Down to the Wire

Saturday, October 14, 2006
From Captains Quarters :

We're a little more than three weeks out from the midterm elections, and a sense of pessimism can be sensed from the Right. It's expressed best, although briefly, by Power Line, which takes a look at the polling reports at Real Clear Politics and sees a "sea of blue". Dafydd at Big Lizards sees most of the races that give Power Line the blues as too close to call. Hugh Hewitt remains as optimistic as ever, but Hugh is an undying font of optimism anyway.

I'm inclined to lean towards Dafydd's analysis, which you should read in full. The GOP will no doubt lose seats in the midterms, but I'm not sure that the Democrats have enough momentum to wrest control of either chamber. The Senate races are more of a national campaign, but the Democrats have to pick up six seats -- and they're likely going to lose New Jersey, which makes that difficult. They could lose Maryland as well; Steele's close to Cardin and the GOTV efforts there will make the difference. Mike DeWine has rebounded against Sherrod Brown in Ohio, but that's a day-to-day thing at best.

I think Ed is right and the Republicans still have a chance to hang onto their majority. But this is not the time for the Malkins and the Noonans and the Frums and the Wills and the Reynolds to be throwing their usual little hissy fits. Years ago my mother told me that in her high school typing class they typed the following phrase over and over again:

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

Under some cirucmstances I would not be adverse to seeing a change in party, but not now. The Democrats are simply not up to it.

From AJ :

The Democrat party was leading all the committees and held the gavel, and are the ones who actually authorized the Iraqi invasion.

[I]n a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions.

Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133.


That was on October 11th, 2002. Before the elections and a clear signal to America (because it was before the elections) of where the Democrats stood on the issue. In fact, the Democrats were more ready to go to war with Iraq in 2002 than they were to free Kuwait and drive Saddam away from Saudi Arabia in the first golf war!

This is what I am talking about when I say the Democrats are not up to it. They say whatever works for them at the time. It matters not if it contradicts what they said an hour and a half ago. They never assume responsibility for anything, especially anything challenging and hard. The Democrats are like Eddie Haskell trying to cover his ass with Mrs. C.


Barry Dauphin said...

I think some of the folks you mentioned will still be "in business" even if the Dems take over, since they write op-ed pieces. It might even be good for "their business". I think some others have gottern tired and demoralized fighting the enemy and the "loyal" opposition at the same time.

loner said...

...they do show the urgency of focusing on the winning messages and policies that won three straight elections for the Republicans in the final three weeks of this campaign.

Fact: The Republicans lost a net of 4 Senate and 2 House seats while Al Gore got 500,000+ more pointless votes than the President in 2000.

No prediction yet, but today I don't see the Democrats losing a single seat in either the House or Senate. 1994 in reverse.

terrye said...


We will see. I hope not because Pelosi makes my skin crawl.

I mean that.

loner said...

I don't see the Democrats losing a single seat in either the House or Senate.

Well, there is the Senate seat in Connecticut, but I'm giving myself a pass there as the official Republican candidate is polling at less than 5% and the Independent incumbent has said he'll caucus with the Democrats should he win. That race is one for the books.

loner said...


I can't write that I'll be sad if she has the job for at least a couple of years. She'd be the first Speaker from California after all.

It's been a long time since a politician made my skin crawl. Immunity from long study and familiarity? Perhaps. Or maybe it's just my abiding confidence that the framework of laws under which I'm governed won't be overthrown by men (or women) in the forseeable future.

Fresh Air said...


I'm not sure exactly what your point is. Democrats most certainly will not win all the open seats. Whether all their incumbents win is another matter. My guess is they will hold almost all of their incumbencies.

But that never is the issue in off-year elections. Two things drive electoral changes: turnout and open seats.

On the Senate side, my guess is Talent, Dewine and Burns win, while Santorum loses. Probable GOP pickup in New Jersey with possibles in Maryland, Minnesota and Michigan. Possible Democrat pickup in Tennessee. Net change +-2. No change in control.

