HWMMLV? Answered

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is pleased to report that many people seemed to ask themselves that time honored question (HWMMLV? Or “How would my Maximum Leader vote?) and answered the question correctly…

Yes… All in all it was a pretty good electorally speaking. For the first time in a very long time every single candidate for whom your Maximum Leader cast his ballot won. That bond issue even passed. It was sort of crazy. The best news of the night, for your Maximum Leader, came later when he learned that Susan Stimpson had decisively won her race for Stafford Supervisor - Falmouth District. In a three way race she got just over 50% of the vote. That was great news.

All in all the results all over the nation seemed to please your Maximum Leader. There was that whole NY-23 thingie that was a little disappointing. If you don’t mind your Maximum Leader saying so, he could sort of see the NY-23 seat going the way it did. Even after whats-her-name dropped out you had to figure there would be a bunch of people who would see her name and party affiliation and just tick the box without thinking. If it had been a two person race, then he thinks Hoffman could have prevailed. So there is that…

All in all do these elections mean much in the grand scheme of things. Well… Not too much most likely. The President and the Congress are going to do more to hurt themselves over the next year than the damage these election results have done. If anything these elections are symbolic of the bloom being off the rose. One can hope that the major offshoot of the election will be some energetic opposition on the part of the Republicans, good candidate recruitment on the part of Republicans, and perhaps the press will feel that they can be a little less deferential to the President.

Your Maximum Leader should go on the record (again) now and say that conservatives need to call their shots in the upcoming election. This is to say that pragmatism should rule the day over plain ideology. How did the Democrats become a majority party? They did it by getting some “moderate” Democrats in areas where they needed them. Conservatives should carefully study the electoral maps. Where conservatives can win, conservatives should run. But where conservatives haven’t shown a history of winning then you need to find a “moderate” who can win. Politics isn’t an all-or-nothing game. There is always division of the loaf. What a large majority grants you is the ability to get more of the loaf. Pick battles carefully and don’t be sulky if you don’t always get your way.

Now celebrate the day and get ready for another battle…

Carry on.

9 Comments »
Mr. Peperium said:

“All in all do these elections mean much in the grand scheme of things. Well… Not too much most likely.”

You’re still reading Ruth Marcus, aren’t you?

Alright, there’s a simple test to see if these elections mean anything significant. Think of what the headlines would’ve been had all of the elections gone in favor of the Dems. Then think of the talking heads and then think of what the President would have said in his press conference this afternoon. Then realize the Health care bills would’ve been voted and passed by Friday.

Let’s watch how health care proceeds. Let’s see if (D) Bart Stupek gets more people willing to join him - I think he has 40 now- to stop health care because of abortion being funded in it - Both of the new Guvs are pro-life.

oops must run…back later…



Mrs. Peperium said:

A bigger oops. That was Mrs. not Mr. P



Howdy Mrs P. No. No Ruth Marcus for me. I avoid that situation if I can. I agree with you that if the Dems had won yesterday like the GOP did yesterday the press would be trumpeting the victory from the rooftops. But I would still contend that the two big elections yesterday probably didn’t mean much in the grand scheme.

Allow me to clarify.

In VA you had a good, tight campaign run by a good candidate. The mood of VA, at least as I understand it, was one of concern over the state of the economy. We’ve essentially had four years of nothing with Tim Kaine. Kaine hasn’t gotten one of his major promises enacted. He also hasn’t done anything to address overarching problems in VA. VA essentially hasn’t changed in four years (which the true conservative in me says is a pretty good thing on the balance). McDonnell was monomaniacal in repeating his message, which wasn’t a national one. It was a local one. He promised to keep VA business friendly - which promotes job creation and sell off state-run liquor stores to try and get new money for roads. Deeds didn’t have a message (except that the Washington Post liked him and he didn’t like Bob McDonnell). The vote was a reflection of VA issues rather than a referendum on Obama.

NJ is much the same. Unpopular governor who isn’t addressing the problems of the state and is tainted by corruption. That isn’t a national message.

This is not to say that the national Democratic party shouldn’t be scared. They should be. But in the end they will hurt themselves more by continuing to do what they are doing. They are overreaching in a time when people want a slow and steady hand. There is no such hand out there at the national level.

The only election that could have “meant” something yesterday was the NY-23 race. And that would have only mattered if the GOP hadn’t botched the initial nomination. In a three way race it made a win by either Hoffman or whats-her-name nearly impossible - since it was likely that those two would split the pool of voters inclinded towards them to begin with. As it is I don’t think that race meant too much either way.

