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The Republican debacle
Townhall.com ^ | November 13, 2006 | Jeff Jacoby

Posted on 11/13/2006 6:46:36 AM PST by Small-L

Two months after Germany's surrender in World War II, British voters dumped the Conservative prime minister who had led the nation to victory -- Winston Churchill -- and replaced him with Clement Attlee, whose Labor Party had won the election in a landslide. Embittered by his defeat, Churchill spurned King George's offer of a knighthood. "I could not accept the Order of the Garter from my sovereign," he said, "when I have received the order of the boot from his people."

Last week, American voters gave Republicans the order of the boot, stripping them of at least 29 seats in the House of Representatives and six in the Senate, and once again making Democrats the kings of Capitol Hill. It was the GOP's worst showing in decades, and since Tuesday analysts galore have been reading the entrails. It is easy to be wise after the event. But consider the judgment rendered by one of the keenest minds in American politics, who explained nearly a week *before* the election why Republican candidates were about to take a beating: "The reason we are at this moment," former president Bill Clinton told a group of Democratic donors on Nov. 1, "is that they do not represent faithfully the Republicans and the more conservative independents in the country. Otherwise, we wouldn't be here tonight. This is a sweeping, deep, big thing." According to the nation's most popular Democrat, in other words, Republicans were about to be punished for having abandoned their Republican principles. Voters were going to demote the GOP not because its agenda had grown too conservative -- but because it hadn't been conservative enough.

Exactly.

Nov. 7 was a debacle for Republicans, not conservatives. Democrats gained power in Washington, but around the country there was no shortage of evidence that the nation's tectonic shift to the right is still ongoing. For example, another seven states approved constitutional amendments barring same-sex marriage; only in Arizona was a marriage amendment narrowly defeated. The backlash against the Supreme Court's disgraceful 2005 Kelo v. New London decision continued as well, with voters in 10 states adopting new laws to protect property owners from eminent domain abuse.

The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative was at once a brilliant conservative victory and a humiliating Republican defeat. By an impressive 16-point margin, Michigan voters said no to racial and gender preferences in state employment, education, and public contracting. But the Republican Party, which had joined with Democrats, big business, and the activist left in opposing the initiative, reaped no political benefit. The GOP had jettisoned its party's colorblind creed in the hope of dampening Democratic turnout. In the end, Democrats swept the Senate and governor's races anyway, while the civil-rights initiative that Republicans should have endorsed sailed to a 58-42 win.

The next speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is a San Francisco liberal of the first water, but many of her party's incoming freshmen campaigned as avowed conservatives. Indiana Democrat Brad Ellsworth, for example, described himself as anti abortion, pro-traditional marriage, "a hunter who supports the Second Amendment," and a "local sheriff" who would fight "to protect our kids from violence and filth on TV and the Internet." He and other "blue-dog" conservatives will be tugging the new Democratic majority to the right, while the defeat of liberal Republicans like Connecticut's Nancy Johnson and Iowa's Jim Leach means that the Republican minority in the 110th Congress will move to the right as well.

Voters were fed up with Republicans, and they had every reason to be. In 1994, the GOP swept to power on its "Contract with America" -- a principled platform of fiscal restraint, smaller government, individual responsibility, and cleaner politics. A dozen years later, the contract forgotten, the GOP had become an embarrassment -- a party of soaring federal budgets, gluttonous farm and highway bills, and earmarks from here to eternity. Instead of permanent tax relief and Social Security reform, the Republicans delivered a vast new drug entitlement and the McCain-Feingold crackdown on political expression. Worst of all, the party that had held itself out as the antidote to Democratic corruption now reeked of its own scandals. Week by week, the parade of sleazy Republicans seemed to lengthen -- Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney, Mark Foley, Duke Cunningham. Voters finally had enough. Exit polls nationwide found that it was corruption and scandal, far more than the unpopular war in Iraq, that voters had in mind on election day.

