Skip to comments.The GOP Lock [Congress will be in GOP hands for next decade, and become even more conservative]
Posted on 02/08/2003 11:53:15 AM PST by John Jorsett
On November 4, 1952, the Republican Party elected a President and captured both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This period of united Republican government lasted only until 1954, when the GOP lost both the House and Senate.
Those were the last years the GOP had extended control of our national government until the November 2002 election. This time, however, the Republicans have gained control of the House and Senate not for two years, but for at least a decade.
Over the next ten years, all of Congress is likely to remain in GOP hands. In fact, both houses will become more Republican and more conservative. Five separate factors will push in that direction.
First, the most recent round of redistricting solidifies Republicans. We now know the shape, size, and political complexion of most of the 435 House districts, and they will remain unchanged until the 2012 lection. Most Congressional seats are redistricted to protect incumbents; competitive races rarely take place. In 2002, only seven incumbents lost elections. Fully 360 House members won 55 percent of the vote or morea walkaway. In races where the winner merely eked out a victory, Republicans won 11 times and Democrats 18.
The remaining changes in Congressional districts promise additional benefit to the GOP. There are three states that had districts imposed on them by a court (because the parties could not agree on boundaries) which now have one-party control of the governors mansion and state legislature. As a result, Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma will now be redistricted to partisan advantage. The latter two are Democrat-controlled. But Texas, now all-GOP, is vastly more populous.
Texas has 32 House seatscurrently 15 Republicans and 17 Democrats. After the map is redrawn the Lone Star state may end up with 20 Republicans and 12 Democrats. New Mexico, which has three seats, and Oklahoma, which has five, will try to shift in the other direction, but they will be able to squeeze out two or three new Democratic seats only if the state governments want to tangle with Republican senators.
The second factor favoring Republicans is that, unlike in 1952 or 1980, the 280 Republican members of the House and Senate werent ushered in as part of some unusual partisan landslide. Following on GOP landslides in 1954, 1982, and 1994, weak members that won simply by riding on their partys coattails were culled from the herd in subsequent elections. There are no remaining weak Republicans.
Third, as senior Democrats retire from Congress over the coming years, many of their districts will flip to a Republican, regardless of who runs. The GOP stands to gain seven seats this way. Their counterparts, Republicans hanging on to Democratic seats, have been winnowed down over the years to the point where Jim Leach of Iowa is now the only Republican holding down a seat in an obvious Democratic district.
Fourth, the Republican majority promises to become more conservative, as previous-generation Republicans who vote more to the left gradually retire and are replaced by younger GOP members more in keeping with their conservative districts. New Yorks Sherwood Boehlert, Michigans Fred Upton, and Marylands Wayne Gilchrist, for example, would actually do better in elections if they voted more conservatively. Their eventual replacements will. Most moderate Democratic members of Congress are liberals who live in conservative districts. Most moderate Republicans, on the other hand, cast votes based on their own worldviewnot their districts.
Fifth, the very nature of the Senate will help the GOP in the years ahead. In the very close Bush/Gore race of 2000, George W. Bush carried 30 states and Al Gore carried 20. Over time, therefore, one would expect the Senate to have roughly 60 Republicans and 40 Democrats. Its an anomaly that, today, four Democrats represent Republican majority North and South Dakota. Republicans hold the governors mansion and legislature in Florida, but the state still sends two Democrats to the Senate. How long can Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina continue to send Democratic senators to Washington?
With Republican control of Congress assured, and President Bush likely to run the executive branch for another six years, many of the fiercest political battles in the years ahead will be fought over something different altogether: over control of the federal judiciaryour least democratic branch of government.
His real job is going to be Foreign Policy!
I think I will put this on the reading list!
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Maybe, but what I'd expect after a time is that political Darwinism would kick in, and the Democrats would move to the right in order to start winning some elections. That assumes, of course, that they jettison the grabbag of Socialist loons who keep trying to tug them further to the left (admittedly an iffy assumption).
Ah yes the comment from the Buchanan "wing" of the Republican party.
