...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

November 08, 2006

Some Quick Notes On The Punditry

Here are some notes that occur to me, reading the various conservative pundits doing their various post-election stuff.

1. I keep reading about how it's the Democrats' turn to govern. Congress does not govern. Congress legislates. It takes three branches to govern. Keep that in mind.

2. I keep reading about how "we'll get 'em back in two years." Not so fast. Iraq is the biggest problem that needs to be fixed, and soon. If Iraq is fixed, to the satisfaction of the electorate, then guess who gets the credit. Not us. If Iraq gets worse, Republicans might have a chance to say I told you so, but guess who the electorate will blame. Not the Democrats. And I for one, desperately want a victory in Iraq, regardless of who gets the credit. If that means a longer time in the wilderness, so be it. Our men and women in arms deserve victory, for all they've sacrificed. I hope, hope, hope, that victory is really part of the Democratic plan, and now that they've won, I'm willing to give them a fair chance to make their case.

3. I think yesterday eliminated four sure losers from running for the Republican nomination in '08. Santorum, Frist, Allen, and Romney. These guys all had their appeal for hopeful conservatives (maybe not Frist, who was an abysmal leader from the start), but none of them, in my view, had a snowball's chance against Hillary/Obama in today's environment. I'm glad they're off the table.


4. As the day wears on, I'm more and more disappointed with most of the big name pundits on the right: from Hugh Hewitt (who blames John McCain?!?!), to Rush Limbaugh (who boasts that Republicans are better than Democrats because we're not crying about fraud after a loss, then in almost the same breath demands an ACORN investigation). The first step is admitting there's a problem, fellas.

Posted by annika, Nov. 8, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


Santorum, Frist, and Allen are all out -- but Romney? I'm not sure how he comes out of this looking bad. Explain.

Posted by: Hugo on Nov. 8, 2006

Hugh asked my question exactly. Ahnold's victory proves that the right GOP candidate can attract Democratic voters in Blue States. Massachusetts is the bluest of blue states, yet Mitt Romney is a popular GOP governor there. I think yesterday enhanced his chances of nomination.

Posted by: Ralphyboy on Nov. 8, 2006

Bush has had the better part of four years to get this right, with a Republican Congress backing him up. I don't trust many Dems on national defense, but if guys like Lieberman and Webb are allowed to lead on this issue, I'm willing to give 'em a chance. Victory means a democratic, independent Iraq with a relatively stable government (not necessarily without any crime or terrorism). I really don't care how we get there.

Posted by: Matt on Nov. 8, 2006

Santorum doesn't belong on that list. One of the days other big losers is our answer to Obama, Ken Blackwell who lost the Governor's race in Ohio.

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 8, 2006


No, we won't get 'em back in two years. But if this makes the Repubs remember what they used to be all about, it'll be worth it to me if it takes six or eight years to get 'em back. Because if the only choice is Dems and Dems (Lite), well, fuck -- we might as well just go ahead and get it over with.

Posted by: Matt on Nov. 8, 2006

I can't argue with Matt.

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 8, 2006

Deval Patrick (who makes Mike Dukasis look like a centrist) won by a landslide over Romney's Lt-Governor. Given Massachusetts is already bluer than blue, the results reinforce the fact Romney has no coattails. He was elected in 2002 in the wake of 9/11 with less than 50% of the vote because of his outsider against the democratic Beacon Hill insiders image (and his opponent ran a terrible campaign). Note how the Rhode Island Republican Governor won re-election by touting his taking on the corrupt insiders image in spite of a democratic landslide (even the RHINO Lincoln Chaffee got booted by a guy who's only platform was Linc Chaffee = more George Bush friendly Senate).

Romney = republican equivalent of nominating Mike Dukasis in 1988.

Posted by: Col Steve on Nov. 8, 2006

The elephant in the room associated to Romney is his religion. Is this country ready for a Mormon President? Is the Republican Party ready for a leader that comes from a cult? I don't want to offend anybody, but these people believe some pretty crazy stuff. Many of us mock Islam for its bizarre beliefs. What do you think the MSM and opponents are going to do with Mormon beliefs?

Hey, I think Romney is an attractive candidate: well-spoken, smart, thoughtful, and he appears very genuine. But let's not pretend that his religion doesnít matter. It does. It will.

For me the most fundamental issue is the GWOT. I want somebody who understands it, will confront it, and is willing to talk honestly about it. Secondly, I want somebody who believes in smaller (but effective) government. Thirdly, I want a leader who understands basic economics and that Keynes was wrong. A social conservative is fine, but if he/she wants to place abortion and gay marriage on the front burner, I want nothing to do with them. Those issues have to be lower priority and, in fact, are issues that should be determined by individual states. Further, I donít want another Rep who claims to be conservative but spends money on social programs like fucking LBJ.

For the time-being, Iíll be supporting Giuliani for 2008.

Posted by: blu on Nov. 8, 2006

"A social conservative is fine, but if he/she wants to place abortion and gay marriage on the front burner, I want nothing to do with them." That's why Romney would lose in '08.

I had read that the Patrick victory in MA was considered a repudiation of Romney as governor. Thanks Col Steve for explaining the details.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 8, 2006

Having not been in office during the bloodbath, Giuliani comes out on top.

If the Republicans can finally get the message that you need to not piss off your base, and you need to make reasonable appeals to people's concerns and their pocketbook instead of just trying to scare them.

Then they can (under new leadership) make a strong comeback. Because moderate conservatism will always sell well in this nation if the people believe you.

Of course, if the Dems pick up the torch and work with the president to ease us out of Iraq, keep some of the tax cuts so the economy doesn't slow down, and act mature about border security and immigration reform, then they will be the majority party forever.

