 机票 化工 化工 化工 化工 化工 工业 工业 工业 工业 工业 搬场 搬场 搬场 搬场 搬场 安防 安防 安防 安防 安防 设计 旅游 仪器 数码 租车 租车 注册 民品 民品 机票 仪器 民品 机票 化工 机票 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 工业 391 搬场 393 394 395 396 397 398 安防 民品 机票 化工 工业 搬场 安防 仪器 仪器 安防 工业 注册 泵阀 彩票 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 民品 442 民品 444 民品 446 民品 448 449 民品 451 452 453 454 455 456 仪器 458 459 工业 461 注册 463 机票 泵阀 机票 机票 彩票 机票 机票 设计 化工 化工 化工 化工 化工 工业 工业 工业 工业 工业 搬场 搬场 搬场 搬场 搬场 安防 安防 安防 安防 安防 民品 民品 民品 机票 机票 机票 化工 化工 化工

Posted by: dd on September 17, 2006 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

I've said that if gas prices are below $2.50 by election day, the GOP would hold both Houses. With gas prices expected to be at or below $2, I believe that the GOP will suffer only nominal losses, no more than 5 in the House, 1 or 2 in the Senate.

Sorry guys, no power for you.

WinnetkaCounsel translated: I think my countrymen are so fucking stupid and shortsighted they'll vote solely on gas prices, and I'm so stupid and shortsighted I think this is something to crow about.

Between this and mr. irony's accurate summary of minion of rove as "America is screwed, but we win," one could get nostalgic for Republicans who actually had a political philosophy. There was a time, as recently as Richard Nixon, when even Republicans attempted, however unsuccessfully, to discern the path to wisdom and virtue in governing.

"Fuck our children and grandchildren as long as we take the election" is not a stand-in for a coherent ideology; it's the very definition of barbarism.

Posted by: shortstop on September 17, 2006 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

I think shortstop's analysis of my comments is pretty indicative of the general Dem problem - when anyone tries to offer constructive criticism fingers go in the ears and a loud yelling of LALALALALA-can't-hear-you begins.

America is screwed and the Repubs win because you guys would rather stay supine before an unworkable coalition of archaic special interest groups than adapt to current reality and give the country a real alternative.

Posted by: minion of rove on September 17, 2006 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

"The reason you don't attack on the cheap labor immigration issue [a true winner if you had the balls] is because your multi-culti caucus hates middle American culture so much they want us to be swamped with immigrants - poor working stiffs be damned."

What a bizarre notion.

Posted by: Lucy on September 17, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

The '08 Democratic Platform
1. Open borders
2. Jihadists rights
3. Run away from conflict
4. America second to the UN
5. Increase taxes
6. Isolationism

And if you were really honest with the voters, you would include:

7. Same sex marriage
8. Extreme regulatation of industry to thwart global warming
9. Destroy Walmart

It's hard to find something to vote for there.

Posted by: Jay on September 17, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

The '08 Republican platform:
1. Cheap labor
2. Torture at will
3. Stay the curse
4. Unilateral disaster
5. Hidden taxes
6. Conflict everywhere
7. No rights for gay couples
8. Global warming and pollution
9. Low wages, no health insurance
10. Prison for women who abort
11. No accountability

Posted by: Chrissy on September 17, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

The 2008 Republican Platform

1. Anything can be solved with a tax cut for rich people.
2. Anyone besides wealthy, white Anglo-Saxon males are a threat to American society.
3. America needs to kill more people to produce peace in the world.
4. All government is bad, except for the military. We will spend all of your children's money on military items, no excuses.
5. Pollution is a good thing.
6. Gays should not be allowed to marry, in fact, we should kill them (see #3).
7. We must protect the American flag before we do anything about America's social problems. Anyone who doesn't respect the flag should be killed (see #3).
8. On second thought, America doesn't have any social problems.
9. Evangelical white Christians must be in all leaderhip positions. Any other race or religion should refer to #3.
10. We need to kill more people.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 17, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Being under 40 (though by as much I think I'd like), I have to go with Chris. He's right about the importance of falling gas prices on the upcoming election, although his tinfoil hat notion of the cause of them is silly.

