Have a slice, Republicans
Now that the shock has worn off a bit: what the hell happened this election?
Unemployment was very low. Stock-market indexes, whether broad-based or narrow-based, whether composed of big companies or small companies, whether representing the new economy or the old economy: they were all continuously hitting all-time highs, finally marking a decisive break with the bubble bust-9/11 hangover. Americans are collectively richer than ever before.
Gas prices were declining fast. Remember how many unfounded insinuations you read in the media that Rove was somehow engineering the gas price declines?
Saddam Hussein was sentenced by an Iraqi court to hang from the gallows for some of his crimes. Remember the insinuations? They might even have been well-founded, in this instance.
Economic success at home, and the appearance of military success abroad with Saddam's trophy scalp: if you listened to the sort of people who have a palpable contempt for the American voter, this was a recipe for the incumbent party's reelection. And yet, we threw the bums out.
Apparently, the quality of Diebold's election-stealing code was as low as the quality of all their other code. There was a lot of noise about the flaws of Diebold's touch-screen voting machines, and the possible malicious intent lurking therein, but in the end, it didn't do the Republicans any good. Electronic voting is still a profoundly flawed idea, but at least now we know that it's not a deliberate conspiracy of fraud perpetrated upon our democracy. It's just rank incompetence.
The American electorate confounded all of the conventional wisdom expectations of its collective cravenness and stupidity in this election. Incidentally revealing the bankruptcy of a lot of the kind of pundits who pronounce that Americans vote only with their wallets and think only in the extremely short term.
I, for one, am delighted in our loss of power. When I expressed this sentiment, it caused reader Trillian to ask me if I was serious. She clearly thought I was joking. I assured her I was serious, without elaborating. This is the elaboration. And while I'm delighted in our (well-deserved) loss of power, I'm cautiously pessimistic about the chances for immediate (2008) recovery. It looks like we haven't learned our lesson well-enough yet. I'm gonna come back to this in a couple of paragraphs.
You guys never believe me when I say I'd vote for Hillary Clinton, either. Well, watch me. If we don't clean up our shitty fucking act, Hillary doesn't look so bad.
For the past several elections, a meme has been going around about the media. The meme is that the liberal media's reporting constitutes an echo-chamber. One that inadvertently suckers Democrats into believing their chances are much better than they really are. For a time, this was correct: the media predicted Democratic victories which did not materialize. And yet, this time, the media was-if anything-circumspect. They dared to suggest that the Democrats might nearly
control the Senate. Even the Democratic so-called "echo chamber" didn't predict that a clean sweep of both houses of Congress was in the cards. They didn't dream of it!
It turns out the American voter still has a few surprises left for all of us. I regret my pre-election prediction of Republican victory in the comments here, for this reason: I said "the American people are not morons" in justifying my view of the Republicans' excellent chances for retaining control. They're not morons regardless, and it would serve me well to keep that in mind.
"Better us than them" ain't gonna cut it any more. Perform or get out.
Did you know that Dennis Hastert's son, Joshua, is a high-powered Washington lobbyist? For Google, among others? This is how bad our side has become. The nepotistic corruption is sickening. We're not any holier than the Democrats. We ARE the moneychangers in the temple. Proof: the GOP voted overwhelmingly to elect the same kind of corrupt leaders that lost us this election,
instead of Young Turk reformers with real conservative credentials, guys like Roy Blunt and Mike Pence.
Fuck us, okay? I'm glad we lost. We lost on the merits. We had every last reason to win, and we still blew it. We have no right to complain. We just have to do better. Much, much better. We've lost our way. The Republican party is no longer led by principled conservatives. Either we fix it, replace it, or resign ourselves to a generation of Democratic control.
Notice how many victorious Democrat candidates were conservative Democrats. Conservatism didn't lose here, folks. Republicans lost. For instance, the Democrats went with Steny Hoyer for House majority leader over John Murtha, swimming against commissar Nancy Pelosi's diktat. They're eager to seize their chance. And although they don't know what to do with it yet, they sure as hell don't want to be cast out into the wilderness again. The new conservative Democrats want to differentiate themselves from the hardcore liberal losers who've been getting them killed in every election since 1994. I'm cheering them on.
As a habitually Republican voter, I'm disappointed in the outcome of this election. As a conservative, I'm delighted. And I'm far more of a conservative than I am a Republican.