May 08 2006

The 2006 Elections: Kadima II

Published by at 9:01 am under 2006 Elections,All General Discussions

While the dems think they will win the 2006 election cycle, I think the truth is both parties will be abondened as people move to an un-aligned position in the center.

The mood in the country is one of total disgust with DC and politics. The country is in great shape, is taking on Al Qaeda and leading the world towards a better future, yet the rancor and mean spiritedness on display by our ‘leaders’ is enough to want to send those children to their rooms for misbehaving. Maybe if they could act like serious, professional adults they could garner some respect.

And followers. But they are not. Polls are tanking and probably missing the underlying current. Pollsters cannot measure shifting sands. They use demographic models based on past voting patterns. If things change too far out of their expectations their models fall apart. This is what happened in 1994 when supposedly no one saw the sea change coming. It was there to see if you did not need polls over your eyes.

We see this today in polls as the sample breakdowns go further and further out of whack from the known distributions. Ever since 9-11 the nation has been a 30-30-30 nation between Dems-Indies-Reps according to Pew’s massive voter surveys. If anything, the Reps and Dems have been losing ground to the fed up middle.

In Pew Center surveys conducted since the Iraq war earlier this year, 30% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans, 31% as Democrats and 39% as independents or other.

Polls out today do not come close to reflecting this distribution – which is why they are garbage. The Democrats are taking the worse pounding. The party used to be respected by a huge section of the nation – now only a third want to be labeled Democrat. That is the result of the 1994 election cycle where the dominion of the Democrats ended. It is not coming back anytime soon. The favorability of Democrats is as low or lower than that for republicans. The democrats have a split base between the anti-war, impeach Bush left and those still existing in reality.

The Reps are not in much better shape. They have created a split in their coalition and their base. The hardliners are repulsing the rest of the conservatives, and saying they will run home with their marbles if they do not get their way. They came out and really made a mess of the Dubai Ports deal were the UAE was going to subsidize our security by deploying state of the art monitoring equipment at the ports they operated overseas. But people spooked by Arabs tossed that agreement overboard.

The far right is now trying to wage a culture war with our largest minority population – Hispanics. It seems beyond the ability of some to accept the fact we have a mixed bag of right and wrong. That we have people here who work hard and exemplify the American image – but have no papers. To many of us this is akin to driving an unregistered car. They have an unregistered job. To overheated simplistics this is akin to robbing their house. What we want are real criminals locked up, and if here as guests or illegally – tossed out. No need to pretend the gang banger in LA is equal to the hispanics working on your house.

I can go on and on and on from one issue to another. But I would never get to the point I want to make. America is realizing we don’t need these national parties the way we used to. Do I want to see them go away? Of course not. But do I feel obliged to pick one and defend it and FUND it? Nope. We started political donations when Bush ran and won, and stopped when the far right decided to try and out do the far left. Many, many people are doing the same retreat. Many, many conservative bloggers email seeing the same train wreck. The Republican Party is destroying itself because some can’t stomach broad consensus. So be it.

So where is this leading us? Ariel Sharon showed us the way when he established his Kadima party which carved out the disenfranchized middle to oppose the far left and far right (who were so obsessed with each other nothing was getting done). If Pew is right and the non-aligned voter pool now dwarfs the two parties then the polls and predictions based on them are useless.

The funny thing is there is a core group standing by President Bush. Obviously it is not the far left who want to impeach him – so strike that 20% of the electorate that call themselves liberal. And it is not the remaining Democrats who want to win – so that covers at least 30% and probably up to 40-45% of the voter pool. And we know the far right thinks Bush is a RINO, so that knocks off another 20%. And I think there are some on the right opposing Bush because they feel he will hurt the party – add another 10%.

So what I see is 40% from the left and 30% from the right opposing Bush. Who is left standing by his side? You guessed it. That 30% dead smack in the middle which is not aligned, and refuses to align, with either party. I know people will point to polls and say this is not possible. Even though I have stated polls could not detect this kind of shift the way they are applied today. But I think this is where we are at. The 2006 elections will not be driven from left or right at all this year. They will be driven by the center – which is not ‘moderate’, we are just as passionate as everyone else. We also have the edge in that we don’t lose our composure and get all emotionally strung out on issues. We tend to remain professional, and calculating. No one ever won a chess game by yelling the loudest.

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “The 2006 Elections: Kadima II”

  1. smh10 says:


    Read the whole post this morning! Now I get it. Thanks for the great explanation.

