More Drive-by Blogging
The Myths of '06 by Rich Lowry. These two quotes, in particular, I found of interest:
Republican losses were in keeping with typical setbacks for a party holding the White House in the sixth year of a presidency. [myth] Conservatives reassure themselves that the "six-year itch" has cost the party in power roughly 30 seats on average since World War II, so this year's losses aren't remarkable. But as liberal blogger Kevin Drum points out, most of the big "itches" came prior to the past 20 years when gerrymandering got more sophisticated. Reagan lost only five seats in his sixth year, and Clinton gained five (although he had already suffered a wipeout in 1994). For Democrats to win 29 seats despite all the advantages of incumbency enjoyed by the GOP is a big deal.The following isn't new to me, as I've heard Michael Medved talk about it; but I wasn't sure about a source for his information, before:
President Bush now must give up on the Iraq War [myth]. The rebuke to Bush was unquestionably an expression of voters' frustration with the progress of the war, but they are not ready to give up yet. According to pollster Whit Ayers, less than one-third of voters favor withdrawal. A late-October New York Times poll found that 55 percent of the public favors sending more troops to Iraq, a position now endorsed by the paper's liberal editorial board. Bush still has a window to take decisive action to reverse the downward slide in Iraq.It seems to reflect similar feelings and myths regarding Vietnam, where Americans dissatisified with the war didn't mean they wanted withdrawal; but to prosecute a more aggressive war.
Jonah Goldberg reports what Tom Elia considers an election myth of the left:
Over at the Huffington Post, EJ Eskow writes,Hugh Hewitt had a great interview with Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, yesterday. Audio. Transcript.An hour of vote tabulation reveals a stunning fact: Democrats won the popular vote for the Senate by an overwhelming 12.6% margin - 55%/42.4%.What Eskow either forgets, or neglects to point out, is that 33 Senate seats are up for election every two years, and that among this year's seats were three in California, New York, and Massachusetts -- seats that Senators Feinstein, Clinton, and Kennedy won by about 4 million votes, most of the Dems' 6.6 million vote margin of victory in the aggregate US Senate vote.
I wonder if this newly minted mandate myth will have the same staying power of that never-realized, but often repeated, $5.8 trillion federal surplus we had at the end of the Clinton Administration?
MM: I will remind your listeners and your readers that it takes 60 votes to do just about everything in the Senate. 49 is the most robust minority. Nothing will leave the Senate that doesn't have our imprint. We'll either stop it if we think it's bad for America, or shape it, hopefully right of center. So the minority leader's job is actually a lot easier. When you're the minority leader, you're looking for 41 votes. When you're the majority leader, you're looking for 60. So Senator Reid can expect all of the cooperation that he extended us in similar circumstances. I think that, coupled with the potential for presidential vetoes, should reassure everyone that we're certainly not going to be run over. We didn't have a good election day, but 51-49 is pretty darned close, and we've...you know, we've had, Hugh, close Senates in recent years. It was 50-50 in 2000, and then Jeffords went over to the Democrats, and we were down 51-49 for 18 months. And then, back up 51-49 for two years, and then 55-45 for two years, and now 51-49 down. I think the message is that American politics these days is very, very tight. Close.Hugh Hewitt considers this to be a key excerpt from the interview:
HH: Well, I can't tell you how wonderful that is to hear you say that they'll get exactly what they gave, Senator McConnell. You have a reputation for tenaciousness earned during the campaign finance reform debates.
HH: Senator McConnell, what I would love to hear you or the minority whip, Lott, or someone in leadership say over and over again is that if obstruction is the rule of Senator Leahy's Judiciary Committee, especially as to Supreme Court justices, the next Democratic president, may it be decades away, but when the next Democratic president comes along, there will be payback.Read or listen to the rest.
MM: Well, sure. I mean, these precedents that are started in the Senate are almost never stopped. We were able to get the filibuster genie back in the bottle. As you know, Summer a year ago, we were able to get Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor and Priscilla Owen, who had become kind of poster children for the left, we got them all confirmed, not to mention two solid Supreme Court nominees. So I think we've pushed them back on the filibuster. Now the filibuster is considered something that would be done only on rare circumstances. It had become routine. So we'll see whether they honor the most recent precedent. If they don't, they're going to have a lot of problems moving anything on the floor.
Good and bad news for House conservatives by Mike Bober.
Sorry for not making my rounds, all but sporadically this week. I'm mostly running drive-bys to your respective blogs. If you have something of particular import, link it in the comments section. I'll check it out.
Things should be less hectic after Sunday.