Time to Gear up for Tuesday’s Elections

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A number of you know I (a) like politics and (b) follow it quite closely. From time to time it crops up as an element of focus on the blog, and the midterm elections 2010 is one of those times. There is no flawless indicator, but my favorite as some of you may remember is Intrade, since it involves real people and real money (and it has a very fine track record). By far the most revealing graph I have found is this one:

The chances the Republicans will take back the House of Representatives over time--check it out.

What does this mean? Think anti-incumbency and a disgust with business as usual in Washington at a minimum--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenateState Government

Posted October 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. upnorfjoel wrote:

The best description of Tuesday that I’ve seen so far:
“It’s not an election…it’s a restraining order!”
The last sentence was edited for unnecessary derogation of persons—ed.  The follow on message which replies to this was also edited to reflect this concern-ed.

October 30, 5:44 pm | [comment link]
2. Dan Crawford wrote:

Yup. Replacing one kind of xxxxxwith a different but equally odious kind of xxxxxx. Disgust with political business translates into an embrace of all sorts of corporate shenanigans. Hope on the horizon. Oh yes.

October 30, 7:11 pm | [comment link]
3. Ad Orientem wrote:

IMHO this election will…

1. See the GOP take the House of Representatives in a landslide not seen in a generation or more.
2. See the GOP come very close to, but ultimately fall short of, taking the Senate.  They have a few rather flaky candidates that got the nomination thanks to a full court press by the right wing of their party, who are a bit too extreme for independent and centrist voters.
3. See the GOP claim a mandate for an extremely right-wing “tea party” agenda.

Down the road I expect the GOP will do what they did in 1994 and overreach.  This election is not going to be a mandate for any party.  It is a massive vote of No Confidence in Washington DC and the way business is done there.  The Democrats are going to get creamed this year for the same reason the GOP did in 2008.  They are the party in power and therefor are in the minds of the voter a logical target for their wrath.

This country desperately needs a viable third party that can appeal to the vast majority of Americans who are neither “Code Pink” socialists or Tea Party militia types.  Unless one of the two parties that have dominated Washington since the Civil War can start acting like adults and and stop trying to play everything to their political advantage, I think the days of the two party system in this country may be numbered.

October 30, 7:19 pm | [comment link]
4. AnglicanFirst wrote:

As an Independent who is fed up with both parties, I hope that some sort of coherent leadership with an agenda relevant to our country’s economic well being and national security will emerge strongly in the Republican Party.

The Democrats, particularly their left-of-center leaders who have been somehow tolerated by their more-or-less-centrist rank and file membership, have definitely earned their upcoming drubbing at the polls.

But where are the Republican leaders who are capable of using this drubbing to our country’s advantage?

October 30, 8:24 pm | [comment link]
5. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

“or Tea Party militia types”.  And what types are those?  Do the people who have rallied for less Government spending, lower taxes, and limited Federal Government qualify as those militia types?

October 30, 8:24 pm | [comment link]
6. Ad Orientem wrote:

Re #5
Capt. Deacon Warren

“or Tea Party militia types”.  And what types are those?

Those are the people who run around in the woods wearing camouflage and carrying assault rifles while whispering about nullification and secession, dark conspiracies, treason and the coming revolution. 

I find it curious that you took no issue with my reference to wackos on the far left, only with those on the extreme right.

October 30, 8:37 pm | [comment link]
7. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

I care not so much for the far left wackos.  All the Tea Party events I have been to have been held in parking lots or similar places.  I have never seen one person with an un-concealed gun nor heard any talk other than the points I made in my previous post.  I really think you must be confusing the Tea Party with various White Supremecy Groups which I guess you could say are a mirror reflection of the New Black Panthers and related groups.

In any case I am guessing the answer to my previous question is “no”, you have not been to a Tea Party event.  That’s fine, but when you form your opinions based on the reporting of MSNBC and CNN, it is bound to lead to confusion.

After the election is over, I would invite you to attend a Tea Party event or visit a 9-12 group and just take a look at who is around you; possibly your neighbors or co-workers.

October 30, 8:53 pm | [comment link]
8. Ad Orientem wrote:

Re #7
I think you are under the impression that I believe all Tea Party types fall into the above category.  I do not, anymore than I believe all liberals are communists etc.  But some are.  And I have seen people at political rallies openly carrying weapons, “because they can.”

October 30, 9:00 pm | [comment link]
9. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Think anti-incumbency . . . “

Oddly, the vast vast vast vast majority of incumbents who are being ridden out of town on a rail are rather liberal, no matter the party.