  2. Excellent analyiss, AJ; you hint at but don’t say explicity that one major difference between the “silent majority” of the past and the current “motivated middle” is the existence of the Internet/Blogosphere, which may end up being a formidable force multiplier in the upcoming elections.

  3. Carol_Herman says:

    James Madison, in one of the most brilliant pieces in the Federalist Papers, stated that FACTIONS are NECESSARY to ensure democracy. He compared FACTIONS to OXYGEN. You can’t cut the oxygen supply because you want to stop fires. Oxygen is necessary to survival.

    Someone at FREEPER’s, also posted a portion of a speech Reagan gave as governor. “This all or nothing” crap from Conservatives is a LOSING ARGUMENT. But only for ONE FACTION. And, here’s the quote, copied:

    Conservatives were unhappy with Reagan when he was governor of CA and president also.

    Ronald Reagan on the importance of political compromise(in his own words)

    “When I began entering into the give and take of legislative bargaining in Sacramento, a lot of the most radical conservatives who had supported me during the election didn’t like it.

    “Compromise” was a dirty word to them and they wouldn’t face the fact that we couldn’t get all of what we wanted today. They wanted all or nothing and they wanted it all at once. If you don’t get it all, some said, don’t take anything.

    “I’d learned while negotiating union contracts that you seldom got everything you asked for. And I agreed with FDR, who said in 1933: ‘I have no expectations of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average.’

    “If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that’s what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it.

  4. AJStrata says:


    But when were conservatives fed up with each other to this degree?

  5. Carol_Herman says:

    The Conservatives are looking to block FACTIONS. They’ve got names for about seven republican senators, for instance; where they’re referred to as RINOs. ANd, yes there is an agenda driven policy which is at odds with Mainstream America. And, how Rove is actually building electoral strengths into the GOP system.

    There will always be special interests. And, factions. As I said, when James Madison was defending the secrecy of the Constitutional Convention (back in 1787, or 1788), one of the arguments proposed by the anti-Nationalists; was based on turning America into a dictatorship. Thomas Jefferson, himself, called the President a “model of a Polish king.”

    But to lay the arguments against ratification to rest; which was the purpose of the Federalist Papers, James Madison used the analogy that in our American system, once our Constitution was adopted, FACTIONS would be the oxygen that leads to freedoms. Because it tampers mob rule.

    As to the quote from Reagan, he, too, ran into flak. Not just as President. But the quote above, from 1968, came when he was governor of California. The “kooks on the right” were always accusing him of “not hanging onto their principals.” And, that’s the fight that’s also going on, now. We’ve got the MSM shilling for the donks. While the GOP is a party composed of FACTIONS.

    All I’m pointing out is that FACTIONS are a good thing. And, nobody in politics gets everything they want.

    Since it’s only my opinion, I do think the President could KEEP Rove in office, for instance; while Ditzgerald spends a few weeks dilly-dallying, and then pressing charges on Rove. The legal system seems to like discouraging Republicans by attacking Libby and Rove with this witch hunt.

    I don’t think the President gets discouraged. But there’s stuff coming down the pike. And, the senate, which operates not just on FACTIONS, but with COMMITTEEs designed to be FIFEDOMS, is well aware that “cooperation” is not the name of the game.

    Well, in poker, the idea is to outfox your opponents. It’s not necessarily based on the cards in your hands. (And, if you have a good hand, you want to fool your opponents into thinking you have a lousy one. So they don’t get so discouraged they stop betting.)

    Kadima, by the way, in Israel is now run by Olmert. Because Arik Sharon had a stroke. Olmert, meanwhile, is purely a politician. And, I’ve noticed he PERSONALLY picked Amir Peretz. So, I looked at the numbers. Peretz “lost” seats for his party. They went from 22 mandates down to 19. HE ALSO DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH!

    This can happen to you, if you’ve lived in a country where the main language is NOT English. And, some people then find English exceedingly difficult to learn.

    By embracing someone who can’t say anything coherent in English, Olmert gets to weild the biggest influence, here, in the USA.

    You’ll also notice that Dahlia Itzik, who used to be in Labor. But Shimon Peres forced Arik Sharon to take her into Kadima. HE DIDN’T WANT TO! And, before he stroked he said she was not going to get any ministerial position at all. SHE ALSO DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH! So, she’s now the first female to sit in the Knesset’s Speaker’s Chair.