Oh that's right Buchanan left almost four years ago to consummate the marriage with Lenora Fulani of the Reform party and now is kissing Bill Press's butt on MSNBC, never mind.
Take a look at this political cartoon,
Pat is the poodle.
Don't hold your breath.
All that was present before the Republicans took the majority.
What else ya got?
Even larger deficits? Even bigger government? Even more federal intrusion into our kids lives (as in don't leave other people's kids behind)? Even faster growing federal spending? Even more money spent on all kinds of foreign initiatives? Less personal freedom? More of our jobs fleeing to China? More trade deficits resulting in a larger chunk of our country being owned by foreigners? Less effort in stopping illegal immigration? More efforts to 'legalize' these uninvited intruders? More 'bilingualism', 'multiculturalism'?
Boy, I'm so happy the GOPs are going to be in control. Come to think of it, the Demos would be even worse.
What else ya got?
No, before the GOPs replaced the traitor Demos as the 'majority', there were budget surpluses instead of deficits, the government was spending less, many jobs now in China were in the country, many illegals now in the country were still in Mexico or Haiti, the feds were spending less on education and we were all freer.
Don't worry, I'm not blaming the GOPs for doing what the Demos wouldn't. It's just that it's now their turn to doing it.
And I don't worry that you are and always be a malcontent.
But what the hey you gotta instinctively blame someone, or you don't have a life.
Huh, just like Pat Buchanan.
--back in the days of the Gingrich revolution we still heard of the elimination of the Departments of Energy, Education and Transportation as possibilities, for example--no more--
Do you care to point to the GOP's achievments?
God wouldn't have anything to do with somebody as mercenary as Norquist.
They will be stopped by the same things that have stopped them before. These are, in rough order of likelyhood:
A. Revolt of the Base. This got Bush 1 out of office when conservatives felt there was nothing in it for them. While Bush2 is unlikely to make the same mistake other R's very well may. Souter, the broken tax pledge, the assault weapons import ban .. all of these were Bush1 issues that led to his demise. Let's put up some litmus tests for Bush2 and the Rs on issues that resonate with the base.
Continue and increase tax cuts.
Reduce the size of FedGov by elimination of depts.
Sunseting of gun laws, no new gun laws, repeal of gun laws.
Appoint conservative judges
End affirmative action as a federal program
Prosectue Illegal Immigration
Reduce legal immigration
B. Out of Control Spending .. remember this was the issue that got Clinton into office. Democrats will continue to claim to be "the party of fiscal responsibility". They are, at least, willing to tax us to pay for their redistributionist schemes. The R's lack the balls to actually cut and gut programs, but are required to oppose tax increases, thus resulting in deficits.
C. Third party insurgencey (probably trumped up by leftists) splits the Conservative Base.
Remember it was Ross Perot who gave Clinton his first term plurality win. The failure of "Rs" to addresss items in "A" opens the door. The IMMIGRATION ISSUE is the biggest disconnect between the more Globalist R party of D.C. and the base, and could provide all the room needed for a Conservative third party to split the vote.
D. Lack of attractive candidates. Bob Dole may be gone buy "Liddy" is back, now with a Senate seat. Who's on deck for '08. Certainly another Bush or Dole is not going to cut it. Elections are won in part on this sick criteria of personality as imagined via TV. Typically Dems are better at this. Like it or not Hillary appeals to a lot of women, who are 50+% of the electorate.
E. War weariness. People may get tired of being constantly under "Orange Alert" and vote for a candidate offering a less muscular foreign policy, much as they did with Jimmy Carter in 1976. This candidate is unlikely to be a Republican.
F. Scandal. Cost Nixon, Ford and Gore the election. Hurt badly both Carter and Bush1 (Reagan's Iran Contra). Obviously the opposition is trying hard to find, invent, create, or trap those in power into a scandal. This effects entire parties, not just the Pres. vis: Cliton and Dems post 1994.
G. Death Has not effected the Presidency since Kennedy, but historically has changed the course of history rather more than since 1965.
Those are some of the reasons I can think of why I would not consider two years of Bush a predetermined forerunner to 20 years of Republican rule.
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