Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A coalition destroyed

I remember watching Mary Matalin on Meet the Press a couple of years ago stating that the GOP was a big tent party and wondering at the time how that tent could hold both your pork barrellers and your fiscal conservatives. The GOP's coalition always seemed odd to me - a combination of nanny-staters and south park republicans who seemed to only have cutting taxes in common.

Still for years it looked like the Dems were regionalized as the party of the Northeast, mid-west, and West Coast, and I never even hoped that the Dems could win the House much less both branches of the legislature, but the GOP has finally became the party of the south & plains states - driving away most of the support they had in the Northeast & Mid-West.

Finally the GOP's approach of wedge issues cost them their desired "permanent GOP majority". You can only win elections with 51% of the vote for so long and with Terry Schiavo and corruption scandals and massive government give aways the GOP has driven away the libertarians, the ethically minded, and the fiscal conservatives leaving only the yellow dog Republicans.

I was also gobsmacked by the myopia of the GOP Congress in ceding so much power to the executive branch. Everytime they allowed Bush to run roughshod over them, they should have been thinking "do we really want to give this much power to Hillary Clinton?" Foolish foolish behavior and for that reason alone - failing to be a check on the executive branch, they deserved to be voted out of office.

During the campaign, the conservative commentators tried the "Speaker Pelosi" scare tactic, but the populace has already experienced Dennis Hastert, so why should Nancy Pelosi scare them? She certainly will be less ethically challenged then Hastert, and for that reason (plus many others) Americans are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt over Dennis.

Future predictions:

So whither Iraq now? Obviously the cut-and-run stigma no longer holds and whoever wants the brass ring in 2008 will can politically safely propose some 'peace with honor' platform given how unpopular the war has become.

For other issues, I can see a compromise on immigration reform and little else.

Subpoena power? Give 'em hell Henry!

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