Churchill's political career didn't end in 1945. He came back from his defeat, and Republicans can come back, too. "We did not just lose our majority," one GOP representative said the other day. "We lost our way." When they're ready to find it again, re-reading the Contract with America would make a good start. As Bill Clinton could tell them, the electorate likes Republicans best when they live up to their Republican ideals.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2006election
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The only knighthood the Republicans in Congress deserve is the Order of the "We stupidly refused to listen to our base and look what it got us."
1 posted on 11/13/2006 6:46:38 AM PST by Small-L
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To: Small-L
"Nov. 7 was a debacle for Republicans, not conservatives."

These guys need to lay off this wishful thinking in short order.
2 posted on 11/13/2006 6:50:53 AM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: Small-L
Bill Clinton told a group of Democratic donors on Nov. 1, "is that they do not represent faithfully the Republicans and the more conservative independents in the country. Otherwise, we wouldn't be here tonight. This is a sweeping, deep, big thing."

Bill Clinton, whom I despise with every fiber of my being, is absolutely right about this.

3 posted on 11/13/2006 6:52:51 AM PST by Bahbah (Regev, Goldwasser and Shalit, we are praying for you)
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To: Chi-townChief

It was a debacle for one and only one reason: the mess in Iraq. Those conservatives who spoke out against the Iraq debacle, such as Ron Paul and Walter Jones, or Democrats who sounded anti-Iraq war Democrats who sounded conservative themes, won handily. Hence, the GOP's best bet for 2008 is to run a small government Iraq skeptic, like Chuck Hagel.


4 posted on 11/13/2006 6:56:26 AM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: Small-L

When Bush allows Rove to protect a crooked Illinois Republican pol why is anyone suprised.


5 posted on 11/13/2006 6:56:36 AM PST by hgro
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To: Captain Kirk

I don't believe the public is against our being in Iraq. They are against our not kicking ass decisively there.


6 posted on 11/13/2006 6:58:16 AM PST by Sam Cree (don't mix alcopops and ufo's - absolute reality)
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To: Sam Cree

Then why did "kick ass" candidates like Santorum lose?


7 posted on 11/13/2006 6:59:54 AM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: AGP; Angelwood; BillF; tgslTakoma; daughterofTGSL; Doctor Raoul; Exit148; Flora McDonald; ...

DC Chapter short list ping


8 posted on 11/13/2006 7:02:08 AM PST by BufordP ("Every morning I start my day with juice, toast, and a big bowl of Baby Crunch!" -- Michael J. Fox)
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To: Sam Cree
They are against our not kicking ass decisively there.

Couldn't agree more. The Islamists don't understand our "compassionate" handling of Sadr City, the prisoners, ... A 10,000# "daisy cutter" on Al Sadr would make more of an impression than all the building of schools, water systems, and power stations.

9 posted on 11/13/2006 7:02:11 AM PST by Small-L ("Government is not the answer to our problems -- government IS the problem." -- RR)
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To: Sam Cree
I don't believe the public is against our being in Iraq. They are against our not kicking ass decisively there.

I agree. It's either kick ass or pull out. I don't think people have the stomach for the in-between.

10 posted on 11/13/2006 7:07:21 AM PST by SquirrelKing (Kayaking, environmental-conservationist, organic food eating, beer loving, gun owning conservative.)
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To: Small-L

So now the question remains.......

How do we get the hardheaded Republican politicians to admit to themselves the real reason they lost? Case in point, the President should be able to see that it was his actions on illegal immigration and spending that in great part angered Republican voters, but he apparently doesn't see that at all since he is going ahead with pushing the amnesty bill.


11 posted on 11/13/2006 7:07:47 AM PST by Apple Pan Dowdy (... as American as Apple Pie)
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To: Captain Kirk
"Then why did "kick ass" candidates like Santorum lose?"

They lost because they are Republicans. Because they represent the party that is running the Iraq War - and not winning it decisively. IMO, of course.

Yes, I did hear Glen Beck saying that Santorum is the only senator who understands the dangers we face from Islamic terror. Blut I think between their big government stance and Iraq, the country is fed up with Republicans. It's understandable as far as I can see. Although I voted a straight Republican ticket, I feel that way myself.

