Patterico's Pontifications

10/22/2007

Too Dangerous To Embrace But Too Powerful To Resist — Do The Dems Have More To Be Worried About Than The GOP?

Filed under: 2008 Election,Politics — WLS @ 7:04 pm



[Posted by WLS]

Last week the cover story in the Weekly Standard was titled “The Stupid Party — How Democrats Earned The Epithet Reserved For Republicans.” I’m not going to try and recapture all the points made by the author, James Ceaser, Prof. of Policites at UVA, but he draws parallels between 1968 and 2008, while discussing the journey of the Dem. party in between. Some of his points are not earthshaking, but events of the past 9 months do seem to bear out the reasonableness of the comparison.

In the 1960s, the Democrat party was taken down not by an assault from the right, but by an assault from the left. The conservative wing of the GOP was waxed by LBJ and the mainstream Dems in 1964, and there was no reason to believe any element of the GOP would recover in time to make a meaningful race out of 1968.

But, in the aftermath of the radical meltdown of the Dems in Chicago, leading to the election of Richard Nixon, the real damage done to the Dem party by the assault upon it by the radical cultural left was only fully recognized by the overwhelming repudiation of the agenda and values of the radical cultural left in 1972, and the re-election of Richard Nixon.

As Ceaser points out, after this repudiation — if they couldn’t beat Nixon after 68-72, who could they beat? — the radical cultural left retreated to the universities in the 1970s and 1980s, and control of the party was re-assumed by the more mainstream traditional liberal establishment that reflected the legacy of FDR, JFK, and LBJ. Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, and Clinton were all orthodox liberals, though Clinton saw the benefit of the “New Democrat” construct in a general election campaign. But the radical cultural left never was able to seize control of the agenda, other than anecdotally during the Clinton Administration in moments of weakness and pandering.

But, after 2000, with the help of radical left instruments funded by the George Soroses of the world, the Democrat party is once again under siege from its left wing. The rise of the nutroots in the 2004 election cycle, now fully funded by the cultural elite of Hollywood and academia, has given the radical left wing a digital megaphone — but that doesn’t necessarily mean its message and policy dictates are any more welcome today than it was in 1968 and 1972.

The Democrat’s electoral success in 2006, juxtaposed against the failure/unwillingess of the newly elected Dem Congress to follow through on the radical left’s agenda (“Now its our party, we bought it, we own it” — Eli Pariser of MoveOn), is again laying the foundation for a meltdown within the party, and a rejection by the majority of the country of the values and causes of the radical left which are again being imposed upon the Democrat party. The fight lying just beneath the surface involves the smoldering animosity of the radical left at the seemingly unstoppable march of Hillary Clinton to the Dem. nomination. It was accepted conventional wisdom at the beginning of 2007 that she is not their choice. Yet her candidacy is fed by an effective political machine that has the rank and file of the Democrat party supporting her in large numbers, while the radical left and cultural elite continue to favor Obama as he slips in the polls notwithstanding the fortune in campaign contributions bestowed upon him.

I predict the conflagration between the Clinton Machine and the radical cultural left will erupt after she has secured the nomination, and begins a slow walk back towards the center, moving further away from the radical left’s agenda. They’ll vote for her in the end, but they’ll savage her as a heretic all the way into the voting booth, trying to drive her further left. Look at the treatment afforded Dems who took their money in 2006 but then voted their conscience on Iraq war supplemental funding.

This assault will likely lead her into McGovern-like policy positions. She’s already showing signs of it with the mish-mash of programs and policy pronouncements that seem aimed at nothing more than to make herself more acceptable to the left wing of her own party. The pressure will build on her to go further down that road to avoid a left-wing backlash if she were to retreat in the general election, or to move back to the center to avoid a McGovern-ish finish.

In a way, the past 9 months have helped the GOP’s chances in 2008. Imagine the vitriol and energy that would be available 13 months from now from the left and in the Democrat party if the Senate had gone 50-50 with Cheney breaking ties, and the GOP had held onto a slim margin in the House, sufficient to continue stifling all efforts by the Dems on the war and other liberal issues.

But, instead of having that vitriol and anger focused on a GOP in charge of Congress, the fact that the Dems have control of the Congess, yet can’t seem to carry off the policy agenda of the radical left wing, is only causing the Dems trouble within the ranks — and it’s going to get worse as more and more candidates have to pander to MoveOn and Code Pink while middle America watches.

The GOP has been able to lay low, take a breather, play defense, and let the Dems piss off their own base by not delivering on the things they promised after the 2006 election — or at least things that the radical left was promised.

When the Dems make some meaningful attempt to deliver on the radical left’s agenda — like the unbelievable vote in a House committee to drive a wedge between the US and Turkey for the purpose of interrupting supply lines to the troops — they only give the GOP a megaphone to use against them with the broad political middle of the country.

This country has tolerated only 6 years of a Dem President joined by Dems in control of both houses if the Congress in the last 40 years. Four of those years came after Watergate during the Carter Admin. Carter was a one term President who was swamped out of office by Democrats who voted for a conservative Republican. The other two years were in Clinton’s first term, and resulted in a tidal wave GOP victory in 1994 that gave the GOP control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

There is just NO evidence that the American electorate wants the agenda of the radical left enacted, and the surest way to avoid that possibility is to elect GOP candidates to office.

