Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Election 2006 myths

National Review Editor Rich Lowry runs 'em down in today's column. Among the standard fare that doesn't hold water in his book:
  • Republican losses were in keeping with typical setbacks for a party holding the White House in the sixth year of a presidency. Gerrymandered districts have made this a much smaller factor in the last 20 years -- Reagan lost five seats in 1986, Clinton gained a few seats in '98 (even though he got smashed in '94) -- so for Democrats to win 29 seats despite the advantages of incumbency is "a big deal."
  • The conservative base, discouraged by the GOP’s doctrinal impurity, didn’t show up at the polls. In 2004, conservatives were 34 percent of the electorate and liberals 21 percent, and this year's numbers were very similar. "The GOP didn’t lose the election with its base, but with independents, who broke against them 57 percent to 39 percent," Lowry said.
  • The GOP was too socially conservative for voters. Voters continue to vote for socially conservative issues such as gay marriage bans, even in greater numbers than they gave to Republican candidates. The key for Democrats, Lowry said, was that they "went out of their way not to antagonize social-conservative voters this year."
  • The election was a great victory for conservative and moderate Democrats. There were a few (e.g. Heath Schuler of North Carolina) but this year's class of Democrats is still overwhelmingly liberal. "[O]nly about five of the 29 Democratic winners in the House can be considered social conservatives," Lowry said. "They will be lonely."
  • President Bush now must give up on the Iraq War. Less than one-third of voters favor withdrawal, and a New York Times poll found that 55 percent of the public favors sending more troops to Iraq. It's an unpopular war, yes, but the election was hardly a referendum on withdrawal.
Lowry does a poor job of trying to explain away another myth -- Republicans lost because they weren’t fiscally conservative enough -- by asking what one thing they could have done to display fiscal discipline. But the issue wasn't one vote -- as this graph at Oregon Catalyst shows, it was a series of decisions over the last six years that gave Republicans pause about Congress.


  • At 11/16/2006 5:21 PM, Blogger Mitchell said…

    Myth #3... LOL

    That's why the first such gay-marriage ban to ever failed happened this time in AZ and don't mention the numerous abortion measures which failed, from South Dakota to right here in Oregon.

    But please, track hard right to shore up your base and watch what happens to the suburban swing vote. Oh, and run on immigration too, that will really help shore up the Democratic latino vote as well.

  • At 11/16/2006 5:35 PM, Blogger Mitchell said…

    Myth #4... More GOP lying to the base it seems. The October CBS/NYT poll said no such thing that 55% of the people favor more troops. Just the opposite.

    (tired to post the actual URL but blogger is blocking it)

    11% favor more troops 24% favor keeping the same number, and 60% favor reducing troop levels or removing all our troops (32% and 28%).

    Only the GOP can lie to the public and its own base via fright-wing mouthpieces like the NRO with totally fraudulent (i.e. lies) about what the poll actually said in order to try and bolster and bullsh*t its base (and the American public).

    Wake up. You are carrying water for liars and frauds.

  • At 11/17/2006 6:05 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Mitchell --

    First -- I give you kudos for using a name I can address instead of going anonymous, but denying access to your profile is almost as bad.

    Second -- Question 66 in the NYT poll:
    Would you favor or oppose sending more U.S. troops to Iraq, if that would help the U.S. to gain control of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and stabilize the country?
    Favor: 55 percent
    Oppose: 37 percent

    That's why the first such gay-marriage ban to ever failed happened this time in AZ and don't mention the numerous abortion measures which failed, from South Dakota to right here in Oregon.

    Let's see: 27 states have passed gay marriage bans, including Oregon, while one has defeated it. Sounds like things are turning around for the gay-marriage proponents, all right.

    Why do you suppose the Massachusetts legislature refuses to allow a public vote on gay marriage? Because they know it would get trounced, even in one of the country's bluest states.

    As for abortion, it's definitely a bellwether when heartland states like Oregon and California defeat abortion measures (yes, that's sarcasm). Yes, South Dakota's went down, but considering it was at the extreme edge of the issue, I'm not surprised.

    Who's bull****ting whom?


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