In any case, my belief is that if we hadn't been letting the insurgents run us around for four straight years, there wouldn't have been an election debacle. I think the people may instinctively understand how encouraging it must be to Islamic terror that they have demonstrated some capacity for resisting us. Which is exactly the opposite point that we went into Iraq to make.

12 posted on 11/13/2006 7:15:48 AM PST by Sam Cree (don't mix alcopops and ufo's - absolute reality)
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To: Captain Kirk

In simpler terms: guilt by association.


13 posted on 11/13/2006 7:19:07 AM PST by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: Captain Kirk

Why did Lieberman win in Connecticut? Arguing why Santorum lost in Penn is like arguing why Kennedy and Kerry win in Taxachusetts. We were fortunate to have a strong conservative representing Penn as long as we did. There is a very long list of reasons why the Repubs got their butts kicked in '06. It didn't help that, as a whole, the party abandoned their principles. Some of those good conservatives who lost were collateral damage with respect to the public's overall dissatisfaction with the GOP.


14 posted on 11/13/2006 7:20:22 AM PST by BufordP ("Every morning I start my day with juice, toast, and a big bowl of Baby Crunch!" -- Michael J. Fox)
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To: Small-L

Wasn't it about a year ago that the Repubs proposed some sort of gas rebate program to give people discount coupons, instead of drilling new wells in the Arctic and offshore?


15 posted on 11/13/2006 7:25:31 AM PST by Ilky Hucktar
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To: Captain Kirk

Are you serious? Hagel is useless.


16 posted on 11/13/2006 7:26:06 AM PST by ilovew (Rummy...the best Secretary of Defense ever.)
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To: Small-L
These "analyses" presume a static voter pool. If the Slave Party adds 10 million illegals to their ranks, none of this will matter.
17 posted on 11/13/2006 7:26:13 AM PST by Carry_Okie (The fourth estate is the fifth column.)
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To: Captain Kirk

Santorum needs to move to Arkansas. He can win there.


18 posted on 11/13/2006 7:29:03 AM PST by Sybeck1
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To: Small-L

When Churchill lost office in 1945 Britian wasn't faced by Islamic lunatics armed with nuclear, bio, and chemical weapons.


19 posted on 11/13/2006 7:31:04 AM PST by pabianice
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To: Sam Cree
if we hadn't been letting the insurgents run us around for four straight years,

1) We have been in Iraq for 3 years, 7.5 months.
NOT 4 straight years.

2) "Insurgents" have not been running us around for all that time.

3) In terms of casualties, the country was quite calm for the first year. Then the foreign terrorists began flooding the country in an effort to stop the elections and the establishment of a democratic form of government.

20 posted on 11/13/2006 7:32:14 AM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
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To: Captain Kirk
I don't think we can point to individual cases like Santorum as the total answer, but I do believe (IMHO) that the general answer is that the swing voters (and our base that stayed home) were motivated by several failures:

Essentially, our party couldn't think outside of the Washington establishment viewpoint, or believe that the rest of the country didn't see things as they do. Their solution, shortsighted as it may be is to give someone else a chance--gridlock may be better than what the GOP is doing.

21 posted on 11/13/2006 7:32:35 AM PST by Small-L ("Government is not the answer to our problems -- government IS the problem." -- RR)
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To: BufordP
Arguing why Santorum lost in Penn is like arguing why Kennedy and Kerry win in Taxachusetts.

Historic massive voter fraud???

22 posted on 11/13/2006 7:36:54 AM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
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To: Apple Pan Dowdy
>How do we get the hardheaded Republican politicians to admit to themselves the real reason they lost?
"Rush Limbaugh says he feels relieved.
I understand him perfectly. It has been
difficult: people I do not respect
seized control of my party
; but the alternatives
were frightening, and I did not want
to contribute to the possible disaster."

Jerry Pournelle, Wednesday, November 8, 2006

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Republicans once
portrayed themselves as adults
and 'Rats as children.

This is now reversed.
The mainstream and the fringe groups
on the Left see things

with their eyes open
and their brains, such as they are,
running like grown ups.