Those who think that voter discontent will carry the Dems to control of the HoR should remember that rampant gerrymandering will blunt much of it.

Posted by: Brian on September 17, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Instead of having to sneak money into the Repug coffers, all the oil boys have to do is drop their prices - Big spike in November.

While most people polled indicate disgust in Congress, most appear to like their Reps, so with Gerrymandering, stay tuned.

However, I do have a very good rep - Rep(D) Earl Blumenhauer, almost as good as my last one, Jim McDermott from Seattle.

Thanks, Shortstop, for Loaiza as well.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 17, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Pretty funny, Chrissy and Conservative Deflator, if it weren't so painfully true.

Ah, Paul. Had a fantastic afternoon at Wrigley yesterday--I don't need to 'splain why, other than the gorgeous weather, it was so much fun--and throughout our game, I was also watching the progress of the As on the scoreboard. Because I am a far better person than you are, I was actually thinking, "Oh, Paul's having a fine afternoon--good for him."

Posted by: shortstop on September 17, 2006 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

this, too:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/09/17/MNGIHL7B4S1.DTL

to retake control of the senate, Dems need conservative Dems like Ford and Casey.

Like it or not, and they generally don't, Republicans need more RINOs and Democrats need more DINOs. without RINOs and DINOs, they can't have the majority, and without the majority they can't have the Speaker and the committee chairmanships.

Posted by: republicrat on September 17, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy and deflator, at least my post had some resemblance of the truth. And you really should come up with a different shtick, of course, what do they say about imitation? (kind of like the Dems plan towards GWOT: looks a lot like the current one).


Paul, your best Senator was McDermott? I feel sorry for you.

Posted by: Jay on September 17, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

The problem in recent years is not so much redistricting as the self-reinforcing prophecy it created. Redistricting concentrates Dems and spreads R's, thus creating more marginal R-held seats. But fewer and fewer seats have been contested, because the Dems believed the redistricting myth. In 2004 half the money spent on House races went to 11 contests. The Dems did not see the value of spreading the field by contesting more races.

This year is different. The Dems have much more money, almost achieving parity with the R's. They have many more good candidates and the Dem Party and other organizations are spending money in many more races than in the past. This, combined with the sour national mood, will require the R's to defend many more races, including those no one would have considered unsafe even 6 months ago. They have a good turnout operation, but it will be needed in so many races that it's value will be diluted. I think the Dems can take 20 plus seats if they keep up the effort.

Posted by: Mimikatz on September 17, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Conservative Deflator.
You just about covered it (lol), but where are the gays and Mexicans? Sure general xenophobia is a winderfully useful thing, but Hitler had his specifics, and so do the Repugsif only at election time.

Posted by: Kenji on September 17, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

"WinnetkaCounsel translated: I think my countrymen are so fucking stupid and shortsighted they'll vote solely on gas prices, and I'm so stupid and shortsighted I think this is something to crow about."

Posted by: shortstop on September 17, 2006 at 9:43 AM

Shortstop:

My point about gas prices was that if they go down significantly by election day, a great source of voters' anger would be lessened. This diminished anger will result in a lower turnout among marginal voters. The election will then turn on getting one's base out.

You will agree that if the election is determined by whose base comes to vote, the GOP will have a better outcome than if the outcome is determined by an increase of pissed off voters who will be voting to "throw the bums out."

Since you guys pride yourselves of being members of the "reality based community," you better start dealing with that reality. No 1994 outcome in favor of the Dems this year.

Oh, and I'm not in Winnetka, but in the heart of the red oasis, DuPage County, in the otherwise blue state desert known as Illinois.

Posted by: Chicounsel on September 17, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I want to see this huge Republican GOTV surge on the ground before I believe in it.

The last few elections, we've heard about all these "late" Republican voters...at precincts that were empty.

Meanwhile, we had all those Democrats lined up around the block and no sign in the ballot counts that they'd been there in such numbers.

When we can see the Republicans actually coming to the polls, and hand-count all the ballots and show that they were really there, then I will believe all this stuff. Until then, I have no reason to believe the Republicans have won a presidential election (and certain Congressional seats) since 1988.