The 2006 election, rather than being an harbinger of things to come, is more likely an outlier. The two things that enervated the electorate against the GOP in 2006 — a failing war and George W. Bush — won’t be around in 2008.

I continue to believe that the American public is not so much against the Iraq war as it is against losing the Iraq war, and it was going to reflect that attitude in its voting. The GOP was in charge and appeared to be losing the Iraq war in 2006. Those circumstances appear to have changed, and the mood of the public with respect to the Iraq war is changing with it.

The newest CNN poll out last week showed the impact of the surge strategy on public opinion. The percentage of the public saying that going into Iraq was the right thing to do increased from 39% to 45%, while the percentage of the public saying the surge had no impact dropped from 51% to 41% (most moving to undecided). My point is that the public’s view of the wisdom of the war — i.e., its popularity — is always going to be shaped by their view of how well/bad the war is going. Winning wars makes them popular, losing them not so much.

And, GWB won’t be on the ballot. None of the GOP candidates for President are closely associated with the Admin. or its policies. It was easy to link Congress to the WH in 2006. With the GOP Controlled Congress in the grip of several corruption scandals, the public’s rebuke of them at the ballot box was predictable. That won’t be the case in 2008. The GOP isn’t in control. And the face of the GOP will be the new candidate, not GWB.

Going back to Ceaser’s article, he’s got one great line in there that I’ve put up in the title. In commenting on the inability of the establishment liberals to make common ground with the radical cultural left, he wrote: “Usually, the old liberals found the cultural left too dangerous to embrace, and too powerful to resist.”

Reminds me of the Borg.

— WLS

85 Responses to “Too Dangerous To Embrace But Too Powerful To Resist — Do The Dems Have More To Be Worried About Than The GOP?”

  1. “… instead of having that vitriol and anger focused on a GOP in charge of Congress, the fact that the Dems have control of the Congess, yet can’t seem to carry off the policy agenda of the radical left wing, is only causing the Dems trouble within the ranks — and its going to get worse as more and more candidates have to pander to MoveOn and Code Pink while middle America watches.

    Heh. So the 2006 midterm election was a Karl Rove plot after all?

    DRJ (35ac59)

  2. Yeah — it was all part of a secret strategy.

    WLS (bafbcb)

  3. Rove, you magnificent bastard!

    Paul (146bba)

  4. Imagine how strong the Republicans will be after 8 years of President Hillary!

    Not a single mention of civil rights in that history…quite an achievement.

    alphie (99bc18)

  5. Imagine how strong the Republicans will be after 8 years of President Hillary!

    Sure about that, Staunch Brayer?

    Not a single mention of civil rights in that history…quite an achievement.

    Another threadjacking attempt.

    Paul (146bba)

  6. Chankging the subject already, alphie…?

    Can’t make an argument against a single thing written, so change the subject…

    If only predicting the lottery were as easy as predicting you….

    I could start my own blog….and not ban you from it, because you could be the comic relief….of course, you could just go and post on your own blog….but no one would read you, would they?

    reff (99666d)

  7. Haha, reff,

    Any history of the Demcrats has to include civil rights and the reaction of Southerners, don’t it?

    Unless it’s just another neocon feelgood myth, of course.

    alphie (99bc18)

  8. but no one would read you, would they?

    Ain’t that the truth, reff.

    Paul (146bba)

  9. Any history of the Demcrats has to include civil rights and the reaction of Southerners, don’t it?

    Will it also include that the Dems as a group were the party of pro-slavery, and that the Republicans were orginally the anti-slavery faction of the Whig party?

    Will it also include the purely racist legislation passed by the Dems during and after Reconstruction?

    Will it also include the Dems’ fillibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, led by J. William Fulbright (Bill Clinton’s mentor) and Albert Gore Sr.? Will it include the fact that the bill was passed because the Republicans voted for it?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Paul (146bba)

  10. So…are you going to address the subject of this thread, that the Dems have a huge problem brewing in 2008?

    Paul (146bba)

  11. Paul,

    That theory seems so divorced from reality I can’t really respond to it in any meaningful way.

    True believers to the end?

    alphie (99bc18)

  12. You guys don’t restrict your wishful thinking to Iraq, I’ll say that for you. It’s true, Hillary is not my favorite candidate, although she is the only one I’d like to have oral sex with in the Oval Office. But what you’ve missed is that the country that you somehow think is behind you is closer to the netroots than to Clinton (who has, of course, a lot of name recognition and fond memories of her husbands’ successful presidency) on Iraq. Congress’ poor approval rating appears to stem from the perception that it hasn’t tried hard enough to reverse the course of Mr. 24 percent.

    2008 will be another disaster for Republicans, following on the heels of the only election in modern history where one party did not lose a single House, Senate, or Governor seat. At least it will probably remain true, as Ann Coulter observed, that if the franchise were again restricted to white males only, the GOP wouldhave won.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (17dd6e)

  13. That theory seems so divorced from reality I can’t really respond to it in any meaningful way.

    Maybe because what you and Andrew think is “reality”…isn’t.

    Paul (146bba)

  14. AJL….\

    While I think you mean Governor’s races in 2008, I’ll stretch that a bit for you…since you think this will be such a bad national election for you, I’ll put the results from Louisiana up as an opposing position….and that is in a state where even the NY Times thinks we vote Democrat….

    alphie….I deliberately left out the Democrat history on civil rights, since I am from a southern state, and lived through it, and have a degree in American History, so, I’ve studied it, and I know that the Democrat Party has never been behind it except as a excuse to try to win elections….