The Right's broken up
into a mainstream that won't
face the craziness

of its fringe groups and
fringe groups that think they're mainstream,
whining and crying

they can't make it so
just by telling each other.
I suspect eight years

under the rule of
President Hillary will
straighten out the nuts.

23 posted on 11/13/2006 7:40:23 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: All

One more time:

Conservatism is not defined in this election by abortion, immigration, Iraq, taxes or anything else.

We do NOT have to speculate on why this happened. We have the data. The exit polls were accurate and they asked respondents what their number one issue was in the election.

It was none of the above issues. It was corruption scandals.

The GOP can devote attention to its excessive spending, and that's a good thing, but Iraq need not be changed. The media has jumped up and said IRAQ IS WHY THIS HAPPENED, but that's not what the exit polls said. Iraq was #3 in the exit poll measurement.

A conservative country will not tolerate corruption scandals. The GOP had a ton of them this year. All that needs to happen, NOTHING MORE, is to get squeaky clean candidates and get some indictments of Democrats.

Do that, we win. Do anything else, we are not assured of winning.


24 posted on 11/13/2006 7:44:05 AM PST by Owen
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To: Just A Nobody
We have been in Iraq ...

FReepers understand, but have you (or Bush) explained that to the American people? In many ways, they see us bogged down, spending money, and getting our guys killed to build soccer fields, schools, and sewage systems.

If foreign fighters are "flooding" into the country, why aren't we sealing the border with a buffer zone in which any truck, car, or human is a target for a preditor? Why do we let Al Sadr foment terrorists rather than serving as an aim point?

Winning their hearts and minds through soccer fields and water systems is fine, IF their hearts and minds are open to being won. Bombs on target help open hearts and minds.

25 posted on 11/13/2006 7:45:56 AM PST by Small-L ("Government is not the answer to our problems -- government IS the problem." -- RR)
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To: Small-L
An air of contempt and intrusions into local affairs: NCLB, Kelo, abortion...

I agree with what you said except (1) the extraordinary remark about abortion and (2) the characterization of Kelo.

We appear to agree that abortion should be a local matter. The federal government, in Roe et seq, has intervened massively against state and local governments and told them they may not regulate abortion in any way, shape, or form. So your characterization of the dislike for conservatives seeking federal intervention in "local" affairs seems to me to be 180 degrees off. The problem conservatives are trying to rectify IS federal intervention in local affairs. 95% of the thrust of the debate by conservatives is to get the federal government OUT of the dispute by appointing judges that will apply the actual constitution.

In the case of Kelo, the Federal Judiciary should have intervened in local affairs under the takings clause of the US constitution. A proper application of that clause would have held the takings unconstitutional. It was local action to which, I believe, you object. Thus, the Kelo decision was the federal government's refusing to interfere, when it should have, in local affairs.

26 posted on 11/13/2006 7:50:24 AM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: Just A Nobody

Yes, I understand all that. I even think there is a chance we'd get the situation squared away in Iraq using the methods we're using now, given enough time. How much time, I don't know and I doubt that W knows either.

The point is that our inability to defeat the insurgents decisively and quickly has been an encouragement to both the terrorists and the Democrats.

The result was the victory we handed both of these groups last Tuesday. A major fubar, and rightly or wrongly, our people, starting with the President, have to take responsibility for it.


27 posted on 11/13/2006 7:53:18 AM PST by Sam Cree (don't mix alcopops and ufo's - absolute reality)
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To: SquirrelKing
"It's either kick ass or pull out. I don't think people have the stomach for the in-between."

Yes, that puts it in a nutshell.

28 posted on 11/13/2006 7:54:52 AM PST by Sam Cree (don't mix alcopops and ufo's - absolute reality)
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To: SquirrelKing

The ass kicking (e.g massive increase in collateral deaths) ain't gonna happen in Iraq. Hence, the kick ass or leave folks are well overdue for making a final choice. Come on guys, make a decision!


29 posted on 11/13/2006 7:55:10 AM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: Small-L
have you (or Bush) explained that to the American people?