In my own red-state, many incumbent liberal Republicans were dissed.

So I would say that the “anti-incumbent” mood could be narrowed down to “anti-liberal-incumbent.”

October 30, 9:38 pm | [comment link]
10. Fr. J. wrote:

If folks are looking for an excellent site for polling stats and high quality daily commentary on the left and right, it would be hard to do better than RealClearPolitics.com.  I read them daily in season and out.  As of today, they are calling for +65 Republican House seats when +39 are necessary for a takeover.

The site is best known for their weighted averaging of all polls in every category and every race.  Their polling averages have about the best track record available for predicting races over the past decade.

May God intervene in our national life in every way.

October 30, 9:50 pm | [comment link]
11. Fr. J. wrote:

Surely some wackos, militia types, etc have attached themselves to the Tea Parties because that is where the action is and they are desperate for attention, drama or both.  But those folks existed long before the Tea Parties and sadly will likely be around long after the Tea Parties.  Tea Party folks seem to me to be just ordinary middle class people.

I have been to a couple of Tea Party events not to take part but just to take their temperature, so to speak.  The first I went to was April 15, 09, at the very beginning of the movement.  The other was this past summer.  Both were closer to prayer meetings than political rallies with lots of patriotism and a kind of tent revival piety.  Surprisingly, they both seemed more concerned, resolved and purposeful than angry.  And neither spoke of the parties by name very much.  The first was in the Midwest and the second in the Pacific Northwest and both were strikingly similar in spirit and tone.

And, neither event mentioned Glenn Beck, either, for which I was grateful.  The word charlatan comes to mind.

Again, may God intervene!

October 30, 10:06 pm | [comment link]
12. TomRightmyer wrote:

I’ve been working in early voting for the past two weeks and think the election will be very close. The traditional Democrats in Buncombe County in western NC are turning out in good numbers.

October 30, 11:13 pm | [comment link]
13. John Wilkins wrote:

#10 Some would argue that God did intervene in our life in 2008.  It’s arbitrary whether God suddenly decides that 2010 is of interest to him.

Obama has been considered very conservative by many Democrats.  The health care plan is supported by businesses, doctors and hospitals - and is more like Bob Dole’s than Ted Kennedy’s.  Thousands of Government jobs have been terminated since he became President.  He’s engaged in realpolitik in Pakistan, and done well at protecting our borders.  My own taxes have been lowered under Obama. 

But I’m looking forward to a change in the House.  It will be more interesting to see if the Republicans will learn how to legislate.  Obama needs a concrete foil, and I’m looking forward to it being provided. 

Captain Warren, it would be nice to find Republicans interested in paying for wars, infrastructure and helping create jobs.  Once there was a time when people understood that people had to pay for our military. 

What we will see under a Republican led congress is lower taxes, increased spending and greater deficits.

October 30, 11:17 pm | [comment link]
14. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Obama has been considered very conservative by many Democrats.”

Yes indeed.  Stalin himself was considered “very conservative” by many of his peers too.  ; > )

RE: “The health care plan is supported by businesses, doctors and hospitals . . . “

Translation: “The health care plan is supported by [almost no] businesses, [very few] doctors [because even if one counts 100% of the corrupt and academically-inflated AMA, that is less than 30% of physicians now, thanks to their catastrophic TEC-like decline] and [public/State-run] hospitals.

RE: “Thousands of Government jobs have been terminated since he became President.”

But oddly, the percentage of government workers has gone up.

RE: “But I’m looking forward to a change in the House.”

Yeh—probably a good shift in rhetoric there for you . . . now that you know they’re gonna win it.

RE: “It will be more interesting to see if the Republicans will learn how to legislate.”

Well they don’t have a very high bar to pass on “learning how to legislate.”

But I’m not particularly interested in the conservatives in the House “learning how to legislate” since anything that is Constitutional, moral, or actually effective will be vetoed by Obama.  So I think it will be more interesting for them to merely stick with conservative principles and let Obama veto everything good that conservatives want.  Because as Obama knows . . . the campaign for 2012 begins on November 3.

RE: “What we will see under a Republican led congress is lower taxes, increased spending and greater deficits.”

Could be—if they don’t have a sufficient number of conservatives elected.

October 30, 11:50 pm | [comment link]
15. John Wilkins wrote:

Did Sarah compare Obama to Stalin?  And what rhetoric have I employed?  If Obama is like Stalin, well, I’ll change sides.