Posted by: Avedon on September 17, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

This year is different. The Dems have much more money, almost achieving parity with the R's.

Is that true? I read that the Reps have about 6 times the money that Dems have. I am not saying what I read is absolutely true, just wondering out loud.

Also, what about the distribution? The Dems have loads of money in Dem safe areas like California, but what about the contested districts (if there are any)?

Posted by: republicrat on September 17, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

The RNC has much more money than the DNC. The DSCC has much more money than the RSCC (Senate). The RNCC has somewhat (but not a lot) more than the DCCC (House). Dem challengers have been doing well, some raising more money than the R incumbents, although most incumbents have more cash on hand. Overall, the Dems are only a little behind the R's, much better than in past years.

Posted by: Mimikatz on September 17, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'm 42, and while over the long haul I believe the Republican party will be ruined for generations once enough 'mericans wake up, for now--malheuresement--I'm somewhere between PTate and angryspittle.
Giving Mark Crispin Miller a listen is not a bad idea.
The relative paucity of recognition on this thread that our country is not a functional democracy at present is cause enough to ring the alarum. However, eventually I believe the margins will be so wide there will be no way of faking the country into believing exit polls could be so wrong.

Posted by: Cassandro on September 17, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

I want to see this huge Republican GOTV surge on the ground before I believe in it.

The last few elections, we've heard about all these "late" Republican voters...at precincts that were empty.

Meanwhile, we had all those Democrats lined up around the block and no sign in the ballot counts that they'd been there in such numbers.

When we can see the Republicans actually coming to the polls, and hand-count all the ballots and show that they were really there, then I will believe all this stuff. Until then, I have no reason to believe the Republicans have won a presidential election (and certain Congressional seats) since 1988.
Posted by: Avedon on September 17, 2006 at 2:11 PM

So you're delusional, why should the reality-based community care?

Posted by: Brian on September 17, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

The relative paucity of recognition on this thread that our country is not a functional democracy at present is cause enough to ring the alarum.
Posted by: Cassandro on September 17, 2006 at 3:04 PM

And by that do you mean that Dems are not winning elections?

Posted by: Brian on September 17, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Pelosi...blah blah...inarticulateness/shallowness will be there for all to see.

You fucking piece of noisy shit. One word...

Bush

Posted by: ckelly on September 17, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

With gas prices expected to be at or below $2, I believe that the GOP will suffer only nominal losses...

Yes and that is a Bush/Rep/big oil conspiracy I can sink my teeth into.

Posted by: ckelly on September 17, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

The neo-con Republicans are in the final stages of their "hostile takeover" of America. Remember, the neo-con Republicans claimed they were going to run the White House like a corporation with Bush and Cheney being the CEOs, and their ultimate goal is the "hostile takeover" of our democracy.

Just look at Iraq and the "hostile takeover" that occurred in 2003 to know what BushCorp has in mind for America. Look at the CPA in Baghdad, packed with a bunch of loyal "culture of corruption" Republicans. See that has worked out. In other words, BushCorp viewed Saddam Hussein's Iraq as another corporation that required a "hostile takeover," after which they'd be able to put in place all their neo-con wet dreams, running the new Iraq like any other corporation will new management. Wow, and look at how that's worked out.

So, in our country, BushCorp and all the neo-con fools, have decided to get rid of anything, and anyone, that might thwart their "hostile takeover" over our democracy. The U.S. Constitution? The Bill of Rights? BushCorp "hostile takeover" attorneys like are working overtime to negate these. The U.S. news media? Yep, same thing. This "hostile takeover" plan has been dreamt of for over twenty years, with media ownership and media consolidation being a top priority of the "hostile takeover" neo-con Republicans. Voting and vote-counting procedures? Same thing. Mandate by law the change in our voting procedures that turn voting over to Republican-controlled voting machine companies...while not requiring a paper trail. Stalin would have been so proud. The courts? Pass laws stating that the federal courts are forbidden to rule on the constitutionality of whatever the "hostile takeover" neo-con Republicans are doing. The U.S. Congress? BushCorp just uses "signing statements" to declare what laws they'll enforce and which laws they won't, as part of their "hostile takeover" strateg(er)y. Our nation's military? Slip into a congressional bill a provision that strips our nation's governors of control over their state's national guard, giving control to BushCorp, the "hostile takeover" corporation. And at the same time, give a no-bid $385 million contract to Halliburton to build "detention centers" around our country, for immigration and "other purposes."