Spend a few days here reading my posts from the last 18 months.

Here' one post from 3 days ago.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
There are none so blind as those that refuse to see.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?

30 posted on 11/13/2006 8:01:20 AM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
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To: Owen
>We do NOT have to speculate on why this happened. We have the data . . .

"Thirteen out of every 100 voters who went to the polls Tuesday were under the age of 30, and more than half of them chose Democrats, experts say.

About 10 million young people voted, according to analysts who studied exit poll data. That's 2 million more than the previous congressional midterm election in 2002.

This year's youth turnout was perhaps the largest for a midterm election since 1982, said Mark Lopez of the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement. "

There's lots of "data."
The trick is figuring out
which data means what.

The important bits
seem clear: While the Right's fringe groups
were "protest voting"

by staying home, 'Rats
stirred up kids with Jon Stewart
and that kind of crap

and they did the job.
And now we have to live with
what the Right's nuts did.

31 posted on 11/13/2006 8:01:57 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: Owen
It was corruption scandals

IMHO, the actual scandals only entrenched an overall air of corruption. For example, I think people look at earmarks, not as individual items of corruption, but as a general climate of corruption. Some of the earmarks (the ones in my district) might be OK, but with 29,000 of them, someone is getting "paid off."

The same of Hastert's defense of William Jefferson. Jefferson was wrong, but Hastert contributed to the "climate of corruption" by insisting that the DoJ was wrong in investigating him.

There were as many Dems involved with Abramoff, but the GOP was in power when it happened, so they must have permitted or encouraged it, especially with the earmarks.

Medicare Drug Coverage, in some form was inevitable, but by abandoning their principles to pass it with the support of the drug and insurance industries, the GOP gave the impression that they were in bed with the big campaign contributors in the drug/insurance industry--a perception of corruption.

By voting for NCLB, the GOP again left the impression that someone bought them off--"I don't know who, but someone must have made a big campaign contribution to get them to abandon their principles and campaign promises."

Even the dragging on of the IRAQ war has the taint of corruption, Halliburton, oil companies, ...

You're (or the exit polls) may be right, but I suspect it is a general perception rather than a specific event.

32 posted on 11/13/2006 8:05:13 AM PST by Small-L ("Government is not the answer to our problems -- government IS the problem." -- RR)
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To: pabianice

When Churchill lost office in 1945 Britian wasn't faced by Islamic lunatics armed with nuclear, bio, and chemical weapons.


Yes and the country was tired of empire and tired of war and tired of conservative rule and basically, well...tired.

However, Churchill himself was popular. Wherever he appeared, people cheered. It was his party that was voted against.


33 posted on 11/13/2006 8:08:15 AM PST by Vanders9
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To: Just A Nobody

Okay, you got me! Arrrgghhh!


34 posted on 11/13/2006 8:22:22 AM PST by BufordP ("Every morning I start my day with juice, toast, and a big bowl of Baby Crunch!" -- Michael J. Fox)
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To: BufordP

The conservatives did score great victories in getting rid of rinos dewine and chafee.

Now in 2008, there are a lot of opportunities to get rid of more rinos.

Some rinos up in 08 are, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Warner, Lamar Alexander, Libby Dole, Smith from Oregon, that bridge to nowhere Stevens guy, Chuck Hagel, Sununu, and Domenici.


35 posted on 11/13/2006 8:35:54 AM PST by staytrue (Tancredo/Buchanan for 2008-All RINOS MUST GO)
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To: staytrue

I don't know that we could take out RINOs in lieu of conservatives in northeastern blue states. But it makes sense in South Carolina, Nebraska, Virginia, Alaska, etc.


36 posted on 11/13/2006 8:42:20 AM PST by BufordP ("Every morning I start my day with juice, toast, and a big bowl of Baby Crunch!" -- Michael J. Fox)
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To: Sam Cree
I don't believe the public is against our being in Iraq. They are against our not kicking ass decisively there.

I totally agree with you Sam.