    But, I digress (again)…

    You ignored what I posted, didn’t you, when you couldn’t even respond to anything in the article….

    typical…go post on your blog….at least the writer likes the reader….

    reff (99666d)

  15. My opinion of the election next year is that unless the GOP candidate gets caught in a stall next to Sen Craig, he will beat Hillary. Partly because her high negatives mean some Dems will go with the GOP nominee.
    However, I think that the Dems hold the house and senate but not with a filibuster proof majority.

    voiceofreason (f89f65)

  16. Indeed the GOP candidate wins in Louisiana (as we will win in Kentucky). It was the 2006 election that was historic: even in such blowouts as 1932 and 1994, the losing party picked up at least one House, Senate, or Governor election from the dominant party. But not in 2006. The repudiation of the GOP was total.

    I’d say the Dems have a 50-50 chance at President if they run Lyndon LaRouche, otherwise much better. I can assure you, Democrats will not be crossing over to Huckabee (my guess) or any other Republican to avoid Hillary. And after learning a lesson in 2000, they won’t vote for Ralph Nader either.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (17dd6e)

  17. Patterico – Grounds for banning right here:

    Hillary “is the only one I’d like to have oral sex with in the Oval Office.”

    Andrew gives us way more information than we need and a pretty awful visual with that comment right there. Hillary may not be getting much from Bill, but to actually admit to wanting to do this is a little sick. It’s not even taking one for the team. He’s saying he wants to do it.

    I think I threw up a little in my mouth.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  18. reff,

    The article reads like a typical neocons retelling of history:

    Here’s some random history, therefor America loves us…stay the course!

    There is just NO evidence that the American electorate wants the agenda of the radical left enacted

    There no evidence that the country wants the agenda of the radical right continued either, yet that all the Republicans have to run on now.

    My guess is after 2008, we’ll see a new Republican party platform that’s a little more mainstream.

    alphie (99bc18)

  19. Sex with Hillary?! AJL why do you think Bill has such a wandering eye?

    Hillary may not be as loathsome to centrist voters as she is to conservatives like me. But I doubt they trust her much. I think if she wins, the GOP regains at least one house of Congress.

    Stu707 (adbb5a)

  20. If things continue as they do, someone has to remember these comments of Andrew’s and Alphie’s to bring up for remembrance as to how badly hubris can impair you.

    Thirteen months before the election and the Democrats already have it sewn up, huh? That must be why all the people who get paid to do the internal polling for the Democrats and win them elections say that the nation is still in a state of almost total political polarization, with each party’s presidential candidate guaranteed to get at least 40-45% of the vote.

    Andrew and Alphie prattle on about proclaiming victory in the past in Iraq and now has to bore me with their declarations that an election more than a year away in a highly polarized country is all sewn up by one party? Give me a fucking break already, this is too much stupidity.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  21. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/22/AR2007102201717.html?nav=rss_print/asection

    Do the Dems have something to worry about? Maybe.

    If Iraq is removed as a reason for anti-GOP sentiment, and I believe it largely will be, the Democrats are in trouble. They are entirely dependent on Iraq as the reason for people to vote for them. If violence continues to drop in Iraq, if Bush can order some troop withdrawals beyond the inevitable summer 2008 reduction back to 130,000, what are the Democrats going to run on? Besides defeat in Iraq they have nothing, and defeat in Iraq is a well that’s running low.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  22. The way I see it, the Democrats can’t lose. If they can’t have this country, they have enough money to buy Namibia from Angelina Jolie.

    Glen Wishard (b1987d)

  23. Somehow, I just can’t find it to listen to analysis from someone who seems either incapable or unwilling to the object of analysis by its proper name, somehow see hippies lurking under the bed at every turn in 2007, and whose primary argument is that everything that causes Republicans problems is Really A Great Thing For Them.

    The last one is especially amusing – it is sort of a Laffer curve for pols. If partisan bombthrowers really thought that, they’d want Republicans to stay on the back ’40 for another few terms. Then they’d get the president of their dreams – Cheney with laser beams for eyes, the ability to manufacture wars for free, and a FedEx box under every tree designed especially for shipping back the illegal immigrant of your choice, paid for by cutting social security.

    (If it isn’t obvious, I am perhaps a little tongue in cheek here.)

    fishbane (1f2790)

  24. fishbane — did you attend Woodstock?

    I think you’ve not yet recovered all your faculties. Re-read what you wrote, put down the bong, and try again.

    wls (fb8809)

  25. I think there will be huge riots at the DNC convention in Denver in 2008. NYC in 2004 was nothing compared to what will occur in Denver.

    dave (0606c0)

  26. WLS,

    Interesting post – a retroactive analysis of past presidential elections and the circumstances that surrounded them. Cool stuff.

    Insofar as your predictions for 08: dream on. I might be inclined to agree that Clinton’s negatives mattered if the GOP had a SINGLE CANDIDATE that was worth a second glance (other than Ron Paul… and I don’t have to be Karnak to write him off come primary season).

