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Democrats: We Didn’t Want to Win Anyway

November 05, 2014 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Elections: 2014

sour-grapesDemocrats’ sour grapes after the 2014 midterms are so acerbic they’re practically vinegar.

According to the left’s spin on the electoral results, hinted at before their trouncing and now solidified into Democratic doctrine, winning the Senate is a curse for the GOP.

That’s right—Democrats spent nearly two billion dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours campaigning and volunteering to achieve an outcome they didn’t even want.

I know liberals love throwing billions of dollars of other people’s money at intractable problems they have zero chance of solving, but this is ridiculous.

According to this argument, Republicans are now in charge of both chambers of Congress, which means that they’ll be blamed for future gridlock. As The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote, “Republicans have set themselves up for chaos, if not outright fratricide.”

Except that there will be minimal gridlock in Congress compared to the gridlock under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The gridlock will be between Congress and the White House, and the press will blame it on Obama.

When the Republican House and Senate—whose members are much closer to each other ideologically than either is to Obama—pass bills that are popular with the American people and send them to the president, and Obama stonewalls and sits on them and makes excuses for not signing them, the public will see where the real political dysfunction lies: with Democratic politicians who thwart the will of the people and blame Republicans. Obama may denounce a popular bill on ideological grounds, or perhaps ignore it and go play golf, but either way voters will see who’s “not getting anything done.”

There are many other reasons why, contrary to Democratic pall-casting, Republicans winning the Senate is a fantastic outcome. For one thing, the GOP currently has 52 seats, and will likely win 2 more undecided races in Alaska and Louisiana. If they take the Presidency (and Vice-Presidency) in 2016, they’ll have leeway to lose as many as four net seats to Democrats in 2016 and still retain the Senate. And they’ll need that leeway, because the 2016 Senate landscape is much less favorable to Republicans than in 2014.

Another advantage of taking the Senate is that this year’s election results are eroding the questionable reputations of left-leaning polling prognosticators faster than you can say “Five-Thirty-Eight.”

The biggest surprise in Nate Silver, Sam Wang, and other statisticians’ election forecasts wasn’t their GOP under-predictions in seat tallies. It was the extent to which they underestimated Republicans’ victory margins:

  • Out of 34 Senate races, polls over-predicted Democrats’ performance in 26 and Republicans’ in only 8
  • Of the 7 competitive races in which Republicans sought pickups—Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina—polls over-predicted Democrats’ performance in 6, with New Hampshire the sole exception (1% over-prediction for Republican Scott Brown)
  • Polls over-predicted Democratic performance in the three additional states Republicans picked up, including Montana (12%), South Dakota (8%), and West Virginia (6%)
  • Over-prediction of Democrats’ performance also included Tennessee (12%), Kentucky (9%), Virginia and South Dakota (8%), and Maine and Iowa (7%)
  • Out of 35 governors’ races, polls over-predicted Democrats’ performance in 28 and Republicans’ in just 7

As Silver—who was recently lecturing us on how polls usually under-predict Democratic performance—admits, “[T]he average Senate poll conducted in the final three weeks of this year’s campaign overestimated the Democrat’s performance by 4 percentage points. The average gubernatorial poll was just as bad, also overestimating the Democrat’s performance by 4 points.”

That’s a lot of Democratic over-predicting for something the left allegedly didn’t want in the first place.

One final boon from the midterm results is that they exposed the futility of Democrats’ bogus “War on Women” meme.

If Republicans are waging a war on women—or minorities—then their opening salvo appears to be saddling their adversaries with political power.

In 2014 the GOP demonstrated their contempt for women and nonwhites by electing or reelecting:

  • Joni Ernst, the first woman from Iowa to win a U.S. Senate seat and first female combat veteran in the Senate
  • Shelley Moore Capito, the first female senator from West Virginia and first Republican senator from the state in half a century
  • Mia Love, the first black female Republican elected to Congress
  • Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s first female governor (reelected)
  • Mary Fallin, Oklahoma’s first female governor (reelected)
  • Susana Martinez, New Mexico’s first female governor and first Latina governor in the U.S. (reelected)

Meanwhile, female Democratic candidates lost in droves, including incumbent North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan, Kentucky senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, the latter two of whom didn’t even win the female vote in their states.

The War on Women campaign theme was such a bust that even the Denver Post endorsed Cory Gardner over Mark Udall—the latter of whom they endorsed six years ago—because Udall “devoted a shocking amount of energy and money” trying “to frighten voters rather than inspire them.”