The best thing that can be said nationally about the outcome of yesterday’s elections is that the GOP has gained some momentum. If they focus on getting their act together and getting the right candidate for the right district they could parley this boost into a real meaningful win next year.



Mrs. Peperium said:

“The mood of VA, at least as I understand it, was one of concern over the state of the economy. ”

That’s a national issue. Especially with the failed Stimulus bill that O said if we didn’t pass, we’d have unemployment at 9%, nationally.

It’s at 9.8% and climbing.

“He promised to keep VA business friendly - which promotes job creation.”

Another national issue. Obamacare is not business friendly. Nor will it create jobs. And how much shall it cost? Then there are the other ways O is being very non-constitutionally and non-friendly to businesses…Pay czars, taking over motor companies, handpicking the board, etc…

“They are overreaching in a time when people want a slow and steady hand. There is no such hand out there at the national level.”

That’s the biggest issue and it is a national one. The checks and balances of our system are not working. O should never have allowed Pelosi/Reid to write the Stimulus or Health Care bills. He should have put forth his own. He didn’t. He just green-lighted theirs. (Yet when queried even last week or the week prior he said abortion is not in HIS health care bill - his health care bill doesn’t exist). The people get this. And they don’t like it so 2010 will be tough for all incumbents unless O pulls Clinton and becomes the Republicans’ BFF.

As far as NY23, it should show people Third parties are not the way to go. Ever. It should show the GOP - always have a primary. And it should prove to the Dems they can’t kill Sarah Palin as much as they keep trying. Well I suppose they coud always try the sterling silver cross in the heart. As far as the Dem/Rep candidates. - the voters actually got the more “conservative” candidate with the Dem. He was attacking the Rep for her taxing and spending. Then there’s the fact she called the cops on a reporter who was just trying to get an answer to a question.



As always we are in agreement (at least broadly speaking). The difference in what I was saying is that while the issues can be construed as national issues - they were not framed that way. I don’t think that they were thought of as national issues in the context of the campaign.

I don’t want to make myself sound like a guy in the know (because I’m not) but I did have a conversation with Bob McDonnell in late September. I was at a fundraiser. We recollected about time in VA Beach when we knew each other a little (about 15 years ago when he was a new delegate). We also spoke about the race and he was quite explicit about making sure he kept the race about VA and didn’t attempt to nationalize it. I had the same conversation with a few state party leaders. The issues are “national” ones but the race was clearly intended to be a local/state one.



Mrs. Peperium said:

“The issues are “national” ones but the race was clearly intended to be a local/state one.”

I agree completely. They were local races as they should’ve been. In fact the guy in NY that lost, lost support by not knowing the actual local issues and perhaps a residence issue?

But all that said, the issues will convert nicely and extremely easily to national races. Especially when you consider that VA’s economy is not nearly in the tank as many other much bluer as well as red states. And never forget that the White House’s backyard is Northern VA so it’s not foolish or unwise to also calculate that into the win. We’ve got an anti-business President and Congress. Virginia knows this better than any other state…



Mrs. P has been drinking the Fox Kool-Aid.

“You’re still reading Ruth Marcus, aren’t you?”

The Maximum Leader gives several reasons why the Virginia race is a local one and the response is to say he’s fallen under the spell of a feverishly imagined media conspiracy? How about dealing with his actual argument? Part of the problem with the Republicans is that they are having a hard time making a course adjustment because they discard uncomfortable evidence as being “media bias.” If we want a strong opposition/viable governing party, the Republicans have to get past some of the talk radio idiocy. Unfortunately, that is proving hard because the base has been trained to say “bah! Media bias!” to information they could learn from.

“Think of what the headlines would’ve been had all of the elections gone in favor of the Dems.”

Again we have the paranoia about the media - if you actually read the mainstream media, you would see a fair amount of disagreement - it isn’t monolithic.

Mrs. P has also seemed to drink the Kool-Aid and is attributing the economy (which actually grew in the last quarter, beginning the recovery, even if jobs haven’t followed) to Obama alone. The grown-ups in both parties realized the need for a Keynesian intervention in the economy - which is why Bush’s stimulus passed with Republican votes and Obama’s very similar stimulus passed with Democratic votes. The whole “don’t bail ‘em out” didn’t get expressed by responsible Republicans in congress until the November election made them not responsible for legislation.

Economies don’t turn on a dime - particularly when they are in a deep hole. The Bush/Obama stimulus packages were bloody awful - but they kept the bus from going off the cliff. Mrs. P has a lot in common with the average Virginia voter when she attributes the economic crunch to Obama, so she’s right that many people were punishing the party in power for the current economic situation when they voted Tuesday. The economy should move more by next November, but unless jobs follow November ‘10 will be a bad month for the Democrats.