    I won’t say that the Democrats have the election sewn up; that seems premature, given the fact that the Moment of Truth is still thirteen months away. But unless things change in a drastic way between now and next November, the Republicans are in trouble. Gas is three bucks a gallon, everyone and their cousin is retiring from the Republican wing of the Senate, and the war will go down in history as the albatross tied around the neck of the GOP.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  27. “I think there will be huge riots at the DNC convention in Denver in 2008″

    – dave

    Lord, I hope so. Spice things up a bit.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  28. Besides defeat in Iraq they have nothing

    Well, there’s S-CHIP, corruption, immigration (checked out the GOP share of the Latino vote lately?).

    And, guess what, there will also be Iraq.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (17dd6e)

  29. What’s Hillary’s platform this week?

    The politics of personal expedience didn’t work too well for the democrats in 2004. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in 2008.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  30. Well, there’s S-CHIP, corruption, immigration (checked out the GOP share of the Latino vote lately?).

    Your grasp on the facts is as usual tenuous.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/22/AR2007102201717.html?hpid=topnews
    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-oe-malanga18oct18,1,4196941.story?track=rss&ctrack=2&cset=true

    Immigration is a GOP issue.

    Health care: other than the fact that a plurality of voters apparently aren’t even paying attention to the issue, and once you start asking voters detailed questions the support for socialist healthcare for those who aren’t poor support collapses, sure, it’s a Democratic issue. Only on the broad question of “Do you want SCHIP to be extended and/or get SOME new funding” do the Democrats have an edge in the polls on the issue. Every other question, Bush and the GOP have an edge. The American people don’t want to see SCHIP disappear. They just as clearly aren’t that crazy about the first step on the long road to HillaryCare that the Dems were pushing.

    That you would list corruption is hilarious. The Democratic Congress has either failed to enact or reneged on every single promise regarding earmarks, corruption, and reform in general that Nancy Pelosi made in 2006. Corruption is a Democratic issue, what a fucking joke. The GOP leadership, at least in the House, is finally dedicated to purging the party of the nonsense that was going on before 2006.

    And, guess what, there will also be Iraq.

    And it will be a GOP plus in a year. How sad for you Copperhead.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  31. Leviticus — what you seem to be overlooking in my post is that at some point, just like in 1968 and 1972, the middle 20% of the electorate is going to look at what it is a Hillary administration might bring. If what they see is the radical left policy agenda being pushed onto the Democrat party by the MoveOn, Daily Kos, and MyDD crowd, there is no historical basis to believe the electorate will vote to embrace that.

    An author cited by Ceaser in this piece, Michael Tomasky, had a piece yesterday in The Guardian raising the issue of whether the electorate is tired of GWB or tired of conservatism. He’s hoping for the latter, but he’s not certain that is the case.

    Both major party candidates will start with 43-45%. In 2006 the war and GOP corruption in Congress was good for another 8-10%. Is that still the case?

    If its not, Hillary’s high negatives won’t bring in enough independents to get her beyond the Democrat defections she’s bound to suffer.

    wls (fb8809)

  32. This post is uncanny because I posted something somewhat similar in my own blog not but a few days ago. Yours is much more inclusive and full because I have to admit that I am not versed on the details of the history of how the party has gotten to the place it is at. I do know that the party’s agenda has crossed with the agenda of George Soros on social, economic, and foreign policy. In fact, his agenda is now driving the agenda of the Democratic Party. Whether it is the belief that we should teach second graders about a gay couple, reversing don’t ask don’t tell in the military, unconditional talks with Syria and Iran, or universal health care, his agenda finds its way into the agenda of the Democrats on whole breadth of issues.

    The other remarkable thing is how totally politically tone deaf the Democrats are. They hit the right note on SCHIP however on every single other issue they have either handled it totally incompetently or found themselves on an issue where they are in the minority and significantly so.

    Here is how I saw their political tone deafness and how their agenda crosses with Soros on a number of issues.

    Michael Volpe (c55984)

  33. They hit the right note on SCHIP

    If that’s so, they had to use Pro Tools to morph the note into the right one, instead of hitting the correct note because they played a properly-tuned instrument and properly read the note on the staff line.

    Paul (146bba)

  34. I’d have to disagree with the the entire thurst of the article. Carter’s foreign police was not one that demonstrated good sense or even commonsense and was dominated by the radical Left. In the House and Senate the Left destroyed our intelligence agencies and military. It took the radicals reign of terror over the Ford and Carter years to convince Americans that the Left wasn’t only wrong, it was disasterously wrong.

    Eight years of Reagan turned America around but it only reduced the radical Left’s influence. They festered in academia, grew stronger in the MSM until even the last vestiges of objectivity were expelled and their outrages grew with the development of CNN.

    An examination of the dhimmierats Senate reveals no indication of anything but statist solutions, actiuons to reduce American influence overseas, and the freedoms of Americans at home. Bush’s is attacked by the Left for reducing American freedoms, yet these same people remain silent about Waco or the Clinton’s forced return of Elian Gonzalez to communists. Thesepeople remain the defenders of illegal aliens.

    The Left remains firmly in control of the dhimmierats, charities, MSM, and Hollywood but this is offset but the growing awareness that these radical elements stand for all that opposes what America was founded for. They represent the forced that Americans sought refuge from and are unlikely to go to for solutions to future problems. Hence their embrace of statism and disarming Americans so that they may impose their “utopian” solutions on the unwilling.