The GOP also elected Tim Scott, the first African-American from South Carolina in the Senate, and the first black Southern senator since Reconstruction—a result the left celebrated by calling Scott vile racist names.

Don’t listen to Democrats who pooh-pooh the 2014 midterm results just like they did four years ago. Good news is good news, and we’re going to need a lot more of it in 2016.

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I Predict All of Liberals’ Predictions Will Be Wrong

January 09, 2013 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Miscellaneous

m6I know liberals’ hero is election prediction wizard Nate Silver, but really they ought to stay out of the forecasting business.  They’re wrong on every policy prediction they make.

On the eve of President Obama’s second inauguration, let’s reflect on the outcomes Democrats predicted from their policies over the past four years vs. the actual results:

Obamacare: Contrary to everything Obama promised would ensue as a result of passage of his signature legislation, health care premiums are skyrocketing, employers are dropping coverage, and companies are slowing hiring in anticipation of having to provide insurance for “full-time” 30-hour-a-week employees.  Medical device manufacturers are being battered with an onslaught of taxes, and policyholders are facing insidious coverage reductions.  The CBO’s Obamacare cost estimates—which were always fraudulent, given the bogus assumptions Democrats fed them—keep going up, even as Democrats frantically drop unpopular provisions.  And contrary to Obama’s assurance, the public has not warmed to Obamacare three years after its passage and still believes the law will worsen our health care system.  Not one Obamacare result has turned out the way its boosters swore—except that everyone is approaching the same (diminished) standard of coverage.

Gun control: In the wake of the Newtown school shootings and liberals’ rush to implement harsh gun control laws, we see the results of Democrats’ failed prediction that imposing such laws will curb crime in violence-ridden cities such as Detroit and Chicago.  These localities are not only among the most firearm-restrictive jurisdictions in the country, they are bucking the national trend of falling crime and homicide rates and reporting record highs in both categories.

Meanwhile, professional criminals are weighing in on the unintended effects of Democrats’ forcing gun owners to register their firearms and liberal news outlets’ publishing the names of owners while innocently claiming the information is already public.  Such experts are astounded at the failure of government officials and journalists—who are supposed to be looking out for the public interest—to predict that their reckless actions would expose everyday citizens as sitting ducks.

Environmentalism: Last week E- The Environmental Magazine reported that Obama’s Cash for Clunkers program was, in addition to a huge economic failure that hurt the poor for the sake of boosting auto unions, an environmental disaster.  It seems that pouring sodium silicate under the hoods of three-quarters of a million cars in order to destroy their engines, and eschewing resale of most of the automobiles’ parts for dumping them in landfills, isn’t good for Mother Earth.  Who would have guessed?

And Reason.com recently noted that, contrary to liberals’ predictions, carbon dioxide emissions have declined every year since 2007, in large part due to growing implementation of the more efficient, cleaner, and thoroughly safe technology of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”  Fracking is ardently opposed by geological engineer Matt Damon and most environmentalists—not because it’s ineffective and won’t produce more energy, but because it will.  And, if you care about such things, fracking is actually good for the environment, despite liberals’ hysterical prediction that the methane released in the process will erase the benefits of switching from coal to natural gas.

Then there’s global warming fanatic Al Gore, whose empire is based on the failed predictions a decade ago that (1) the earth was dangerously heating up and (2) carbon cap-and-trade taxation schemes and government-mandated clean energy technology were the profitable wave of the future.  Not only has the Earth not demonstrated any warming since 1996, but anti-fossil fuel crusader Gore just sold his failed TV station to Al Jazeera, which is funded by one of the largest oil and gas exporters in the world.

Election 2008: Obama promised that his 2008 campaign’s shady practices—which continued right up through the 2012 election—were above-board, and predicted that time would prove him correct.  The Federal Elections Commission happens to disagree: recently they imposed a $375,000 fine on the Obama campaign—one of the highest such fines ever levied—for incomplete reporting of millions of dollars in donations.

Government efficiency: The liberal group Demos filed a lawsuit against Massachusetts last year claiming that the state wasn’t doing enough to help welfare recipients register to vote.  The lawsuit backfired when the state sent registration notices to everyone on its welfare rolls—and received 19,000 notices marked ‘Return to Sender.’  The state was either sending welfare checks to unintended recipients or hopelessly inept at managing its voter database.  Though Obama ally Governor Deval Patrick acknowledged the state’s miserable failure to predict this outcome, his defense—that 19,000 people constituted only 4% of Massachusetts’ welfare rolls—no doubt led curious voters to do the math and cry, “Half a million people in a state of six million are on welfare?”