37 posted on 11/13/2006 8:49:54 AM PST by ksen ("For an omniscient and omnipotent God, there are no Plan B's" - Frumanchu)
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To: ModelBreaker
I agree with what you said except

Actually, I think we agree. IMHO, most people feel that the abortion issue should be a local/state issue and that the SCOTUS overstepped the Constitution with Roe, and the ban on partial birth continues that abrogation. I think they see the Republican actions (e.g. partial birth, conservative judges) as attempts to impose the agenda of social conservatism (read Religious Right) on the entire nation, again overstepping the limits of the Constitution. Where I think the SCOTUS needs to make a ruling is on the definition of what a "human" is, i.e. when, by definition, life begins. From that, state laws could flow, just as they do with murder, rape, etc.

Kelo, I think falls in a similar category. Many view the Kelo decision as bad and allowing government to take without limit, but in fact, the Kelo decision told local/state governments that it was up to them to impose restrictions and not the federal government. Unfortunately, I don't think most voters saw it that way--they saw it as encouraging government taking. The good news is that many states (mine passed an amendment to the state constitution on the last election) have stepped up to that charge, and as states, we're better for it.

38 posted on 11/13/2006 8:53:21 AM PST by Small-L ("Government is not the answer to our problems -- government IS the problem." -- RR)
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To: Owen
One more time:
We do NOT have to speculate on why this happened. We have the data. The exit polls were accurate and they asked respondents what their number one issue was in the election

ROTFLOL!!! You're a laugh a minute!

A lie told often enough becomes the truth tactic?

You and the rest of the party hacks tried to pull this line of crap the last couple weeks leading up to the election.

The only corruption that ticked off GOP voters was the lack of investigations and indictments of the DemonRAT criminals sitting in CONgress. Hastert running to embrace and shield william jefferson, DEMONRAT, la is a prime example.

The lack of investigation into the despicable al-Murthawi and his dealings with the US Navy to transfer land to San Francisco. Land whose rights were owned by a company that had Laurence PELOSI, (yeah, her nephew) as an executive.

Or how about investigating the millions of dollars worth of earmarks in defense appropriations bills that went to companies owned by the children of fellow PA DemonRAT, Rep. Paul Kanjorski?

When can we discuss investigate and charge Pelosi, Reid, sKerry, Boxer, Kennedy, Nagin, Blanko, Schumer..........?

The answer is now NEVER! The corruption in the republican party is the fact that they did NOT go after the corruption in the RAT party.

FBI investigates Rep. Curt Weldon
McClatchy Newspapers ^ | 10-13-06 | Greg Gordon The Justice Department is investigating whether Republican Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania traded his political influence for lucrative lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter, according to sources with direct knowledge of the inquiry.

The republicans went gunning for their own, not the enemy.

Running all over FR citing "exit polls" (spit) and republican corruption as the cause of the shift in CONgress, is making you look like a fool.

39 posted on 11/13/2006 8:58:36 AM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
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To: BufordP
;*)
40 posted on 11/13/2006 9:07:12 AM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
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To: Captain Kirk
Then why did "kick ass" candidates like Santorum lose?

All politics is local. PA is a special case. Essentially, socialists who are pro-gun/pro-life. And the dead will rise to vote for anyone named Casey.

Add in some unguarded remarks from Santorum and his book being unpopular and especially his support for Specter over Toomey and the result isn't hard to explain.

Santorum's defeat was a PA thing, not a national indicator.
41 posted on 11/13/2006 9:07:46 AM PST by George W. Bush
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To: BufordP
I don't know that we could take out RINOs in lieu of conservatives in northeastern blue states.

Well, God forbid that we try. That would be senseless. Why give the people a real choice?

Of course none of this "analysis" makes a nickels worth of difference unless we rid ourselves of the voter fraud.

42 posted on 11/13/2006 9:09:51 AM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
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To: Captain Kirk
Then why did "kick ass" candidates like Santorum lose?

There were several reasons, but the main one was that the Dems ran a pro-lifer this time, which took away a lot of pro-life Dem votes that Santorum received in the past two elections. Throw in some other issues, such as Santorum going corporatist in a blue-collar lunch-pail state, and also having state taxpayers footing the bill for Santorum's kids going to cyberschool when Santorum's family clearly lived out of state, and Santorum was road kill.