    No the Left remains firmly in control of the dhimmierats and have been since 1968. They are only more blantant about it and having overplayed their hand are about to be dealt a major setback. And like 1964 the forces of RINOism are about to be dealt a major setback.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  35. alphie…you still didn’t refute anything from the initial post…

    Stop giving opinion, and post some facts….

    Dang…I’m digressing again….got to get that under control….

    reff (bff229)

  36. oh…alphie..

    What part of the Bush Presidency, with the exception of Iraq, which we all know you disagree with, has been “out of the mainstream?”

    Facts, please, not opinion…..

    This will make for quick and not so interesting reading….

    reff (bff229)

  37. with the exception of Iraq

    Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

    alphie (99bc18)

  38. The GOP is no longer starting from 43-45 percent.

    Bye-bye Hispanics
    GOP share of youth vote falling.
    Bush approval among independents: 12 percent.

    On the other hand, here’s Hugh Hewitt suggesting that the GOP is going to hold steady in the 2006 elections.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  39. Ah yes…Andrew J. “Move the Goalposts” Lazarus.

    Paul (146bba)

  40. Andrew, that article about Hispanics is from May 21, 2006. How about some fresh info?

    And the GOP share of youth vote is from the International Herald Tribune, an organization that makes the Dog Trainer look like neo-cons by comparison.

    The Bush approval numbers among independent are irrelevant because Bush isn’t running.

    Admit it: the Dems are in a bad position.

    Paul (146bba)

  41. Prof. Ceaser sounds sort of like a conspiracy theorist to me tho not as cracked. I suppose there could be all sorts of historical reasons for why the Dems might lose power in the next round of elections that have to do with the “far left” and their agenda, whatever that is, (from Volpe’s link V- seems to think it has a lot to do with gay people…) but every time I hear/read an argument about this I remember a couple of things; the last presidential debates, and congressmen apologizing on the air for some remark or another.

    The question “How are you going to get the troops home” elicited some long complex 12 step program sort of response from John Kerry making him look like a programs-not-action-bureaucrat. George Bush said “I’m going to win the war” and right then we all knew that 4 more years was in the bag for GWB.

    Somehow all the congressional apologizers seem to be Democrats (resigning is a different story, that’s Republican territory apparently) and they all look like weak gasbags that won’t stand by their own words.

    As far as I know GWB’s 4 more years or the Democrats regaining congress had little to do with the American people rejecting the “far left agenda” and a lot to do with perception of strength and effectiveness (with Republican corruption = ineffective).

    There may be lots of truth in Prof Ceasars work, just like there may be good reasons that congressmen apologize for their remarks, but I bet that most of the electorate is going to vote based on their perception of competence/strength, not on their knowledge of history or proper language for parlimentary debate. And right now the Dems are looking pretty ineffective.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  42. From the Houston Chronicle 9/10/2007.

    [Bush] job-approval rating among Latinos has plummeted to 20 percent from 35 percent since January, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of polling data for the Houston Chronicle. The drop is significantly sharper than among non-Hispanic whites and blacks. [snip] Exit polls from the 2006 election reflected a nascent anti-Republican trend. Latino support for GOP candidates dropped to 30 percent in 2006 from 40 percent in 2004, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Newer polls show that the trend has accelerated, particularly among younger voters. A survey of under-30 Americans for Democracy Corps, a Democratic group, found that Latinos preferred a Democrat for president in 2008 by a margin of 42 percentage points. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton led Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani by 30 points.

    The situation for the Democrats looks good, including the fact the GOP has more Senate seats, both total and competitive, to defend.

    There really is a connection between thinking the GOP is on top electorally and thinking we’re winning the Iraq War. Some very potent hallucinogen?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  43. Andrew J. — re-read my post, only this time pay attention to my words, not your imagination.

    My point is that the Dems are poised for an internicine battle if/when Hillary — if she’s nominated — begins triangulating herself on her way to the general election campaign.

    She knows the path to a general election victory is the one taken by her husband — not the one advocated by Howard Dean and John Edwards.

    But, the nutroots that dominate the dialogue of the Democratic primary season by virtue of their well-financed digital presence, will attack her if she does not adopt their orthodoxy.

    Prof. Ceaser describes quite simply the chasm that has always existed between traditional liberals and the nutroots that are the spawn of the radical cultural left decamped at the universities. Traditional liberals believe in the transformational nature of an activist government pursuing social policy — addressing the ills of society through government planning and intervention.

    The radical left in 1968 rejected this notion of liberalism in favor of a doctrine of transformation through revolution — Castro, Che and all that rot. As Prof. Ceaser wrote: “The New Left called into question almost everything liberals had deemed to be progress: material well-being, American power, and especially the enlightened motives of the leaders of the American nation.”

    What will be the reaction of the MoveOn/Kos/MyDD wing of the Dem. party if Hillary doesn’t adopt their policy ideas as part of the general election? Which has the bigger downside — elevating the left-wing of the party as the standard bearer of their agenda, or running back towards the center looking for that extra 5-8% she needs to win?

    WLS (bafbcb)

  44. Some very potent hallucinogen?

    Yeah. It’s called the truth.

    How big is that Hispanic electorate? The ones that are legally allowed to vote, not the illegal ones Dems will attempt to sneak in to bolster their chances?

    Yup, the Dems have the illegal and dead electorates sewn up. A winning strategy.