I predict that, now that campaign season is over, voters are going to be reminded of the appalling results that ensue whenever liberals attempt to govern.

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A Conservative Who Can Talk

September 28, 2011 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Elections: 2012

Christie

FiveThirtyEight whiz Nate Silver recently asked whether Chris Christie is the anti-Romney or the anti-Perry.

The answer is yes.

Christie is the anti-Romney, because he genuinely and unapologetically embraces and enacts conservative policies, at least on fiscal matters—in particular entitlement reform, the most important policy realm our nation currently faces.

Critics charge that he’s not consistently conservative on issues such as global warming and gun control.  Yet Rick Perry critics complain that he’s not consistently conservative on issues such as immigration and the HPV vaccine, and most people wouldn’t call Perry a liberal.

Christie is the anti-Perry, because he knows how to identify, articulate, and justify his positions, using fiery, uncompromising rhetoric that doesn’t sound rehearsed, and isn’t afraid to say things that tick off hallowed interest groups.

Critics charge that he’s arrogant, has a temper, and insults people.  Yet his style has proven wildly popular with voters who are fed up with politicians who can’t or won’t stand up to bullying public employee unions that are bankrupting the nation’s most populous states.

If Mitt Romney held more consistently conservative positions on the major issues of the day, he’d be able to articulate them to voters.  But he doesn’t.

If Rick Perry were more articulate and had a better understanding of the issues, his positions would be conservative enough for most Republicans.  But he isn’t.

The other candidates still in the running all have their weaknesses, with most embodying one of the fatal flaws represented by frontrunners Romney and Perry.

Ron Paul is blisteringly conservative on economic issues but crazily isolationist on foreign policy, to the extent that he thinks Iran should be allowed to build nuclear weapons to defend themselves against the U.S., and to the degree that he approvingly quotes Osama bin Laden’s reasons for attacking us on 9/11.  Newt Gingrich led the Republican Revolution of 1995 and enacted welfare reform, but is prone to making insane statements such as claiming that repealing ObamaCare involves as much abridgment of people’s liberty as enacting it.

Michele Bachmann is a solid conservative, but is prone to gaffes and sloppy slips of the tongue such as her mindboggling insinuation that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation.  Herman Cain is a successful former businessman with sensible ideas about the economy but a stunning, blissful ignorance about foreign policy.

Michael Barone correctly notes that just about the only remaining feasible Republican presidential candidates who both are conservative enough and know how to speak without sounding like idiots are Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, and Chris Christie.  Daniels is concerned about his family’s privacy and has decided not to run; Ryan is young, early on in his career, and clearly has no intention of running in 2012.

That leaves Christie, who has certainly denied numerous times that he is running, but whose supporters and staffers seem to be leaking rumors that he may change his mind.  Christie has spent the past few months jetting around the country speaking at high-profile Republican fundraisers, giving speeches at prominent venues such as the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and meeting with potential donors.

Elsewhere I have written at length about why we should encourage Christie in particular to run, including the fact that Republican candidates for governor did well in 2010 in part by emulating his substance and style; that he knows how to take the fight to his opponents; that his popularity among Republican voters is underreported; and that his electability among independents and Democrats is underappreciated.

Christie’s not perfect.  But where is the glaring RomneyCare albatross–whose defense Romney cheekily deleted from the paperback version of his book No Apology—in Christie’s past that will come back to haunt him in the general election, when voters are focused perhaps foremost on repealing ObamaCare?

Christie’s not perfect.  But where are the embarrassing misstatements—like Perry’s lame, botched attack on Romney’s flip-flopping in last week’s debate in Orlando—that lead us to fear Christie will flounder in debates with the supposedly golden-voiced Obama?

Contrast Christie, if you will, with the Republicans’ 2008 nominee, John McCain, who combined the worst aspects of Romney and Perry: liberal policies and inarticulateness.  Republicans should never again have to suffer the ignominy of a nominee who differs only a little bit from the Democratic candidate—or who can’t convincingly explain why he’s to the right of Barack Obama.

The conservative establishment prefers Romney to Perry because they believe him to be more electable.  Some commentators, such as columnist Sandy Rios, believe Republicans will break for Perry over Romney because people “prefer an honest hesitator over a slickster with all the answers.”

But why should Republicans have to choose between a conservative and someone who can talk?

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