But it would be more legitimate to blame the Democrats for the economy in ‘10 then it is to blame them for ‘09. Not that that stops “fair and balanced” media.

Exit polling showed that Obama had a higher approval rating than Deeds by a fair bit. In fact, if the election had been based on Obama alone, Deeds would have won.

But here’s the thing: Deeds ain’t no liberal. He’s an anti-gay bigot who supported putting the unconstitutional (natioally) Virginia anti-marriage equality on the ballot. He’s pro-gun. He’s a good ‘ol boy from the Southern part of the state. He alienated the black vote and turned off vote-rich Northern Virginia. Heck, the only reason he didn’t lose worse was the fact that McDonnell thesis led some folks to go to the polls to vote against him - most people (me included) weren’t voting for Deeds. I dislike Deeds intensely.

Virginia’s election is a setback to Democrats - redistricting is coming up after the ‘10 census. Elections have consequences.

But back to Mrs. P - if you want a stronger Republican party, you ought to be wary of learning the wrong lesson from the election. McDonnell shows that conservatives have to at least pretend to be moderates (jobs! jobs! jobs! Not abortion! gays!). And Democrats do worse if they move to the right. The Democrats would love to face a Hoffman/Rubio/Palin at every level - even if the economy is still in the tank, independents will balk at the Beckian level of craziness.l



Mrs. Peperium said:

If I want a stronger Republican party? Gee, smallholder. I never knew I had any say with the Republican party. Surely you must mistake me with someone else? Ruth Marcus perhaps? Why I’m merely a Fox Koolaid drinker. Everyone knows that.

However there’s a guy out there who doesn’t drink Koolaid - Fox or the store-bought kind. And he knows the breakdown of voters county by county across the entire country. This would be Michael Barone. And I think he might just reside in Virginia as well. Did you read his WSJ column today? His analysis - which would be considered by most in the country to be professional - is very interesting. He didn’t fall for Marcus’ “Empty Harbinger” column either. To him the elections were much more than local and Obama - or his presidency- was a key player. See:

“If you were watching television on Tuesday night as the election returns came in showing Republicans capturing the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey, you probably missed seeing the biggest losers of the evening. You may have caught the concession speech of Creigh Deeds, who ran 12% behind Barack Obama’s winning percentage of the vote in Virginia, and that of Jon Corzine who, after spending over $100 million of his own money on three campaigns, ran 13% behind Obama’s winning percentage in New Jersey and got evicted from Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion in Princeton.

“But you missed seeing the guy who may have been the biggest loser of all—a man who according to recently released White House logs has been a guest in the White House 22 times since Barack Obama became president, more than any other single individual.

“That man is Andy Stern, who has boasted that the Service Employees International Union, which he heads, ponied up something like $60 million for Barack Obama and other Democrats in the 2008 campaign cycle. Altogether, Mr. Stern and other labor union leaders reportedly gave Democrats some $400 million last year.

“This was, to borrow a word from Mr. Obama, an audacious gamble. Unions these days represent only 8% of private-sector employees (and that’s counting General Motors and Chrysler as private sector) and some unions went into debt to make these contributions. Public employee unions of course are financed by taxpayers, who pay the salaries from which dues are extracted, but even so their resources are ultimately limited.

“What have the unions gotten in return? Some not insignificant things. The Obama administration bludgeoned General Motors and Chrysler bondholders, in what I called an episode of “gangster government,” and effectively turned over the two auto companies to the United Auto Workers. The building trades got project labor agreements—i.e., plenty of dues money flowing to their coffers—in the $787 billion stimulus package.

“A lot of that stimulus money went as well to state and local governments. The goal was to spare public employee union members from the vicissitudes of the recession to which the rest of us are subject—and to keep that dues money flowing in.

“But the union leaders have been frustrated on their No. 1 goal, the card check bill that would effectively abolish the secret ballot in unionization elections. A couple of bulky guys in varsity jackets visit your home and, um, persuade you to sign a card, and later the union—with the help of a mandatory arbitration clause—impose contracts on employees and rake in the dues money.

“Just about every House Democrat voted for the misleadingly titled “Employee Free Choice Act,” and every Senate Democrat cosponsored it when George W. Bush was president and it had no chance of becoming law. As Barack Obama was inaugurated, Atlantic blogger Marc Ambinder was speculating on how many Republicans would come on board.