Republicans have already given up somewhere between three and four safe House seats due to their stupidity: Foley, DeLay, Ney and (possibly) Kathryn Harris.

True scandals are also a big driver, but the degree to which they will affect this election is difficult to say, as it always difficult to distinguish between the legitimate outrage and liberal media-manufactured one.

All in all, my guess is Republicans control the Senate, and the margin on either side in the House will be fewer than 10 seats.

But I have to say I'm with Captain Ed. The overwhelming majority of these polls is improperly weighted and designed to produce exactly the reaction John Hinderaker had. The Mediacrats think they have the Republicans on the ropes and are trying to deliver the knockout.

It's up to the sane people of this country to stop them.

loner said...

Fresh Air—

Sorry if I wasn't clear. Losing means a seat they currently hold.

The big issue is Iraq.

I think I'm sane, but what do I know?

I forgot to note that TCM will be showing A Place In The Sun today at 8:00 p.m. EDT and tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. EDT.


David Thomson said...

Three weeks is still a long time in our Faster Feiler world. Nonetheless, I am appalled about the flat footed way the GOP leadership has handled the Foley matter. These fools should bow down to the altar of Rush Limbaugh. He would have guided them out of trouble. These fools have no idea how to handle a crisis.

The Republicans no longer have a chance of picking up two senate seats. They will, however, hold onto control of both houses of Congress---barely.

terrye said...

I think the Foley thing handled them. Not the other way around. But it was all so silly anyway.

Fresh Air said...


Yep. Hastert was on Hugh Hewitt explaining himself, so to speak. Came off like a buffoon. Said they were doing polling on what Americans thought about it. Even went so far as to say that the polls weren't quite accurate on account of Yom Kippur.

Can you believe that guy? He's the freaking speaker of the House and he's running to polls to figure out how bad the damage is. Not really the guy you want in charge if Air Force One goes down in a storm.

Barry Dauphin said...

Well, Professor Reynolds did post my email, suggesting that they pouters would be hurting the cause should they stay home.

Barry Dauphin said...

ughhh...not enough preview time.

the pouters not they pouters

David Thomson said...

"Yep. Hastert was on Hugh Hewitt explaining himself, so to speak"

Dennis Hastert reminds me of the proverbial deer stunned by the head lights of a car. This is all he had to say:

"I was unaware of the instant messages. We only had the boring e-mails in our possession. There is no way that we could justify a thorough investigation because of a few innocuous comments. They were not even slightly salacious. We have no right to automatically assume that a gay man is molesting children. The Republican Party does not engage in gay bashing. Where was the further evidence? Why wasn't it presented to us. Who else in Washington knew about them?"

That's it. Much of the Foley controversy would have ended right then and there.

terrye said...


Well he did say something much like that up front but it was not good enough for the press who just kept hammering away like the obsessive compulsives that they are. I feel kind of sorry for Hastert. I did not support him on the Jefferson thing, but he is not Foley's babysitter, there is only so much he can do.

terrye said...


I have to say I am getting fed up with Reynolds and Malkin and a lot of the rest of these egomaniacal bloggers with their self centered little "lists". I am not a blogger, I just play on the internet.

Everyone has a list. Hell, I work in health care..I could put that on my list and say that Republicans were morons for not listening to me because I am so smart and blah blah blah.

I sent him an email too.

terrye said...


great email.

You know one thing I would disagree with Glenn about {well several really} but the one big one is that I do not think Glenn really knows who the base is. I know a lot of loyal Republicans who have never even heard of Glenn Reynolds. I think that sometimes being on the blogs leads people to believe they are part of something bigger than they really are.

Barry Dauphin said...


Yes, and I also think that some folks who claimed that the WoT and Iraq were uber important, now seem to act differently, without outright saying it. Either there is a sense of safety and they feel the Dems won't really hurt the WoT or they have not grasped the complexities and compromises that are invariably needed to prosecute this war when the public is so ambivalent. This isn't WWII and it isn't Vietnam. It's sui generis.

If you follow the link he has below my email, that blog Freedom Folks is responding to your comments at Captain's Quarters. I thought you might be interested.