I do believe our beloved democracy is facing a "hostile takeover" attempt and it is up to all of us shareholders and workers in America to stop this "hostile takeover." Hey, just look at what's happening over in Iraq as a way of understanding what America will look like if the BushCorp/neo-con "hostile takeover" of America succeeds.

This is what Democrats should be talking about: "hostile takeovers" and corporate Republican thugs. Otherwise, our children will pay the price just as the children over in Iraq are paying the price for the neo-con Republicans insanity.

Posted by: The Oracle on September 18, 2006 at 4:38 AM | PERMALINK

in addition to the 'southern realignment there were other reasons for the Republican blowout in 1994.

1) check kiting scandal
2) majority minority districts shifted the partisan makeup of many districts after 1990 census
3) Tony Coehlo's DLC/bigmoney strategy
4)poor politics by Clinton administration mishandling both gays in the military and healthcare reform
5) Clinton's penis (CLENIS)- I don't know what it was doing in 1994 but from what I have read in the Washington Post CLENIS is always up to no good and is responsible for most of what is wrong in this country

Posted by: 1994 end the Democratic restoration on September 18, 2006 at 5:15 AM | PERMALINK

Considering that most congressional districts have been jerrymandered to hell, congressional elections tend to be like voting in the old Soviet Union.

Posted by: Red on September 18, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

ckelly,

Paid $2.13 in NJ yesterday for gas and wholesale prices are down another $.02 today. With continued cool weather, lower demand, higher capacity and already sky-high inventories and no storm activity on the horizon prices are apt to keep on falling.

It's also interesting that in NJ the Democratic Candidate for Senator, Menendez is under an investigation for corruption. With gas prices as low as $1.50, low heating costs and a wide corruption scandal the field doesn't look good for Democrats. It's also true that in PA Santorum has closed within the margin of error while the NYTs has reported the GOP is doing much better than expected in NY and NH.

Nancy is going to be disappointed again.

Posted by: rdw on September 18, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, it sounds like all that hand-holding Bush does with Saudi princes is starting to pay off at the pump!

Posted by: Red on September 18, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Red,

Every little bit helps.

In fact this is market fundamentals finally starting to chase some speculation out of the maeket. Inventories in the USA are the highest they've been since 1997. Despite the fact there is still some Katrina rebuilding to be finished regarding Gulf production and refining yet production is near all time highs with capacity utilization at 93% which is normal for this time of year.

There's also a ton of things going on to increase and diversify supply and to hold down demand. The huge investment in the Canadian Tar Sands alone will add nearly 350,000 barrrels of capacity per year through 2012. All of this is destined for the US market. Further they continue to find small but still commercial sized pools of oil in the same region. Add to just that investment the huge inceases in Ethanol production which will eventually replace 10% of gasoline demand. Plus just two weeks ago big oil announced the discovery of a major find in the deeper gulf which will in a few years produce as much as 1M a day.

Just these 3 developments could easily displace 40% of non-North American imports.

This does not cover 1,000 smaller efforts to increase clean coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar and wind power as well as other deep sea pools of oil.

The demand side is also promosing. Demand was down 1.6% in 2005 despite strong economic growth and it's running down in 2006 as well. This is before the auto industry adjust fully as well as appliance and electronic manufactures as well as industry, lighting, A/C., etc. Today OPEC lowered demand forecasts again for the 4th Qtr by 350,000 barrels a day.

The Saudi's have been quite concerned run away prices will lead to over-investment on the supply side as well as in conservation such that OPEC loses control of markets as they did in 1980.

It would be the Saudi's worst nightmare to see a real breakthrough in clean coal technology or ethanol production or solar or whatever. They could lose controil quite easily.

Posted by: rdw on September 18, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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