As a prelude to our promised painful discussion we need to assess the implications of last week’s elections. The main implication is the redistricting Hell for Obama Dimocrats. Well before others focused on the redistricting issue we discussed how Obama destroyed the “10 year plan” in our very first “Mistake In ’08” installment.
After Tuesday, November 2, 2010 we know we have been right in our analysis and “The Only Question Left: Will The Detox Party Win And Dump Obama?” Even in the Obama Hopium dens the too late realization occurs to some that it is either Detox or Obama. Steve Lombardo at Obama lovin’ Huff n’ Puff details the damage in “It Was More Than Just A Wave”:
“A week ago today, voters flipped the Obama coalition on its head and voted for Republicans in a mid-term landslide that has the potential to be a transformational election. Notice how we used the word “potential.” That’s because every new majority can go in one of two directions: it can either cement its winning coalition or it can fritter it all away. History will be the judge, but the next 12 months will give us a pretty good indication of how this will turn out. Either way, what is clear is that this was a historic defeat for Democrats. And the depth and breadth of the GOP wave was greater than most people realize.
As of today, the GOP has recorded a net gain of 60 seats (seven races remain undecided). It is likely that the net GOP pickup will be around 63 seats. Either way, last Tuesday’s results are the greatest shift from one party to another in the House of Representatives since 1938 (in that year Republicans picked up 80 seats in a dramatic rebuke for New Deal Democrats). The GOP now controls the greatest number of seats (and conversely the Democrats the fewest) in the House since 1948. The GOP also picked up six Senate seats yet fell short of control of the Senate (more on this later). At the state level, the GOP gained seven Governorships and 20 state legislative chambers. These gains were not limited to the South, either. The entire Wisconsin and New Hampshire legislatures flipped to the GOP by wide margins. For the first time since 1870 the North Carolina state legislature is in the hands of Republicans. State Houses in key Presidential swing states like Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Michigan all flipped to the GOP. Republicans haven’t had this much power in state capitals since the 1920’s. This is something that really sets this year apart from 1994, in which the GOP wave was largely limited to federal elections. This year may have been much more than a wave.”
Indeed this year’s elections could easily be truly “transformational”. Obama Dimocrats and the idiot “creative class” never understood what we understand and that is that the Republicans would react and adjust to electoral and demographic circumstances. The idiot “creative class” thought they could ignore the white working class and craft a crazy quilt hodgepodge “situation comedy” coalition that would somehow lead to wide vistas of victory. They were wrong – very wrong – and they continue to resist reality.
More from Lombardo:
“Here are what we consider to be the key points about last week’s election:
1. This election was a correction and then some. Democrats didn’t lose because their base did not come out. Instead, Democrats lost because they were exposed in conservative districts that went to Obama in 2008 (and, to some extent, in 2006) and reverted to their traditional GOP norm this time around. Remember, Obama swept into office on the heels of the most catastrophic economic collapse since the great depression. On Labor Day of 2008, many polls had Obama either slightly ahead of or even with McCain. It wasn’t until the Lehman collapse on September 15th–and the subsequent market plunge–that the bottom fell out for McCain. Now, it is fair to say that perhaps Obama would have won without the economic freefall, but it is no sure thing (and it probably would have been a lot closer). The point is that dozens of Democrats came into office during this period of economic crisis and anti-Bush/anti-Iraq sentiment that would have never have won otherwise. These issues together formed what economists call a “black swan” event, a once in a lifetime situation. And what happened last week is that traditional Republican districts became red again.”