    Paul (146bba)

  45. wls,

    The 2006 elections stopped the nuttiest of the far right’s ideas in their tracks. Turning Social Security over to Wall Street, repealing the estate tax, etc., aren’t even mentioned anymore outside the far right echo chamber now.

    If Hillary wins in 2008 and the Dems retain control of both Houses of Congress, they will have the Republican’s sad lesson of one party extremism run amok to keep them on the moderate path.

    Your article just reads like projection…we did it, so they’ll do it, too.

    I don’t think so.

    alphie (99bc18)

  46. The GOP is no longer starting from 43-45 percent.

    Who am I to believe?

    Idiot Demagogue, or Democratic pollsters?

    There really is a connection between thinking the GOP is on top electorally and thinking we’re winning the Iraq War. Some very potent hallucinogen?

    You have shown yourself incapable of responding either honestly or effectively against arguments that the Iraq War is being won, so don’t be offended if no one gives a shit about your idiotic chest-beating.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  47. “My point is that the Dems are poised for an internicine battle if/when Hillary — if she’s nominated — begins triangulating herself on her way to the general election campaign.”

    – wls

    You’re so intent comparing Hillary Clinton to George McGovern (in hopes that the analogy will extend to a crushing GOP victory) that you miss the much more obvious comparison of Hillary Clinton to Ed Muskie: each a centrist candidate backed by the Big Money, each assumed nominee with more than a year to go until the general election. Ed Muskie imploded in the primaries; we’ll see how Clinton does.

    Either way, Biscayne Bay was the site of Clinton’s political baptism. She fought for McGovern in Miami, and she watched Nixon crush him like a bug; she’s not about to make the same mistakes he did.

    Moreover, Nixon was a better candidate and a better, smarter politician than any clown the GOP can lay across the sacrificial altar in 08. Your best hope is to offer up the most expendable candidate you can find, bite the bullet in November, and hope that the Democratic president screws the pooch over the course of his/her first term, paving the way for a Reagan-style movement in 2012.

    Leviticus (4df0bd)

  48. The Republican candidates for Senate in 2006 got less than 43% of the vote. The two parties are not, at the moment, starting from the same place.

    The netroots, by the way, were a real force behind Sens. Webb and Tester. I don’t see that as a product of far-left academicians.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  49. Sens Webb and Tester are only Sens Webb and Tester because of the self-immolation of their opponents.

    What’s the nutroots view of their positions on the Second Amendment? Lets wait to see what the nutroots have to say about them after they vote on something other than Iraq.

    WLS (bafbcb)

  50. WLS – Well written and insightful. Those that would deny that there is a chasm between Hillary and the nutroots are being willfully blind.

    JD (3ecf8c)

  51. wls,

    A majority of Americans favor stricter gun control laws:

    http://www.pollingreport.com/guns.htm

    alphie (99bc18)

  52. The Republican candidates for Senate in 2006 got less than 43% of the vote. The two parties are not, at the moment, starting from the same place.

    43%…

    That’s between 40 and 45, isn’t it?

    Hilarious slip, by the way. “At the moment.” I thought that the election was already wrapped up, now you’re admitting that it’s actually 12 months away?

    chaos (9c54c6)

  53. A majority of Americans favor stricter gun control laws:

    51%-47% is called within the margin of error. Statistical dead heat. A majority of Americans don’t favor stricter gun control laws.

    Completely unsurprising, of course, that you only mention the 51-47% result.

    What do we see when we scroll down the page?

    “Do you think there should or should not be a law that would ban the possession of handguns, except by the police and other authorized persons?”

    Should: 30%
    Should Not: 68%

    And the next question polled, which completely destroys alphie’s assertion:

    “In terms of gun laws in the United States, which of the following would you prefer to see happen: enforce the current gun laws more strictly and NOT pass new gun laws, or pass new gun laws in addition to enforcing the current laws more strictly?”

    Enforce Current Laws: 58%
    Pass New Laws: 38%

    Idiot Demagogue, sit back down now thanks.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  54. chaos,

    If you want to join the reality based community, you have to go all the way.

    “In general, do you feel that the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now?”

    More Strict – 51%
    Less Strict – 8%
    Kept as Now – 39%
    Unsure – 2%

    If you want to stay in the faith-based community, you can say whatever you want, no matter what the truth is.

    Your half-way post is…a muddle.

    alphie (99bc18)

  55. Thank you, chaos. As you know, offering facts into any discussion with alphie is completely pointless, as he/she/it is impervious to facts.

    JD (3ecf8c)

  56. As has been noted, but should be reinforced here, note how the likes of alphie want to talk about anything but the topic.

    Staunch Republican, my ass …

    JD (3ecf8c)

  57. If you want to join the reality based community, you have to go all the way.

    Time to embarrass you for about the fourth time today.

    Gallup Poll. Oct. 4-7, 2007. N=1,010 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

    Do you know what that MoE means?

    If you want to stay in the faith-based community, you can say whatever you want, no matter what the truth is.

    The truth is that the only poll result that you mention is inconclusive, with a difference well within the margin of error, whereas the numbers I posted from your link that you deliberately omitted from posting show that clear majorities
    (20 – 30%) of Americans do not favor stricter gun control.

    Your half-way post is…a muddle.

