So…on November 3, we had another election day…
And what did we gain?
Unfortunately, I think we may have seen a bolstering of “R” vs “D” politics.
Apparently, the RNC believes it gained some momentum and can say, “Whew! We’re baaaack!”
Sorry, it’s not time to…Party…or more correctly, it’s not time to break your arms patting yourselves on the back, Republican Party. So don’t go listening to those TV anchors and talking heads who, on the teasers prior to commercial breaks, were promising to “tell you what it all means at the top of the hour”.
Thanks, Shep, but I can interpret what happened yesterday without any help from you.
I don’t need the guys who read the teleprompters or the inside the beltway types who give us the “that’s the way it works in the sausage factory” interpretations. Results were couched in the typical “R” vs “D” lingo. It was supposedly jobs and economic concerns. Pocketbook issues, as they always say. I do believe that has been typical of the electorate and is likely still too true.
But I don’t believe that is what happened yesterday.
As the RNC establishment crowd talks about how they are coming back, etc., etc., they and the pinhead analysts fail to mention the “little” GOP disaster in New York’s District 23. Their candidate, Scozzafava, whose history, connections, and voting record (NY State Assembly) echoes Barack Obama’s more than Ronald Reagan’s, actually dropped out of the race and endorsed…the Democrat. Endorsed the Democrat over a fellow who was running as a Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman.
Prior to Scozzafava pulling out, the RNC thought they’d test drive Newt Gingrich’s political capital by having him officially endorse her…and found out that they might need to look under the hood some more.
About 48 hours in front of election day, there were GOP talking heads suddenly blathering enthusiastically about New Jersey, Virginia, and New York as if they were all GOP races. As if no one had noticed anything they’d done in New York – or the phenomenon that was taking place there.
Money poured in from around the country to Hoffman’s campaign. He didn’t win, unfortunately, but pulled in 45% of the vote – within 4 points of the Democratic victor.
Did people send money to Doug Hoffman because they were concerned about their pocket book? NO!
Here’s the message they were sending in New York:
WAKE UP REPUBLICAN PARTY!
They were telling the RNC: Support good candidates (you know, the ones that have actually read the Constitution?) or we’re taking our money and votes elsewhere.
I think New Jersey and Virginia voted Republican not because they had that “R” behind their names, but because they were “not Democrats” or “not joined at the hip to Barack Obama” (kinda of like the “Not Bush” votes of 2008).
I don’t like the idea of “Not ______” votes because that kind of movement is not sustainable – it isn’t the necessary sea change. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would like to vote FOR someone.
For now, people are stilling clinging to the two party system – so they went with the Republican.
The RNC should go check some party affiliation statistics if they’re going to ignore what happened in New York. There is a mad rush…away from attachment to either party…towards registration as Independent.
But all of this should be a wake up call to the Democratic Party, too. Robert Gibbs tried to play pin the tail on the elephant – by talking about how “George W. Bush lost Virginia and New Jersey in 2005″ – while saying that the results wouldn’t change anything about the President’s agenda. Message to Mr. Gibbs: If you’re going to pin the tail on the elephant in 2005, you have to pin the tail on the donkey in 2009.
Also, getting whopped in two out of three key races and having a close contender from a third party in another…is a shot directly across the bow of the President’s agenda.
Also, memo to David Axelrod: If you think in the current political environment, people are going to buy such nonsense as you were spewing Wednesday like “the only race that is indicative for future elections is what happened in that Congressional race in New York”, then you’ve been hoping a bit too much for too long.
People only hope for change for so long. They will only “give him a chance” for so long. The “different kind of politics” coming from your candidate aren’t different after all. And like so many, Mr. Axelrod, you are finding out campaigning and winning an election is far different from governing. Especially when your candidate had no real experience in doing it before and doesn’t understand how to lose.
I don’t have much in the way of suggestions for a party that was hijacked a century ago by collectivists. But I think we’ve reached the limit on how far the pendulum can swing.
I do have a suggestion for the RNC establishment. Since they don’t appear to be getting the message from the voters, I think the Republican Congressional leadership ought to take some very swift action. Better put one of the myriad federal programs to work bailing out the party, quick!
They should invoke the Endangered Species Act.
If the Elephants don’t start taking a skewer to the RINOs…they’re both going to end up extinct.
(That donkey’s looking a little peaked, too, I think)