Black Swans are not like buses – they don’t come on a regular basis such that if you miss one swan you can hop on board the next one to Hoboken. True, candidate quality matters, as Lombardo notes. But what really matters is the quality of your coalition. The Obama “situation comedy” is a loser.:
“We have been saying for months that the “middle” of the electorate left Obama and on Tuesday they landed on the GOP’s doorstep. According to exit polls, Independents went with Republicans by a 16-point margin (55%-39%). In 2008 Independents broke for Obama 52%-44%. But Indies peeled off from the President in the summer of 2009 and never looked back. Independents went heavily for GOP gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey and helped elect Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Republicans didn’t win because their vote showed up and the Democrat vote didn’t. They won because the middle went their way. Look at it this way: in 2006 36% of voters were Republican and 38 percent were Democrats. In 2010, 36% of voters were Republican and 36% were Democrats. A slight drop off, sure, but not enough to explain the historic wave. This wasn’t about GOTV or tactics, it was about a broad sentiment that ran across the electorate.”
“The GOP has retaken the American heartland and Obama needs it to win again in 2012. The new map looks a lot like 2004. As Jay Cost recently pointed out, 2010 reverted to the Bush majority. You can drive in a fairly direct line from New Jersey to California without ever having to cross into a Democratic congressional district. The new map is a sea of red. The biggest gains were in the heartland: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. Exit polling suggests that 54% of voters in the Midwest voted Republican while only 44% voted Democrat.
5. Democrats had a firewall and it worked in the Senate. Like a retreating army, the Democrats headed for the coasts and did well in Washington State, California and Connecticut, staving off a GOP Senate takeover.”
Angry voters (84% to 13% in favor of the GOP), the economy, and a reaction against the party in power all played a part in the disaster of 2010. But the most important lesson to be learned is that you cannot despise and snub huge segments of the American fabric such as the white working class and expect better results. Indeed, the New York Times recently noted that the losses would have been greater in 2010 save for tactical moves by Obama Dimocrats. That is no way to govern – with tactical schemes to claw together electoral margins of victory.
“According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, Republicans gained about 125 seats in state senates and 550 seats in state houses — 675 seats in total. That gives them more seats than they’ve won in any year since 1928.
Republicans snatched control of about 20 legislative houses from Democrats — and by margins that hardly any political insiders expected. Republicans needed five seats for a majority in the Pennsylvania House and won 15; they needed four seats in the Ohio House and got 13; they needed 13 in the Michigan House and got 20; they needed two in the Wisconsin Senate and four in the Wisconsin House, and gained four and 14; they needed five in the North Carolina Senate and nine in the North Carolina House and gained 11 and 15.
All those gains are hugely significant in redistricting. When the 2010 Census results are announced next month, the 435 House seats will be reapportioned to the states, and state officials will draw new district lines in each state. [snip]
Republicans look to have a bigger advantage in this redistricting cycle than they’ve ever had before. It appears that in the states that will have more than five districts (you can make only limited partisan difference in smaller states), Republicans will control redistricting in 13 states with a total of 165 House districts and Democrats will have control in only four states with a total of 40 districts. You can add Minnesota (seven or eight districts) to the first list if the final count gives Republicans the governorship and New York (27 or 28 districts) to the second list if the final count gives Democrats the state Senate.”
We discussed this Barone analysis before. It bears repeating because it is so significant to our coming discussions on what must be realized and what must be done to stave off endless defeats.
Hillary Clinton voters “deserted the party in droves on Tuesday“. We know about snubs and tactical electoral games designed to thwart the electoral will.
Obama Dimocrats will continue to delude themselves. Some will blame the “Blue Dogs”. Obama lapdog Matt Bai slapped that theory down.
“Even before the votes were cast, a counterargument was already taking hold — that it was the centrist Democrats, and not the liberals in Congress, who had imperiled the party’s majority.
“Democrats would be in better shape, and would accomplish more, with a smaller and more ideologically cohesive caucus,” Ari Berman, a writer for The Nation, argued in a New York Times Op-Ed in October. In an e-mail after the election, Jim Dean, who now runs the liberal group Democracy for America, founded by his brother Howard, told supporters that the progressive candidates who lost had been victimized by “corporate Democrats who refused to stand up and fight for real change.”
