The Other Big Loser

Maybe I should have titled this post simply “The Big Loser.” Because, let’s face it: everyone expected the Democrats to get hammered. After all, the economy is still on the rocks, unemployment remains high, and Wall Street and Big Business, having gotten what they wanted out of the Obama adminsitration (a bailout and a stabilized economy) now want to get the party back in power that will allow them to go back to doing what they were doing before the economy collapsed, and thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent Citizens United decision, they had carte blanch to throw money at the race. Seen in historical context, then, the Democratic losses are about what one would expect from the party in power during a mid-term election taking place before the backdrop of a very sour economy. This really is little different from what happened to Bill Clinton in 1994. So all in all, it’s not a terrible night for the Obama adminsitration. And it should not be forgotten that keeping the Senate in Democratic hands was a major plus for the Administration.

Which brings me back to the real loser of last night: Sarah Palin. Because, let’s face it, Democrats kept the senate largely by winning races Nevada and Delaware, two states where the most extreme of Palinite, Tea Party candidates faced off against mainstream Democrats. Nevada is perhaps the most important bellweather. Harry Ried was (unfairly) highly disliked in Nevada, but apparently voters were even more mistrustful of the radical right-wing candidate with the Sarah Palin press strategy (run awaaaaaaay!). And in Delaware, Chris Coons, the Democratic candidate soundly trounced a pretty, perky and oh so dumb Christine O’Donnell (basically a younger version of Sarah Palin). These were races the Democrats would probably have lost if Republicans had chosen a more moderate opponent. As much as the Tea Party movement helped energize Republicans, last night’s elections proved that there is definitely such a thing as too much tea in many parts of the country (even in Alaska, it seems, where Lisa Murkowski’s write-in candidacy appears to be on a path to defeat Joe Miller, for whom Sarah Palin campaigned exhaustively). So I think we can officially announce, from this, that last night constituted the nail in the coffin of any presidential aspirations that Sarah Palin may have harbored.

Yes, gridlock will be the order of the day for the next two years, but it’s not all bad. After all, despite what you may have read, the Democrats actually managed to push through a pretty astonishing agenda these past two years, including an ambitious health care reform package that will bring coverage to 95% of Americans for the first time in history, important Wall Street and Financial industry reforms, the rescue of the U.S. and World Economies from a potential depression, the rescue of General Motors (a leaner, more survivable company) and a host of smaller issues as well. Ezra Klein has a good summary of what was accomplished here.

These next two years are going to be rocky, but at least the Democrats don’t have to deal with the illusion (and it was really more illusion than reality) that they have a fillibuster proof majority in Congress and can get anything they want. It’s going to be interesting seeing things unfold.

On the economic front, however, things look much gloomier. If Paul Krugman is right (and he’s been right about almost everything so far) then we’re looking forward to a decade or two of high unemployment, rising debt and slow economic growth. My guess is that the debt situation will only be exacerbated by the resulting swings in voter loyalty over that time as the country bounces between Democratic administrations pushing stimulus and successive Republican administrations chocking off whatever green shoots might sprout by mandating austerity when it’s their turn to govern.


that was definitely the silver lining last night. seeing the witch, joe joe the monkey boy and ms second amendment remedies go down in flames.

that and learning that Boner is even more orange when he weeps.

@Tommmcatt Thinks Masturbation Can Also Involve The Mainstream Media:

Gridlock is a mixed bag. It means that nothing new gets passed, but it also means that nothing that was passed gets repealed. That means we still have a consumer protection agency, meaningful health care reform, and some restraints on Wall Street’s ability to leverage itself to the hilt and play poker (or is it Russial roulette?) with other people’s money.

You are correct. What’s even funnier is going to be when the Teabaggers start turning on each other (and they will.)

Despite hyping wins by Rubio and Rand (despite thoughts of Demrat pickups) didn’t mean anything because they were from GOP HELD seats. Rand Paul and his libertarian dogma replaces batshit Jim “Fucking” Bunning and his shit slider (Ted Williams quote from Jim Bouton’s Ball Four) so it is pretty much a wash.