    You’re a troll, so your opinion of my owning you every time you post isn’t really relevant. Sorry, but you’re just so easy to expose as an idiot and a liar that I can’t resist.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  58. Haha, JD,

    Facts are facts.

    What chaos offers is non-sensical spin.

    There is a difference.

    alphie (99bc18)

  59. Facts are facts.

    51-47% with a 3% margin of error is not evidence that a majority of Americans support stricter gun control.

    What chaos offers is non-sensical spin.

    Talking about yourself I see?

    58-38 and 68-30 majorities against stricter gun control in the very same poll, on the other hand, are conclusive evidence that Americans do not support stricter gun control.

    There is a difference.

    Yes, there is a difference. You’re a troll, and I’m not. You deliberately ignore evidence, lie, and otherwise act dishonestly in order to provoke a hostile emotional reaction from the other posters here. It’s pathetic.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  60. Once again, chaos. Well said. alphie is like kyptonite to oliver willis.

    JD (3ecf8c)

  61. Chaos,

    Let’s look at this the proper way:

    “In general, do you feel that the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now?”

    More Strict – 51%
    Less Strict – 8%

    You don’t get to recruit the neutrals to your side and declare a tie.

    In a way, you prove wls’ point.

    We see in your anti-scientific methods the way the fringe right tries to paint their radical views as “mainstream” views.

    You guys are the ones who destroyed the Republican party.

    Now you’re just hoping your counterparts on the left do the same thing to the Democrats…not gonna happen.

    alphie (99bc18)

  62. Alphajackass,

    48 out 50 States allow concealed carry of firearms. Take your polls back to DummiesUnhinged and then go pleasure yourself in a dark corner of your mom’s basement.

    nk (da3e6b)

  63. Nice,

    That’s the real faith-based style, nk.

    What chaos is trying to do is just embarrassing.

    alphie (99bc18)

  64. Alphie,

    Why do you subject yourself to this? Most of the time I feel sorry for you, a great part of the time I ignore you, a small part of the time I cannot resist telling you what a worthless noisemaking geek you are. A man with any scintilla of pride or dignity who gets the rebuffs you do would simply stop commenting here. Just what are you made of?

    nk (da3e6b)

  65. nk — Alphie is on the clock. The conservative blogosphere is filled with paid shills from MoveOn, ANSWER, and their ilk.

    Do you think only Media Matters monitors the dialogue of conservatives? Aphie, blah, and AF all bear all the hallmarks of paid monitors. Hence the effort to continually hijack threads and take them off-topic.

    He’s tolerated here by Patterico — but just barely.

    WLS (bafbcb)

  66. nk & chaos – The #’s that do not support alphie’s contention simply no longer exist. Just like the topic of this post. alphie does not wish to address it, as it would require some degree of introspection, so he/she/it just randomly pulls a topic out of his/her/its ass.

    JD (3ecf8c)

  67. nk,

    I kinda enjoy it.

    The 25 percenters and their politicians have an amusing habit of relying on phony stats, ad hominem attacks and frequent wavings of the “Mission Accomplished” to “argue” their points.

    What’s not to like?

    The thought George Soros and Jaae Fonda are paying me is comedy gold, too.

    You just can’t get this anywhere else.

    alphie (99bc18)

  68. Fair enough, alphie. Every village needs an idiot.

    nk (da3e6b)

  69. WLS & JD,

    Sorry. My browser did not refresh before posting my last comment. At least I can stop feeling sorry for the geek.

    nk (da3e6b)

  70. “A man with any scintilla of pride or dignity who gets the rebuffs you do would simply stop commenting here.”

    -nk

    …Unless, of course, his pride and dignity depended on something more than the opinion of a bunch of strangers. Like us.

    “Do you think only Media Matters monitors the dialogue of conservatives? Aphie, blah, and AF all bear all the hallmarks of paid monitors. Hence the effort to continually hijack threads and take them off-topic”

    -WLS

    Such bullshit… so sad.

    What “hallmarks” are you referring to, anyway? Don’t you think a good spy would keep a lower profile?

    Leviticus (9cf150)

  71. How about that 11% Congressional approval rating, alphie? Apparently, Nans and Reid are at least twice as despised as President Bush.

    JD (3ecf8c)

  72. Leviticus,

    I don’t mean this. Honestly. But please suppose that I mean it:

    “Go squeeze your zits, asshole.”

    How many times would you need to read it before you said to yourself, “Why the f*** do I need to put up with the morons who comment on Patterico” and find a friendlier site for your views?

    nk (da3e6b)

  73. Hey Patrick, long time no read (the comments, I mean). After reading through all 69 responses to wls’s post, I be thinking maybe the blog needs moderated comments. I’d like to think you’d get higher quality comments than some of this junk… after all these years. Take care.

    Regret (fe9629)

  74. Leviticus — note that I didn’t include you. I certainly expect the blog to attract those who legitimately disagree, and to have them argue their points.

    But there’s no question that there are paid posters who hang out here and elsewhere, and their mission is not just to monitor the converstaion but to disrupt it as well.

    Sometimes they make legitimate points, but often the comments are inane and pointless. Commonly they seek to go off-topic.

    Do you disagree that Media Matters and other left-wing interest groups pay people to monitor programs like Rush, Hannity, and Imus?