The theory here, embraced by a lot of the most prominent liberal bloggers and activists, is that centrist Democrats doomed the party when they blocked liberals in Congress from making good on President Obama’s promise of bold change. Specifically, they refused to adopt a more populist stance toward business and opposed greater stimulus spending and a government-run health care plan. As a result, the thinking goes, frustrated voters rejected the party for its timidity.
There are a few strange things about this argument, even beyond the contention that American voters — 41 percent of whom described themselves as “conservative” this year, compared with 32 percent in 2006 — somehow deem Congress to be insufficiently liberal.
For one thing, many of these same liberal activists were saying something very different in 2006, when Rahm Emanuel, who was then overseeing House campaigns for the party, recruited a slate of less ideological candidates to compete in more conservative districts. Some leading bloggers then — who are now proponents of the Blame the Blue Dogs theory — proclaimed themselves to be against ideological litmus tests, arguing that the most important thing was to choose candidates who could actually win.
This was the same moment when Howard Dean, the unofficial leader of the progressive movement, was telling anyone who would listen that the Southern guy with a Confederate flag in his truck, as Mr. Dean invariably described him, should be a Democratic voter, too. The whole point of Mr. Dean’s “50-state strategy” as party chairman was to find candidates who could win everywhere.
Apparently it was easier for liberal activists to countenance ideological diversity when they were out of power. Now that the party has had to make the requisite compromises in order to pass major legislation, such a “big tent” vision of governing no longer seems so appealing.
Second, while House Republicans have now managed to cobble together a majority that is more or less ideologically cohesive, history would suggest that the same feat isn’t so easy for Democrats, who have actually never succeeded in pulling it off. Even during the great heyday of Democratic government in the 20th century, when the party enacted Social Security and Medicare and civil rights legislation, its dominance was possible only because Democrats had shaped a majority coalition made up of Northern liberals and Southern conservatives.”
Yeah, those darn white working class voters sided with FDR/Hillary Clinton Democrats to support and have our representatives enact Social Security, Medicare and civil rights legislation. These are the very same white working class heroes despised by the Haiku writers of the “creative class”.
But, but, but, say the Obama “butt” worshippers, we’re the Mets and we’ll win next time! Not quite “creative class” klutzes. In 2012 the Senate contests will take place mostly in “Red” states. In those elections there will be 23 Obama Dimocrats up for reelection and only 9 Republicans – guess who wins with those odds? What about the House? Mark Greenbaum snuffs out the audacious dream of a Dimocrat takeover in his latest Salon article:
“To everyone’s surprise, Nancy Pelosi wants to return as the Democrats’ leader in the next Congress. But if she’s hoping for a big Democratic year in 2012 that would give her the speaker’s gavel back, she might want to look closer at Tuesday’s results: Based on the breadth and scope of their losses, it is going be almost impossible for Democrats to retake the House in the next 10 years.
While Democrats’ historic loss of at least 61 seats (results are still pending in a handful of districts) can be traced to a diverse set of factors, the majority of the Democrats defeated were either elected to Republican-friendly seats in the wave elections of 2006 and 2008 or were long-term incumbents who represented heavily GOP districts. The seats in that latter category are likely gone for good, while many in the former are clustered in a handful of states where GOP state-level gains will ensure that they are fortified in next year’s redistricting trials, making them even more difficult for Democrats to take back than they were entering the ’06 and ’08 cycles.
The losses of Democrats like Rick Boucher (southwest Virginia coal country), Lincoln Davis (increasingly conservative central Tennessee), Chet Edwards (College Station, Texas), Jim Marshall (Macon, Ga.), Earl Pomeroy (North Dakota), Ike Skelton (the Ozarks) and Gene Taylor (Biloxi and Pascagoula, Miss.) are particularly painful for Democrats, given the treacherous political terrain they face in those districts. Democrats were incredibly lucky to hold these seats as long as they did, and they were able to because incumbents like Skelton (elected in 1976), Boucher (1982), Taylor (1989), and Edwards (1990) had adeptly burrowed themselves in. Democrats were always going to lose these seats when these representatives stepped down, but the tidal wave of 2010 washed them all away in one fell swoop.