However, I am pretty sure they are incapable of such sober judgments.

Posted by: kyle8 on Nov. 8, 2006

Ms. Annika,

I listened to Rush for all three hours today. Your tid-bit in #4 certainly was not a faithful summary of his election thoughts, which were actually fairly thoughtful and pretty tough on the current Congressional leadership and the Administration.

Your Rush bias is almost as bad as my Michael Savage bias. (I'm not comparing them, BTW.)

Posted by: blu on Nov. 8, 2006

Boy, how much fun is this? I am savoring every moment of listening to you folks sift through the ashes.

Had only Iraq remained on the map then none of this would have happened. We would still be over flying, they would still have no WMD's or any other capacity to do any harm, Afganistan might be stable and poppy free, and Bin Laden dead. ANd let's not forget the untold numbers of young jihadists that might still be living in their parents home, going to High School or University, with no burning desire to run off to Iraq to confront the infidels. Gee, that scenerio really scares me, how about you Blu? Two more years of the dim wit and a good shot at '08. How bad that would have been from your perspective?

Posted by: Strawman on Nov. 8, 2006

Savor it, Straw. Your side won. You should enjoy it while you can.

But, here is the rub. Now you guys have to govern. That will be a problem though because you don't have any ideas...besides raising the minimum wage (and putting teenagers out of work.) It might actually be fun to watch a brain-dead and morally bankrupt party try to govern. (Quick: tell me the three big ideas for public policy that Dem ran-on for this election?)

I'm dying to hear the Dem plan for the first 100 days. Here's what I suggest: raise the minimum wage; grant amnesty for illegal aliens; layout pullout plans from Iraq. And, of course, begin the impeachment case against Bush and the war-crimes trial for Rummy.

My prediction is two years of Dems doing nothing, hoping they can coast into '08 without hurting themselves too much.

Posted by: blu on Nov. 8, 2006

At least I'm content with the fact that Straw's side was on the receiving end of the Donkey Punch of 2004.

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 8, 2006

Blu is right, Annika, Rush didn't demand an investigation of ACORN. He couldn't. The investigation of ACORN began before Election day.

Posted by: Vinnie on Nov. 8, 2006


and the Tooth Fairy really exists. Pacifying the Pashtuns was never going to be easy, and there is no way in hell we could pacify them AND eliminate their poppy growing proclivity.

Maybe some of the dumber jihadis would not have made the trip to Iraq, but the serious ones would have been in Pakistan for sure.

Posted by: Aaron on Nov. 9, 2006


If you had read my post and not read into it, you would notice I did not say a word about Democrats and their ideas for governing. (Although I don't agree with you about the minium wage. losing teenagers who presumely have no dependents but increasing the income to a family that might have two low wage earners in not a bad thing.) I don't think they have much of a chance of resolving Iraq in a way that resembles Annie's definition of "winning". I don't think anybody at this point does. This is one fucking omlet congealing on the pavement. The Bush gang, fat stupid and full of a mandate they did not posses wriggled down a hole and got stuck. Like the Intrepid, which six tugboats have failed to move, Democrats or anyone else that might be enlisted to get their sorry asses out of this are destined to fail. This is why I think Rove's strategy was to lose the election, turn the pot of steamy shit over to the Dem's and then ask America in two years how they liked the meal. This will give them a fighting chance in 08, the alternative would have led to a rout in 08 since the meal the R's would be serving up would be no tastier

Posted by: Strawman on Nov. 9, 2006

"I think Rove's strategy was to lose the election..."

lol, even when you win, it's a Rove conspiracy!

Posted by: annika on Nov. 9, 2006


These people are nuts. I was talking to one of the moonbats yesterday, who obviously is reading one of the myriad of looney left-wing blogs, and he said something to the effect that Bush was suffering from early signs of dementia based on his inability to speak well. You see, according to the moonbats, Bush was a pretty decent speaker - not stumbling over his words like he does now - when he was governor of Texas. All of this is of course absurd - he was mocked in Texas for his less than gifted speaking abilities. But, as Straw often proves, if you keep repeating your own lies long enough (e.g. Bush is responsible for more deaths than Hussein), you begin to believe them.

So, though we have lost, always remember who the opposition is - these people. It's sort of like losing a game to an inferior opponent because you took them too lightly. You are rightly embarrassed but also realize that you are superior in every fashion and will beat them 9 out of 10 times.

Posted by: blu on Nov. 9, 2006

Amen, blu. I'd rather be strong in '08 than '06.

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 9, 2006


Straw reminds me of the poseur from the bar scene in Good Will Hunting.

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 9, 2006

speaking of losing to an inferior opponent, SC sure came back from that OSU loss. 42 to nothing against Stanford!

Posted by: annika on Nov. 9, 2006

Other than history, there's no reason to assume that the Democrats can't "govern." The first Article of the Constitution is about Congress, and in the original view the President was the person who executed Congress' wishes. Over the years (especially since Andrew Jackson), the President has taken more and more responsibility for setting the direction of the country, but some argue that recent presidents have been unConstitutional in their actions (the main gripe - waging war without a formal declaration from Congress as required by the Constitution). Theoretically, the Democrats could govern by setting an agenda and passing bills that reflect their wishes, hoping that President "What's a Veto?" Bush will just roll along. Contrast this with Gerald Ford, who knew what a veto was and knew how to use it.

Also, I wouldn't count 2006 losers out just yet, for two reasons. First, you can bounce back from a loss - look at Richard Nixon. Second, unlike those in office, the losers have a whole lot of free time to go to Iowa and New Hampshire, and if George Allen can make a persuasive case in the coffeshops, he may get more than "Big Mo."

Posted by: Ontario Emperor on Nov. 9, 2006