Personally, I’d take Nixon’s health care plan over the current one.

I guess we’ll see about what Obama vetoes.

October 31, 1:11 am | [comment link]
16. John Wilkins wrote:

Also I’m preplexed as to why Kendall doesn’t cite Nate Silver.

October 31, 1:12 am | [comment link]
17. robroy wrote:

John is correct about Obamacare supported by businesses. There are many businesses that can’t wait to dump their employees from their health care plans.

The AMA was bought off into supporting Obamacare (with the bribe money coming out of our kid’s pockets - like all the other bribes that got it passed).

October 31, 8:24 am | [comment link]
18. AnglicanFirst wrote:

“The AMA was bought off into supporting Obamacare….”
What percentage of the nation’s practicing, i.e. non-academic physicians, does the AMA represent?

What was the position of practicing physicians on Obamacare.  I know of one who has closed her office and gone into hospital healthcare and another who is struggling to keep her medical practice afloat as a consequence of the Democrat’s healthcare intiative.  And, these two events were not due to a lack of patients.

October 31, 8:37 am | [comment link]
19. Larry Morse wrote:

#4, you have asked the correct and most important question. Where are the leaders? I do not see them. Sarah Palin shows no signs of steady competent judgment, and the Rands of the movement are even worse. If the Republicans win as many seats as are predicted, what will they do if not demonstrate to the electorate that they are no better than the bums they threw out. We need leaders who are capable and willing to create systemic change in the Washington culture, leaders who are capable of drawing the era of liberal socio/cultural anarchy to a close without replacing it with a culture of ignorance, populist demagoguery, and pandering to the wealthy. We need a third party (See Tom Friedman’s essay in the NYT) made of candidates for whom getting elected (and reelected) are not more important than all other matters, candidates for whom a Harvard degree and a worth of millions and millions are not a prerequisite for
for good governance. Who will teach us that we self restraint and self discipline are quintessential for a sane society and competent government, and that these essentials are at odds with Republican anti-intellectualism and liberal destruction of behavioral standards?

October 31, 8:50 am | [comment link]
20. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

“Who will teach us that [we] self restraint and self discipline are quintessential for a sane society and competent government,”

If you are waiting for those lessons to come from politicians and emmanating from DC, I think you will be forever disappointed.

First and foremost those are lessons that are perhaps best taught in our churches where in worship of God we might stop, pause, and reflect upon the Almighty rather than constantly thinking “me first”.

The two Great Commandments of Jesus Christ say nothing of “me first”

We are a nation that has been trained for 60 years to expect increasing levels of manna from DC.  It is difficult to believe that any leader can snap his/her fingers and suddenly transform us into citizens who believe in the greater good at the expense of our own wants or needs.

Much of Glenn Beck’s message has been of a personal redemption.  Asking that we turn to God, that we look to the priniciples of the Founders for the direction to save this country.  One of those early priniciples of the country was a “can do” attitude that looked at “what can I do for myself here” rather than standing up with a hand out to wait for someone to do for us what we won’t do for ourselves.

October 31, 9:49 am | [comment link]
21. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Did Sarah compare Obama to Stalin?”

Only in the tiny minds of those who can’t follow the lines of rational arguments.  But as none of those exist on this blog, I’m not worried that anyone would think so.

RE: “There are many businesses that can’t wait to dump their employees from their health care plans.”

RobRoy, folks I know in business are heartsick.  All over the country, small to mid-sized businesses are having to decide whether they lay off a few employees or dump them all from the healthcare plan because of the wicked decisions made by those currently elected to the very highest offices of our land.

Though we do not deserve it, because of the blood of the unborn babies on our hands, I hope that God will hear the cries of the people who have been crushed by this bill and help them.

October 31, 10:44 am | [comment link]
22. Cennydd13 wrote:

I’m not a rabid Tea Partier, but I do believe in most of what they espouse, and I’ve been to their meetings and rallies here in the San Joaquin Valley in California, where the Democrats are in deep, deep trouble with us voters.  Nowhere have I seen weapons of any kind….concealed or otherwise, and nowhere have I heard the rhetoric as espoused by private militia types; some of whom we have in our state, unfortunately.  We all cry out for change this Election Day, and I am quite sure that we’ll get it, but I’m not quite so sanguine about getting the kind of change that we really need, which is honesty and integrity in those whom we choose to lead us, and to act for us in responsible ways for the common good.  For that, only time will tell.

October 31, 6:14 pm | [comment link]
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