As I said last night to our esteemed Hamster, the GOPers lost 4 Senate Races THEY SHOULD HAVE WON. WVa. Nevada. Delaware. Conn. All because of the Teabaggers.

Why am I up so early? SD street cleaners woke me up.

Actually, the Democratic losses are at least double what one would normally expect in a mid-term for a party in power, they didn’t expect to get hammered until recently (remember that “permanent realignment” in the electorate?), Krugman is famous for being almost always wrong with his forecasts (having predicted 8 of the last 1 recessions), and you have a typo in the second to last sentence of the first paragraph (adminsitration).

Other than that, I agree with the assessment of the Sarah Palin flavor of the Tea Party. If her version remains ascendant in primaries, it pretty much guarantees Obama’s reelection – a good thing.

Another silver lining is that Aqua Buddha will be a stronger voice to cut military spending and restrain military adventurism than most of the Democrats in the Senate.

Just trying to help everyone get through this.

@ManchuCandidate: I disagree about Kentucky. The voters traded in an ancient, notoriously lazy (but not as lazy as those unemployed bums, right, Jim?) Republican for a young, aggressive one.

@libertarian tool:

Unemployment was under 6% in 1994 when Bill clinton lost 52 seats in the House of Representatives. I’d say, given the current unemployment numbers, losing 62-67 seats is about what one would have expected… maybe less. And keeping the Senate is remarkable given those numbers.

Wait a minute, so you mean the sky isn’t falling? The nation will go on with the Democrat president and the Senate restraining the wilder fiscal urges of the Boehner House for two years? Meanwhile the Senate will still be the body approving appointments made by the president in case any more Supreme Court vacancies appear?

I’m interested to see how well Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell will get along since Mitch did not support him in the primary. Of course Jim Bunning was nothing but McConnell’s celebrity empty suit in the Senate.

@libertarian tool: As long as we’re being nitpicky, it’s carte blanche (feminine form of blanc). Yes, I am a nasty French Socialist. Glad to see you back by the way. Place isn’t the same without your perspective.
I’m feeling rather sanguine this morning. Now Boner, the GOP, and the Tea Party get to try to satisfy the ADHD American electorate by fixing everything in two years. Good luck with that. BTW, I’ve heard your promises to cut taxes and reduce debt while not touching the third rails of Social Security, Medicare, and military spending, and all I can say is, Show me the math.

@Serolf Divad:
Kevin Drumm splits the difference:

“But the model I wrote about, which comes from Douglas Hibbs, only predicted a 45-seat loss, and it looks like Dems are likely to lose at least 60 seats. That means Democrats underperformed the Hibbs model by 15 seats or so, which is a record for them. (See chart below.) They’ve underperformed by ten seats a couple of times in the postwar era, but never by more than that. So at the same time that it’s correct to blame most of their losses on structural factors, it’s also correct that this was something of a historically bad result. I think it might be fair to say that the economy is so epically bad that Hibbs’s model might not account for it entirely, but that’s mostly special pleading. It really does look like there’s a fair amount of scope to place a lot of the blame for tonight’s Democratic debacle on both tactical and policy missteps.

In other silver lining news, this means I don’t have to hear eMeg’s fingernails-on-chalkboard voice every time I turn on the teevee or radio.

Oh, and Giants parade in 90 minutes by my office!

Sac Bee says eMeg got 3,029,919 votes for Governor. At last count she spent $141 million of her own money in the race. That works out to $46.54 per vote.

If she had followed Chainsaw’s advice to simply give every Californian a 100 dollar bill, maybe she would have won. California radio stations would have gone bankrupt, though.

@libertarian tool: So does this mean you’re going to stick around now? And I hate to burst your bubble, but there’s no Kool-Aid drinking here (poisoned or regular Kool-Aid).

@Mistress Cynica: Show me the math. I do believe you just invented a talking point.


Here’s the Teabagger/GOP/Supply-Side math:

Step 1: Cut Taxes
Step 2: ????
Step 3: Pay down debt with all the increased government revenues.

@mellbell: Some tool Matthews interviewed last night said the Military was not subject to cuts because we must Support Our Troops.