    Why is it that politics makes such strange bedfellows? Unlike love, in politics, it’s wall-to-wall arranged marriages. With one strategist deciding what works best.

    Olmert never would have been given the Premiership on his own! But there ya go. One stroke.

    We, on the other hand, do not have a parliamentary system. Our Constitution spells out a lot of things that are murky to other political systems. What’s ahead for Olmert? Should be an interesting ride. Until one of his seated party’s walks out the door.

    (I really don’t know why there hasn’t been accommodation with the settlers. I’d have thought Arik Sharon would have done something about this. Where, here ya go. Olmert told Sylvan Shalom he didn’t want the rump end of Likud … Because it came with Limor Livnat.)

    You know, Uriel Reichman had been promised Education. So he came into Kadima. Livnat ran the Education portfolio for 5 years! But she chose to remain in Likud. Now? The new appointment, a woman, just said she’s tossing the Dvorat Commission report down the toilet. And, will work with the teacher’s union, instead.) I’d say “only in America.” But this is Israel. And, politics there can go skidding out of control on the momentum of extortionists.

    Can the GOP ever come to terms with its various factions? When Ford bounced Reagan out of the nomination in 1976, I presume there was “cooperation,” then. But so many people crossed over to vote for Carter, that Ford lost. Timid doesn’t work, either.

    Over time, my appreciation for this President has grown so large that I’m willing to compare him to Lincoln.

  6. Carol_Herman says:

    Fed up? Oddly enough I actually think lots of “conservatives” are mature. And, not all of them adhere to a religious window. Still, there’s something going on.

    Ann Coulter, speaking at Cornell, just said that the donks have been out of the White House for 25 years (except for Bubba’s stint). She said she thought they’d have closed shop, to re-name themselves. But that’s not on the horizon.

    The mainstream is about as middle-class as you’re gonna get in America. In Israel the problems are different. Parliamentary systems are more unstable than ours.

    And, then Arik Sharon, listening to his doctors, allowed rat poison to be injected twice a day. And, he stroked.

    On his own, Olmert never would have become prime minister.

    And, it’s worth noticing how he put his government together; because “mainstream,” it ain’t.

    He went to Amir Peretz. Who lost some Labor mandates. Labor went from 22 seats to 19. BUT Peretz can’t speak English. So, in my opinion, this was the reason he got called upon to form this government of “convergence.” Like the little whirlpool you notice after you pull the flush handle;

    Dahlia Itzik is also worth noticing. She, too, cannot speak English.

    For some Hebrew speakers English is IMPOSSIBLE to learn. The language goes left to right. While Hebrew starts the other way. And, has all sorts of groupings; like you find in Latin.

    And, as I said, some Israelis just can’t make fools of themselves in English because they can’t string two English sentences together. Vapid Lapid, alas, did speak English. And, guess what? the 15 seats in Shinui DISAPPEARED.

    In Israeli politics parties come. And, parties go.

    Now, when Reagan was running in 1980 few people realize the “right” was the John Birch Society! Trust me on this. Reagan was compared to a kook. A right-wing nut job. AND, HE WON, ANYWAY. It’s been said he had the kind of personality that anyone who met him JUST COULDN’T HATE HIM! Lots of people wanted Reagan to succeed. It has a lot to do with WHY he was able to connect to so many.

    And, though he shared conservative values; and conservatives brought in the money so he could run, well. He was willing to compromise.

    And, back then, (using the 1968 example, above), he got flak from those who thought compromising was anathema.

    One of America’s strengths is its FACTIONS. As James Madison said, it’s the OXYGEN TO FREEDOM, as oxygen is to air. (Even though oxygen is a component of terrible fires.) Ya just got to live with it.

    Up ahead? I’m not sure a senator from any state can speak to national interests. The only one charged by our Constitution to speak to national interests IS our President!

    And, for some reason I don’t trust the polls. They were saying, back in 1980, Reagan was too old. So, a majority of Americans would reject him. Turns out it’s Carter they rejected.

    Turns out Wesley Clark also got rejected, after jumping on the donk’s nominating stage in 204. What did he get? 10 days. (Not enough time for any Swift Vet action.) Let me tell ya, Clark came and went on the feelings his brass polishing during Clinton’s reign, brought people to notice. Imagine that. He couldn’t capitalize on Kosovo. And, yet you saw Serbs lining up heckling him? I didn’t notice that at all.