    Given that all those are established facts, why do you dismiss out of hand the idea that MM or other similar outfits wouldn’t pay people to monitor a list of influential blogs — and by influential I simply mean widely-read. Its easy to identify which blogs get the most traffic. If I was easily bored I could hang out at Firedoglake or MyDD or TPMuckraker and post thread-hijacking non-sense under a variety of handles — especially if someone was willing to pay me to do it.

    WLS (bafbcb)

  75. Regret — its hard to have a moderated blog when the people doing the posting all have day jobs that demand their time.

    WLS (bafbcb)

  76. Like Alphie, I don’t get a Soros check, but if you could find out where I could apply I would be grateful.

    I would point out to chaos that 43 percent i snot where the GOP started in the last election, but where it ended up. Perhaps he wishes to admit that the GOP lost all of the independent vote. May be, but if so, the fact that independents’ approval of the top GOP guy, George Bush, is at 12 percent would suggest that an election held today would be just as painful to the Republicans as the last one.

    Could this change? Sure. Maybe new CSI technology will finally show Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster. The dynamic that you are counting on, though, is that the Iraqis (who are now taking losses from our bombing) will find their flowers and re-greet us as liberators in time to Accomplish the Mission all over again.

    Election Day is in November. Groundhog Day is in February.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (17dd6e)

  77. AJL

    the GOP lost all of the independent vote

    Prove it.

    JD (3ecf8c)

  78. Well, JD, chaos says the GOP is starting from base of 40-45 percent. And they only finished with 43 percent. Ergo, they got almost no votes from outside their base. Ergo, they lost all the independent vote.

    If you don’t agree with this, take the matter up with Chaos. On his assumption, the rest is mere arithmetic.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (17dd6e)

  79. Actually, liar, what I said was that Democratic pollsters say that the candidate of both major parties is assured 40-45% of the vote. Not that they started from such a base in 2006. What I said had nothing to do with 2006. Your trollery knows no bounds. You are either deliberately misrepresenting what I said, or you’re not intelligent enough to comprehend English at the high school level.

    Let’s look at this the proper way:

    The Retard Way, you mean. What you say next is stupid of epic proportions.

    You don’t get to recruit the neutrals to your side and declare a tie.

    Is this supposed to be serious?

    People who want the laws to stay the same don’t want stricter laws. It’s a self-evident statement. The laws staying the same =!= stricter laws. Stricter laws would mean, you know, DIFFERENT LAWS from the ones currently in place. If you want the same laws, you don’t want different laws.

    Some of the most pathetic trolls I’ve ever seen.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  80. Interestingly enough Ariana Huffington just put out an post that basically follows a similar theme to professor Ceasar, except in her scenario its the Republican party that has been taken over by its extreme fringe (neo-cons I guess) and is now at war with itself. Is Prof. Ceasar projecting?

    EdWood (c2268a)

  81. I’ll read Ariana’s post later and respond, but before that:

    1. I’d consider the sources — a professor of politics at an elite Univ. vs. a political gadfly.

    2. There’s history in the Dem party for what might be developing, while there is not such history in the GOP.

    wls (fb8809)

  82. wls
    point 1- yes indeed

    point 2- yes, that’s why I said a similar theme, I am just wondering if the at least percieved infighting (well…breaking ranks?) of Republican congressmen over some issues such the conduct of the war isn’t indicitave of some similar idealogical conflict in the R party also.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  83. “I don’t mean this. Honestly. But please suppose that I mean it:

    “Go squeeze your zits, asshole.”

    How many times would you need to read it before you said to yourself, “Why the f*** do I need to put up with the morons who comment on Patterico” and find a friendlier site for your views?”

    -nk

    If any comment any liberal made was responded to thusly, regardless of its content, I would take off, yeah.

    But that’s not the case, here. You respond respectfully to my questions, and I respond respectfully to yours, even when said questions are pointed to the… point… of being rhetorical. So why doesn’t alphie get the same response?

    I dunno. Maybe you guys see something wrong with his comments/style that I’m missing. It’s possible. But I don’t see what that something is, and I’d kind of appreciate if someone would let me know.

    WLS,

    I didn’t know that it was an established fact that Media Matters/MoveOn/Whoever pay commenters to derail otherwise-productive threads on conservative blogs… Not that I think its impossible, mind; it’s just that I’ve never heard about it before (probably because the only blog I frequent is this one).

    Still, I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call alphie a spy just because you think he jacks the occasional thread (a charge that I believe is applied too broadly in the first place).

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  84. Levi:

    Of all the conservatives here, I probably get along with Alphie the best. I think Alphie enjoys goading commenters, and s/he frequently moves discussions off-topic in a liberal direction. It’s irritating to have every discussion moved off-topic in the same direction, especially if you are interested in talking about that topic. It might be different if it only happened now and then, but it happens in virtually every thread that Alphie posts on.

    Alphie:

    I don’t mean to talk about you behind your back. You know I would say this to your face, don’t you?

    DRJ (970b3a)

  85. “especially if you are interested in talking about that topic.”

    -DRJ

    I suppose that’s the most legitimate (sorry, alphie) grievance you could’ve mentioned, although I think too many commenters allow the aforementioned goading to get their goat.

    OK… duly noted.

    It still bugs me when I see nk telling alphie to go jack off in a dark corner. At such times, he sounds disturbingly similar to Christoph.

    Throws my whole universe out of whack…

    Leviticus (f6f899)


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