Free Markets, Free People

Will the GOP again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

And no, that’s not a rhetorical question – it’s a real concern.

Even the left knows they’re in trouble for the 2014 midterms … or should be.  John Judis of the New Republic:

What I’d point to instead is a comparison between where Obama and the Democrats stood in January 2010 and where they stand today. In January 2010, they were about to lose the Massachusetts senate race, and in November 2010 would lose 63 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate. If Obama and the Democrats’ numbers are better now than they were then, they may not be in trouble; but if they’re worse, the conventional wisdom is right. And they’re worse.

The most recent standard of comparison is the ABC/Washington Post poll that asked some of the same questions in January 2010. First, there are the questions about Obama. These are relevant because midterm elections are often referenda on the president and his party. In January 2010, Obama’s approval ratings were 53 approval to 44 percent disapproval of his “handling his job as president.” Today, 46 percent approve and 50 percent disapprove—a 13-point swing. In January 2010, 47 percent approved and 52 percent disapproved of his handling of the economy. Today 43 percent approve and 55 percent disapprove—a seven-point swing.

In January 2010, 57 percent of registered voters thought that Obama understood “the problems of people like you.” Forty-two percent did not. Today, it’s 47 to 52 percent—a 20-point swing. And there is a similar 20-point swing in the question of how much confidence voters have in Obama’s ability to “make the right decisions for the country’s future.” In short, the electorate has far less confidence in Obama now than they did in January 2010.

ABC—Washington Post didn’t ask the same questions about Democrats and Republicans in January 2010 that they asked today, but they did ask these questions in October 2010 on the eve of the Republicans’ sweep. In October 2010, voters thought Democrats would do a better job than Republicans handling the economy by 44 to 37 percent. Today, they think Republicans would do a better job by 44 to 37 percent—a 14-point turnaround. In October 2010, voters said (incredibly) that they preferred Democratic House candidates by 49 to 44 percent. Today, they prefer Republicans by 45 to 46 percent. The number for October 2010 may be inaccurate, but in any case, there is nothing in the current numbers to inspire confidence. In midterm elections, the Republicans have a built-in advantage that allows them to maintain their majority without winning a majority of votes.

To be as succinct as possible, the 2014 midterms are the Republican’s to screw up.  And this is where Johnathan Last of the Weekly Standard points us toward the problem (one we’ve been hitting up here lately):

What could have accounted for these diminished prospects for Obama and the Democrats? Oh, it’s hard to say. Probably just tactical brilliance on the part of congressional Republicans. Yes, that’s the ticket. I mean, it’s not like there was a signal event that focused all political attention on a single issue. It’s not like there’s a Topic A that has been demoralizing Democrats, rallying Republicans, moving independents, and providing a constant stream of campaign fodder.

No, no, no, it’s not like there’s one subject which totally unites the Republicans and cuts against Democrats and—mirabile dictu!—where the news keeps getting worse for Obama with every passing week. As Homer Simpson would say, “Right, Lisa. Some wonderful, magical issue.”

Oh, right.

So with the wind at their backs and the Democrats in disarray, late last week the Republican leadership decided that this was the perfect moment to change the conversation to…immigration reform!

To again be as succinct as possible, they’re on their way to screwing it up.

And they wonder why people call them the “stupid party.”



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25 Responses to Will the GOP again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

  • It’s a clever plan to throw the Democrats into complete disarray by letting them retain control of the Senate until 2016.

  • And someone with infinitely more credibility than your average New Republic puke…

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  • While the jury is still out on this…
    there are some positive signs that the leadership has been told sufficiently clearly that they will lose their well-cossetted butts if they push this.
    It is insane.

  • Sometimes I think the GOP losing and becoming a rump party wouldn’t be the worst thing. I’m convinced we need to drop them like a bad habit before we can tackle the real evil.

    • What would replace them (GOP)? A new party, perhaps?
      As many have pointed out, the US elections are for a two-party system. This means we FIX the GOP, not try to fight Goliath with Barney Fife. Also, political parties exist to run and win elections, not to solve national problems.

      • I see lots of benefit in replacing the GOP instead of reforming it. The professional political establishment that has grown up to service the party can be scuttled. The party platform can be streamlined and tuned to take advantage of anti-big-government sentiment. The traditional politicians that are beholden to various special interests, lobbyists, and colleagues in the other party are left in the lurch.
        None of this is certain, of course, but it’s more likely with a replacement. I understand clearly that the chaos in transition and the loss of power during that period have their own drawbacks. But I’m sick and tired of expecting the GOP to get any better. It’s just not going to.
        Even if they win the Congress and the White House in 2016, I see no reason why it won’t be the same as the last time they did it in 2000. It will still be “Oh, we can’t rock the boat too much. That might cause us to lose!” And they would end up growing government just like BushCo did.

      • The two party system was entrenched by the two parties.
        I’m not so sure The founders even intended parties to have the entrenched roles they have now.  The Pres and VP were suppose to be winner and runner up.  I think the idea is that the choice was on capability and not to put politically polarized people in working proximity of each other.
        Parties have caused more harm than good.  Look at how the Democrat Lites have control of the so-called opposition when this country opposes amnesty and obamacare.  They can only control the opposition because they control the Party.
        Personally I say that there should be no Party Money at all.  Politicians should get their own money directly from their prospective constituents only.

    • We have a viable alternative now to both the Dems and the GOPe. It is the Tea Party.

    • Boehner is like a zombie in a movie, he just keeps walking towards the same destination with the same stupid expression no matter how many times they think they’ve stopped him.
      I’ll believe they’re not stupid enough to do this when we’re sitting here next year commenting and it hasn’t happened.

    • No, what am I thinking – actually the Republican leadership is taking a page from the White House news perversion of the day – you see, they’re tired of being ‘trapped’ in their jobs in Congress and they want the freedom to go do something else by becoming unemployed owing to their stupidity.

      • IF they go the direction they were headed, there are millions of us that will help them get “untrapped”.

        • No, we don’t all have jobs we love, but the, uh, ADULTS in the room recognize that you can’t just toss it all into the wind and expect someone to come along and pay for your dream.
          Well, unless your dream is to live like the legendary Mozart Benjamin of my college days, who stayed in a nice refrigerator box with a tarp somewhere along the old B&M Newburyport  rail line between Hamilton and Ipswich Mass.

    • They are trying to move Democrats to their version. 

  • I’m convinced that the mainstream GOP doesn’t WANT to win.  I truly believe if they do not take the Senate, there will be great rejoicing…for then, they do not have to be accountable.  They can always blame the Democrats while keeping their perks.

    • True, wouldn’t want to have to work on cutting spending, fixing the economy, addressing unemployment, doing something about the Obamacare disaster.
      No, that would actually be HARD.  And no George Bush to blame for all the disasters.  Yeah, I can see them convincing themselves that they should leave it alone and let the Dems carry on.
      So….when it’s all gone to hell, they can work on convincing us to leave them alone.  and I wish them the best of luck with that.

    • That is because the GOPe (note: NOT the Tea Party) has become Democratic Party lite, doing its bidding but on a lighter form.

  • It is precisely because Obamacare is so powerful an issue that the Gentry GOP feels that now it the time to sneak scamnesty into the books.  They think that no matter what they do, the awfulness of Obamacare will pull their chestnuts out of the fire and sweep them to victory.
    Just like they thought Obama was so shaky in 2012 that they could get away with nominating the one candidate in their stable who couldn’t open his yap at all about Obamacare.
    The GOP is really good at underestimating their opponents.  Not to mention the anger of their own base – not at Obama, but at them.

  • Well, the Dems own Obamacare lock, stock and barrel.