Me, I'm a bit pissed at Prof. Reynolds because after he has posted many of my emails over the years (thinking I have something to say), I sent him a copy of my book hoping (but not outright asking) for an Instalauch Amazon link. But to date no link despite a couple of emails to him mentioning the book. It's his blog and he certainly doesn't owe me anything, but it woulda been nice.

Syl said...

I left a comment at Freedom Folks.

I tried leaving a comment here yesterday about my reaction to Glenn's post. Blogger refused it. I guess it didn't like the words I used. :)

Rick Ballard said...


There's a distinct odor coming off of the Pajams group and it ain't roses. I won't be surprised in the least if Barone drops out. The libertarian schtick isn't going to play all that well in Peoria and the focus on trivia like pork is risible considering the serious issues available for discussion.

"Let a thousand flowers bloom" - as long as they're all the same color.

Barry Dauphin said...


I was puzzled by Glenn's suggestion that the Harriet Miers nomination is an issue that rises to affect control of Congress. And the Foley thing was basic, old fashioned dirty politics, sort of like the idea that the offensive line is holding on almost every play--against the rules, but that is unfortunately how the game is played. But it is not some gigantic intellectual fault of the Repbulicans writ large.

The Terry Schiavo issue was supported by the social base. Those who wanted her to stay alive were going to have strong opinions. I understand libertarians having an opinion, possibly a different one, but why would they really care that much to want to fight about it. The Dubai ports thing? Geez, didn't sane people agree that this was a media hysteria thing.

At base I think Glenn's criticism and possibly others' is why can't Bush manage the media better and have a higher approval rating?

Barry Dauphin said...


I was having some trouble getting into comments yesterday too.

terrye said...


That moron called me a dufus. I thought my comment was quite reasonable over all. So I told him what I thought of him.

The thing that people like that do not realize is that they do not represent the majority of voters. If the Republicans were doing everything they wanted them to they would be losing anyway because most people are not libertarians or whatever the hell that guy is.

terrye said...

This is what I said at CQ:

Found in comments @ Captain's Quarters on the subject of the upcoming elections...

For months I have been listening to people on the right like Noonan and Frum talk about how losing might be a good thing. Nonsense, losing is losing, that is all.

One of the biggest problems the Republicans have is that certain people in their own base seem constantly poised for flight.

They need to stop bitching and moaning and whining and realize there are worse things out there than Foley or a guest worker program.

Imagine Bush impeached, Iraq lost beyond all hope fo victory and Pelosi running the House. Any conservative who is willing to sit back and let that happen has no business complaining about anyone else's mistakes.

This is not the time for tantrums.

This is what that nice Jake person said about me:

Look doofus, the reason we're 'constantly poised for a fight' is we perceive our "conservative" government being anything but. Our job isn't to shut up so our elite class can more quickly dissolve our borders or appoint questionable judges, the point of a representative democracy in a republic is to keep a close and watchful eye on our representatives that they may do our will.

Doofus? or is dufus? hmmmm.

that little remark was from:


Luther McLeod said...

Well Terrye that is one of the good things about a representative democracy, at least to my mind. The extremes will never be elected. It is the great middle, country wise and politically wise, that must be appealed to.

Some find the art of compromise to be demeaning and not worthy. But I think, in fact, that the only place for a non-compromising attitude is when you are attempting to win a war. That may be the one time when a resolute, narrowly focused and hesitancy to compromise attitude may be (and usually is) appropriate.

terrye said...


I agree, but it seems some of these folks are ready to bale out on the war because of Harriet Miers or the Dubai or Terri Schiavo. So how determined could they have ever been?

Luther McLeod said...


Well, you're right. And I guess the obvious answer is, not very determined at all. The issues you mention and the one's that Reynolds expounded on in his little treatise are, in a broad sense, the kind of push pull of politics that this country has faced since its inception. IOW's, to me, none of those issues are of dire enough consequence to make me either not vote or vote for the Dem's. The country faces to great a peril for such immature shenanigans.