Peder D4

Discussion of politics and other odious things

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election results

Just wanted to jot down some early thoughts post-election. Republicans deserved to lose this one. Their biggest flaw was inablility to control spending. I can only hope they learn that lesson. If I were drawing up a Contract of America 2, I'd put that one near the top.
Their second biggest flaw happened in individual elections, but in enough of them to really matter. Many Republicans seemed to think that they owned their spots. Gutknecht is the prime Minnesota example. He didn't realize he was in a tough fight until it was too late. His silly games with the primary ballot emphasized that. Heinlein said, "A king should always have a noose around his neck. It keeps him upright." Any pol who acts like he doesn't have to work to retain his seat deserves to loose it.
The third flaw was evident in Minnesota political ads (don't know about nationwide). The negative ads focused on tactical things instead of differances in ideas. Kennedy attacked Klobuchar's record as a prosecutor, especially in regard to plea bargins. But any adult person knows that plea bargins are part of the system. (And that issue allowed her to put sympathetic victims on TV.) If he'd have emphasized their different ideas of government or stance on Iraq he'd have been better off.
Example ad, with muted strings: Amy Klobuchar believes that we should withdraw troops from Iraq as soon as we can (nonscary picture of Klobuchar). While frustration with the war is understandable, she overlooks the dangers of enouraging global terrorists with a victory. Mark Kennedy belives that the only way to defeat them is to show them that we're in this struggle for the long haul. [Cut to Kennedy] It'll be difficult but I know we're up to the task. The America I believe in will bear any burden to end this menace. [Kennedy for Senate]

There is a bright spot here for the right. Dems now have the burden of governance. They've run as fiscal conservatives. We'll hold them to that. They've run against corruption. If one of their own comes up dirty we should demand accountablility. They've run against the conducted war in Iraq. We must demand a different option from them. When they're in charge those answers won't look so easy.
The 2008 election is about new blood from both sides. It'll be the most open election in more than 50 years. It's good that both sides will have to be engaged with ideas instead of endless criticism.