“Instead, support evaporated as Democrats from places as dissimilar as Arkansas and California thought hard about what life would be like with card check. Today the bill looks dead no matter how many Democrats are elected to Congress.

“And after Tuesday’s elections, it looks like fewer Democrats will be elected to Congress in 2010 than in 2008. In the election results and the exit polls there are clear signs that the Obama majority coalition has splintered.

“Mr. Obama benefited last year from a big turnout of young voters, who backed him by a 66% to 32% margin. This year young voters formed only about half as large a percentage of the electorate in Virginia and New Jersey as they did in 2008, and in Virginia they voted about as Republican as their elders.

“The big-government programs of Obama Democrats evidently have less appeal than those trendy posters and inspiring rallies and cries of “We are the change we are seeking.” I have yet to see survey research showing that young Americans want to work under union contracts, with their 5,000 pages of work rules and rigid seniority systems. That doesn’t sound like a tune that appeals to the iPod generation.

“Economically, the Obama majority was a top-and-bottom coalition. The Democratic ticket carried voters with incomes under $50,000 and over $200,000, and lost those in between. As the shrewd liberal analyst Thomas Edsall has noted, there’s a tension between what these groups want. High earners in non-Southern suburbs have been voting Democratic since the mid-1990s largely because of their liberal views on cultural issues; low earners vote Democratic because they want more government money shoveled their way.

“Tuesday’s elections suggest those whose money gets shoveled are having second thoughts about this odd-couple coalition. In Virginia, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell carried affluent and immigrant-heavy Fairfax County, which Barack Obama carried by 21%. In New Jersey, Republican Christopher Christie cut Democrat Jon Corzine’s margin in demographically similar Bergen County from 16% in 2005 to 1%. A Republican was elected county executive in Westchester County, New York, and the Republican candidate for state Supreme Court in Pennsylvania carried the four-county suburban Philadelphia area—turf that voted 57% for Barack Obama in 2008.

“A health-care bill financed by either higher taxes on high earners or on those with generous, employer-provided health insurance, looks like a hard sell in high-earner constituencies. It looks politically risky especially for newly elected Democrats.

“Mr. McDonnell carried nine of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts, and the three districts that Democrats captured from Republicans last year voted 62%, 61% and 55% for the Republican this time. No wonder Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is talking about postponing health-care votes until next year.

“The unions’ unprecedented political push in 2008 has not been unnoticed by the voters. Mr. Corzine’s cozy relationship with public employee union heads proved a liability in New Jersey, and in Virginia Mr. McDonnell campaigned hard against card check and the Obama agenda. The Gallup organization reports that Americans are less pro-union than they have been at any time since it first started asking the question in 1936. Maybe around the country union members will start asking their leaders what they have gotten for all the money they’ve spent on politics.”

———–

Smallholder, in the future if you wish to call me names, that’s fine. I only insist you call me by the correct one. I listen to Rush so that makes me a dittohead.

By the way, that was a joke about Ruth Marcus based on a very funny post Maxy did a few years back in which he said something like, “Why Am I still reading Ruth Marcus?” If I recall correctly, he and joked about it and her and I will still occasionally will tease him about her - like yesterday.

It was lovely chatting with you. And it has made me quite parched. Some Koolaid would sure hit the spot.



Whew. It is getting a little hotter in here. That hasn’t happened in on this staid page for a while. (Excluding RCBfA posts of course.)

I can only reiterate my original point was that these elections don’t mean to much in the grand scheme. I am always wary of drawing larger conclusions than should be drawn when it comes to the “meaning” of elections. As I said before, though the issues here in VA can easily be drawn up to a national level; I really don’t believe there was any attempt to “nationalize” the issues by either candidate.

Also, as I said before, Republicans should run conservatives in districts where conservatives can win. They should find “moderates” who can win in other districts. NY-23 was not a district that needed a “moderate” Republican. Something like the 11th (I think it is still the 11th) district in VA is a district that might need a “moderate” Republican. The district is in Fairfax County and is a fairly affluent suburb. A Republican who is honestly fiscally restrained and doesn’t have a strong religiously motivated social agenda could be a liberal Democrat. This is how the Democrats got their “blue dogs” back in 2006. They found the the socially conservative economic liberal candidates to back. The Republicans need to find the opposite type of candidate.

All in all I think that if the economy doesn’t improve noticeably in the next 12 months the Democrats are going to be on the receiving end of a bad year.

I’m not drawing national conclusions from what happened on Tuesday. I certainly see how it can be done, but I’m not going there.



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