But he's not a good yardstick by which to gauge the larger election.

43 posted on 11/13/2006 9:13:55 AM PST by dirtboy (Objects in tagline are closer than they appear)
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To: Small-L
Actually, I think we agree. IMHO, most people feel that the abortion issue should be a local/state issue and that the SCOTUS overstepped the Constitution with Roe, and the ban on partial birth continues that abrogation. I think they see the Republican actions (e.g. partial birth, conservative judges) as attempts to impose the agenda of social conservatism (read Religious Right) on the entire nation, again overstepping the limits of the Constitution. Where I think the SCOTUS needs to make a ruling is on the definition of what a "human" is, i.e. when, by definition, life begins. From that, state laws could flow, just as they do with murder, rape, etc.

What is missing from your discussion is what the consitutinon actually says. There is no provision of the constitution that permits the Federal Government to define when life begins for the states. That entire question was left, quite clearly, to the states in the constitution.

I understand your "perceptions" argument and maybe that played a role in the election. But the conservative position is that the federal government should butt out of the abortion debate as, under the constitution, it should. But until the Federal Judiciary butts out, the argument will necessarily be a federal one about the Federal Judiciary.

Kelo, I think falls in a similar category. Many view the Kelo decision as bad and allowing government to take without limit, but in fact, the Kelo decision told local/state governments that it was up to them to impose restrictions and not the federal government. Unfortunately, I don't think most voters saw it that way--they saw it as encouraging government taking. The good news is that many states (mine passed an amendment to the state constitution on the last election) have stepped up to that charge, and as states, we're better for it.

So you're saying republicans got blamed for a decision by five left-wing federal judges, a decision that was routinely excoriated by most republicans? Maybe. But you could only attribute that to massive voter ignorance.

In Kelo, unlike the abortion issue, there is a federal constitutional clause prohibiting "takings" by the states except for public purposes. So, unlike the abortion situation, the federal judiciary can define, for the states, what "public purposes" comprise. That the court defined it incorrectly was the problem in the decision.

44 posted on 11/13/2006 9:18:13 AM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: dirtboy

If Santorum is not a good yardstick, add Burns, Webb, and DeWine, all of whom were far more "kick ass" than their "cut and run" opponents. The only exception was in Tennesse and, even there, Ford came far closer than he would in a normal year. I suppose I could add to the list all of the GOP House candidates who ran on pro-war platforms and were beaten soundly. Iraq was the central thread here. Both Bush and the Demos accurately called the election a referendum on that issue.


45 posted on 11/13/2006 9:19:18 AM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: Small-L

The MSM is in wishful thinking overdrive.

Now the Iraq Study Group is being spun as a alcholism intervention group for GWBush. (a reference to his drinking days)


There are also stories of the leadership already casting the conservatives their recruited off to the side.


46 posted on 11/13/2006 9:20:02 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: dirtboy

Oops, I forgot Talent.


47 posted on 11/13/2006 9:21:00 AM PST by Captain Kirk
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To: Chi-townChief

No, the debacle on November 7 was an America and Americans debacle.
They do not realize what a bunch of incompetent people they put in power. So sad, but so true.


48 posted on 11/13/2006 9:21:02 AM PST by mulligan
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To: ksen

I'm as angry and disappointed with the voters as anyone, but I have to assign most of the responsibility for the debacale to our leaders.

Nice to see you, Ksen, how is everything?


49 posted on 11/13/2006 9:22:26 AM PST by Sam Cree (don't mix alcopops and ufo's - absolute reality)
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To: Just A Nobody
I'm all for GOP leadership [wink, wink, nudge, nudge] endorsing conservative candidates like Laffey in Rhode Island, Schlesinger in Connecticut, and Toomey in Pennsylvania.

OOPS!

50 posted on 11/13/2006 9:26:24 AM PST by BufordP ("Every morning I start my day with juice, toast, and a big bowl of Baby Crunch!" -- Michael J. Fox)
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