Free Markets, Free People

Win isn’t GOP mandate, just another chance

One of the things I keep harping on is the "direction of the country" polls. Forget all this generic polling and other such nonsense for a moment. I continue to try to point out that the dissatisfaction with the federal government isn’t confined to one party as some of the establishment Republicans (and establishment Democrats) seem to think, or at least want to believe.

Scott Rasmussen makes that point today while talking about the generic ballot lead the Republicans enjoy. As he asserts, this isn’t because voters think the GOP is great and wonderful nor is it to hand them a "mandate", no matter how big their win. It is the change from awful to maybe less awful with the warning that in two years they’ll do it all over again if the pols don’t start catching on.

But none of this means that Republicans are winning. The reality is that voters in 2010 are doing the same thing they did in 2006 and 2008: They are voting against the party in power.

This is the continuation of a trend that began nearly 20 years ago. In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected president and his party had control of Congress. Before he left office, his party lost control. Then, in 2000, George W. Bush came to power, and his party controlled Congress. But like Mr. Clinton before him, Mr. Bush saw his party lose control.

That’s never happened before in back-to-back administrations. The Obama administration appears poised to make it three in a row. This reflects a fundamental rejection of both political parties.

Absolutely and positively correct. The reason there is a shift to the GOP is they’re the only alternative. My guess is if there were a viable third party, the GOP wouldn’t be feeling quite so smug right now. And that is a critical point that the establishment party needs to understand and understand quickly. I don’t know how many ways or how many days we have to repeat this, but if the GOP thinks this is a Sally Field ("you like me, you really do") moment they are as mistaken as a party can be.

For the GOP, here’s a free clue provided by Rasmussen:

More precisely, it is a rejection of a bipartisan political elite that’s lost touch with the people they are supposed to serve. Based on our polling, 51% now see Democrats as the party of big government and nearly as many see Republicans as the party of big business. That leaves no party left to represent the American people.

Precisely and the key to the consistent frustration found in the “direction of the country” polls for years.  Time to get out of the "big" business for both parties. The "American people" are the ones that vote. They should be the absolute and primary "special interest" of both parties. But they haven’t been for decades. And that’s why you see the probability that, for the first time in our history, the party in power will loose seats in back-to-back-to-back administrations.

The voters don’t like any of you in elected office and they’re not at all enamored with your parties either. Time to wake up and smell the coffee. For the GOP this is like sudden-death overtime in a football game and they get the ball first. They’d better score or the refs – that’d be the voters – will had the ball over to the other side and give them another shot. And we all know how badly that might turn out.



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12 Responses to Win isn’t GOP mandate, just another chance

  • I think it will take at least one more cycle to wash out the system. I would not be surprised to see the President lose in 2012 while at least one house goes to the Democrats.

  • The problem with perception is that in reality the Democrats are the party of big government AND big business. While the Republicans are increasingly the party of smaller business and some big industries who are crapped on by the Democrats, like the energy industry.

    Only about 1/2 to 2/3 of the Republican party feels anything for the average middle class taxpayer, and precisely zero percent of the Democrats do.

    • The Republican Party in Washington DC is not the party of small business and out of favor industries like energy. They are (to mangle PJ O’Rourke) the party of just like the Democrats only for lower taxes and the death penalty.  The voters who support the Republican Party, on the other hand, are the party of free markets, personal liberty and domestic energy development. The Republican establishment can lead, follow or get out of the way. I’m expecting they will have to be thrown out of the way.

  • I read somewhere and don’t remember where something to the effect of “The Democrats are speeding this country towards socialism at 100mph.  The Republicans are doing it at 70.”
    The People don’t want it at all.

  • I suspect the Republicans will just lie low for a few years, hope the whole TP thing unravels and they can pick up where they left off.

    • Sad but true.

    • Palin’s the sticky wicket though.  She just might run in 2012 and let the GOP deal with the consequences. 

      • The Republicans don’t want the Presidency in 2012.  If they did, we’d have exciting candidates by now.  Last election they started before the midterms.
        And Sarah Palin is damaged goods.  She wasn’t prepared for the job McCain offered her and she got ‘the treatment’ from the press to trivialize her.  And they reached just enough people to make her damaged goods in terms of electability.

        • This is the big problem the GOP faces headed into 2012.  Who does the GOP really have as a standard bearer?  Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels are unknowns outside of their respective regions.  Palin is damaged goods.  McCain is too old (and damaged goods).  Even if Romney weren’t manufactured largely from plastic, he has the slight problem of Romneycare rendering him completely unqualified to go hammer and tongs after Obamacare.  Chris Christie has the wrong accent (and, I’m sorry to say, is too overweight).  Bobby Jindal is too young.  Jeb Bush is from the wrong family.  And Rick Perry is from the wrong state.
          Sigh.  I’m trying to get all juiced up over the GOP’s Housecleaning, but I just can’t get there.

  • The flip side of this is the voters. As some have commented on the left, some opposition to Obamacare was based upon a desire to preserve medicare as-is. Those who want to maintain status quo in ss and medicare are not voting so that we get real small government types who will reform those programs.

  • Actually, I slightly disagree.  I don’t think this is another chance for the GOP – I think it’s their last chance.  Either they stand for small-government principles and lower spending, or they don’t.  If they can’t or won’t come through on curtailing government growth, there’s precious little rationale for the GOP’s existence.  Which means it’s game on for the rise of a third party.
    It’s put-up-or-shut-up time and the Republicans know it, or at least they should.