Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Red, dead meat for the national pundits

ALL OF THAT rattling you may have heard today was merely the clicking of bones from the knee-jerk reactions of the national pundits speculating on what REALLY happened in yesterday's elections. The consensus that made the talk shows and some of the august paragraphs of the New York Times was that the loss of two Democratic governors should be of great concern to President Obama for the 2010 November election. When I last looked, that fateful event was still a year away and what I've learned as a long-time political groupie is that there is nothing to confirm anything that might happen, good or bad, a full 12 months down the road. If you want further evidence of the fickleness of politics, while the New Jersey voters were kicking out the Democratic governor, 58 percent were telling the pollsters that they approved of Barack Obama.

Such split personalities occur often in, say, West Virginia, a poor state that depends on a lot of federal help to survive, now votes for a Republican president every four years to support a party that tends to deny the very social programs that help prop up the Mountain State. Go figure.

Less mentioned when the knees started jerking with the early results from Virginia and New Jersey was the Democratic victory in New York's the 23rd congressional district of New York, which had been a Republican stronghold. It happened after the original Republican candidate decided to withdraw under a furious onslaught from the party's ferocious right-wingers, including Sarah Palin, who showed up to support a "more conservative candidate." Is there a moral to this story? Not sure, other than to record the fact that Palin & Co.'s bark in this instance was a lot worse than the bite. Maybe Palin should take the advice of the late ex-senator from Illinois, Everett Dirksen, who dismissed a disturbing question from someone by shrugging: "Why don't you just hush?"


fargo said...

Much ado about nothing. Fact is that every incumbant governor is in trouble right now whether they are Republican or Democrat. Ask Arnold out in California.

In CongressDems won a lot of rent-a-seats in the last election and are likely to lose those seats in 2010 as these districts shift back to their normal tendencies. There is a reason why 95% of these districts are not competitive...they are drawn up that way to keep them from being competitive.

A lot will happen between now and next November...I wouldn't bet on anything right now.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy these posts. Rich writing and trenchant observations. Thank you.

PJJinOregon said...

Upstate NY and the whole of VA convey a simple (hah) message: The GOP can feel good about its message and lose an election or it can swallow a pile of moderation and win. Let's see if the will to power outweighs pull of ideological purity.