Put another way, of the 20 most Republican-leaning House seats held by Democrats on Election Day, 17 of them fell. With Partisan Voting Index scores ranging from R+9 in Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin’s South Dakota at-large district to an unfathomable R+20 for Edwards’ Texas seat and Taylor’s south Mississippi district, it’s a miracle Democrats held these seats for as long as they did. Altogether, Democrats dropped 25 seats this week with PVI ratings of R+6 or more. It’s difficult to envision the party winning many of these seats back in the short- or long-term future.
Looking at Tuesday’s results from another angle, around two-thirds of the seats Democrats lost were held by members elected in the ’06 and ’08 elections. With a small handful of exceptions, nearly all of these districts are Republican-leaning, though most not overwhelmingly so. They represented the spoils of Democrats’ own wave elections. As currently drawn, many of them could theoretically be competitive in 2012, but Republican state legislative and gubernatorial gains could help the GOP use the forthcoming redistricting to fortify many of them.”
That last sentence is one which we will focus on as our promised “painful discussion” continues next week.
Before ending we’ll debunk some other 2010 hogwash from the “creative class”. The Obama Hopium dens will have many excuses and fake celebrations over “victory” in the Senate. Obama Dimocrats cannot take comfort in the Senate results either. The bottom line is that Republicans will have effective control of that chamber, if not the fancy offices and perks of the majority.
An Obama victory in 2012? Politico yesterday regurgitated much of the obvious:
“Last week’s midterm elections saw the trio of conservative-leaning states Obama captured in 2008 — Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana — return to their Republican tendencies while more traditional swing states also broke sharply toward the GOP.
Perhaps most worrisome for Democrats, Rust Belt and Midwest states that had been trending toward the party even before Obama’s election saw Republicans pile up victories. In places such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where the president won with double-digit margins two years ago, the GOP captured offices up and down the ballot and demonstrated that they remain politically competitive in those states. [snip]
“If Obama holds the Kerry states and carries only the states in which Democrats prevailed in 2010, he loses,” Begala said.
What many in the party believe — and more now are willing to voice publicly — is that 2008 may have been a referendum on President George W. Bush and that Obama’s victory was owed in large part to exhaustion with the outgoing administration.“
We’ve been writing what Politico and “many in the party believe” for many years now. Sorry Obama Hopium Guzzlers, your Golden Calf is a fake. Even Nancy Pelousy who schemed and demanded Hillary Clinton drop out of the primaries, as she was winning primary after primary with astonishing margins in white working class districts and entire states, knows Obama is in trouble:
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democratic leaders Wednesday afternoon that President Barack Obama has to be “perfect” to win a second term, several senior Democratic aides told Roll Call.
Pelosi told leaders on a conference call that Obama will have problems running for re-election because of the loss of governorships in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states, several aides said. The soon-to-be-ex-Speaker also said House Democrats have many opportunities to take back 25 House seats and win back the majority, aides said.”
Pelousy does not understand how difficult Obama’s continued occupancy of perks and golfing trips is. Perhaps after the investigations begin Pelousy will get a clue. Perhaps after the massive waste of money is exposed, Pelousy will get a clue. And hint to Pelousy, read Mark Greenbaum’s article which we discussed above.
Policy-wise, Obama does not know what he is doing and what he does know is not what Americans want (as as on Israel). Perhaps the Scarborough 7 need to have a chat with Nancy.
Perhaps Nancy needs to sit down with Obama and read the Tea Leaves:
“To that end, we believe Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012.”
We’ll continue our “chat” next week, as we stare into the Pits of Obama Hell, and describe what we see.