Cost overruns are endemic on new weapons systems such as the F-35, the supposed low cost supplement to the interplanetary war-grade F-22. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, the Pentagon has developed and tried to deploy about four different armored trucks/troop carriers, none of which are deemed satisfactory by the troops on the ground. More dollars down the drain. The Navy’s close to shore and stealth ship programs are in huge trouble.

Great Britain, oth, is cutting its military by about 7.5 percent these days. They’ll have a new aircraft carrier on line soon that they can’t afford the planes for. They’re even talking to the French about sharing defense assets.

First thing I see when I log on to my ‘puter this morning? An email from my mom with the subject line “Time to pack up”. Based on what happened here and on the rez, she’s ready to go back to Texas. Rick Perry is actually looking good to her.

So, congratulations, Arizona. You’re officially worse than Texas.

C’mon… there has got to be some kool-aid left over around here somewhere. I’ll even drink the green stuff.

With 24 of 34 Senate seats in 2012 defended by Democrats, it’ll be almost impossible to avoid a GOP takeover of the Senate past that election. We are going to need mix up a lot more kool-aid between now and then to avoid a repeat of one party GOP rule.

Are you going to venture out of your office to see the parade? I’m thinking I need to walk down the hill, and take a few pictures of the madness.

I can’t wait to see how Rick Scott loots Florida. If he does for Florida what he did to Medicare, he should be able to buy Asia Minor and re-establish the Hittite Empire.

Probably end up selling the deed to Epcot to the Chinese. Boy will the Mickey Rat Corp guys be pissed.

@Serolf Divad:

Teabaggers are against math in any form, both because it’s hard and because it’s clearly part of a giant Mooslem conspiracy to take over our country with ARABIC numerals and AL-JABR.

I shit you not – people over on Krugman’s blog were non-ironically asserting this…

@libertarian tool:

The new arrivals to DeeSee will be quickly seduced or destroyed, see Exhibit A – SILF Scott Brown.

I can’t believe that we’re fucking stuck with personality-lobotomy Harry Reid, though. Shit, that’s worse than losing to a corpse.

@libertarian tool: With 24 of 34 Senate seats in 2012 defended by Democrats, it’ll be almost impossible to avoid a GOP takeover of the Senate past that election.

Unless, of course, the economy picks up.

That is, and always was, the only message of the election.

@nojo: Right on, brother. Everything else was hysterics-inducing window dressing.

even so… that’s a lot of seats to defend, many of them coming in on the strength of the 2006 Dem wave.

@libertarian tool: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

If the Demrats can make that case in 2012, no problem.

If not, all hail President Palin.

@libertarian tool:

While the Democrats are corrupt and incompetent, the Republicans are corrupt and psychotic. Neither party is capable of governing or offering real solutions that will address the massive problems in our society, so it’s likely that we’re gonna see repeated changes in control of both Congress and the White House as desperate voters just start pushing buttons.

It’s also worth noting that the Repubs have absolutely no positive agenda, and no policies other than ending the only gummit programs that are remaining to support the poor and middle class, while redirecting all of the gummit’s resources towards propping up the super-rich.

Anyone else looking forward to privatizing Social Security?

Let’s put all our money in real estate–it only goes up, right?

These cartoons are hee-larious, and FSM knows we could all use some laughs.

@Mistress Cynica:

People still religiously believe that tax cuts for the rich generate middle-class paying jobs, since that’s been such a raging sucksess over the last 30 years, so why not?

@¡Andrew!: I am not for a second counting on Social Security to come through in my golden years. If some combination of privatization, insolvency, and/or means testing doesn’t kill it or place it out of reach, so much the better.

@mellbell: I think we will all be working until we’re dead.

Some surprising good news – LGBT Candidates Score Record Wins

Including Lexington, KY, which elected its first openly gay mayor(!).

@¡Andrew!: Too bad Iowa voters removed three state supreme court justices over their decision legalizing gay marriage.

@SanFranLefty: It’s my understanding that the judges didn’t make any effort to fight the recall, so that seems to be an expected result since groups like NOM poured millions into a one-way hate-fest.

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