    Half the crap that passes for political wisdom in this county is on par with what the Pope says about Birth Control. (It’s just not a Catholic strong suit.)

    The MSM is in trouble. I’ve been of the opinion Dan Rather added votes to Bush’s 2004 election win. But I can’t prove it. Far as I know, the MSM still thinks it’s selling “fake but accurate.” And, I have no idea how long it took GM to realize it had a lemon on their hands with the Edsel.

    Perfectly good merchandise doesn’t move off the shelves.

    As to America, I’m all for FACTIONS. It’s the good stuff in a sea of mob violence.

    And, yes, James Madison, along with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton did use the Federalist Papers to convince enough Americans of the wisdom in ratifying our Constitution. Some miracles never ceases to amaze.

  7. AJStrata says:


    Good analysis. Thanks for posting here. However, the Edsel was a Ford (named after Edsal Ford, someone’s son) and it took no time at all – once it was out. I don’t think it lasted the year.

    Anyway, that is irrelevant to all your good points.

  8. Carol_Herman says:

    You’re right. The Edsel was Henry Ford’s son. Me bad.

    Glad you liked my take on Israeli politics. It really is easy to overlook the problems that occur when a man who wants international fame (Olmert), selects a team of Hebrew speakers.

    I remember back to when Arik Sharon appointed Dahlia Itzik to be the ambassador to England. And, people went nuts. Over the fact that she can’t speak English. And, they said this would hurt Israel’s chances of being understood in the Court of St. James.

    When Labor, then, pulled out of Sharon’s government; forcing new eletions (I think back in 2003), Itzik didn’t think she’d be “out” of government very long. But in political time she really, really was. The only man who rescued her was Shimon Peres. Who used his influence with Arik Sharon to get her accepted into the Kadima lineup.

    But Olmert’s move have been LEFT. Not that the public’s chosen it. Only Olmert did. (And, he was also on the way out in politics; except for the lucky break of getting elected to Sharon’s #2 spot. Why was that? To block Shimon Peres, who was a #2 of a different sort. Smells of doo-doo. NOBOBY TRUSTS SHIMON PERES!

    Just finished reading Efraim Halevy’s book, MAN IN THE SHADOWS. Halevy was the head of Mossad. Until Sharon moved him aside. And, in his book he derides Peres as lacking vision, but unfortunately handicapped by “idealism.” As long as it promotes Peres. Of course.

    And, Olmert is a self-promoter, too. He’s had a long political life in Israel. He’s done nothing else. And, he replaced the famous and popular mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kolleck. Do you know Olmert’s responsible for killing Jerusalem? For handing the city to the religious lunatics, the hadiri? Where now there’s no tax base to the city. And, all the wage earners fled.

    Most Israelis are secular. And, the hadiri would stop all traffic through Jerusalem on the Shabbat. They don’t care if you’re not religious. But they also closed down all the butcher shops that sold pork. (Pork’s the #2 meat in Israel, after chicken. Followed by lamb.)

    It’s an odd deal that Olmert keeps making. All his moves are limited by his desire that it works for him.

    However, Olmert is also the one who came up with Disengagement. And, who would go out front, before Arik Sharon would even lift a finger; to get all the flak that came from this very good idea.

    What about the 70,000 settlers in territory the rest of the world doesn’t recognize as home to Israelis? Well, we’re a long way off from its being implimented. And, it can’t even move forward without hundreds of millions of AID dollars. So that at least 70,000 new homes, in Kosher territory, within the borders of the fence, get built.

    What will make the difference? A little inconvenience to the 70,000 settlers when they discover there’s no budget moneys coming their way? And, the fence isn’t around them to give them protection from the savages?

    So, I’m not ready to say Olmert doesn’t achieve his goals.

    I am saying, however, he doesn’t want to be done in by other strong Israeli politicians; so he’s picked weak ones. Who don’t speak English. That was never Arik Sharon’s game.

    Some of the progress made by Sharon’s Likud is going up in smoke. And, yes, I am surprised by the turn of events. But if Olmert’s strong suit is built on understanding weaknesses; the loss of seats to other parties has been very dramatic. Kadima fell short of what it would have gotten under Sharon, himself. But with the Gil Parishioners adding their 7 seats, Olmert’s got 36 members. Likud? They went from Sharon’s 40, to 12. And, as I said, Labor SHRUNK. Amir Peretz, instead of being Defense Minister, should have been forced to quit. But that’s the difference between him and Mitzna.

    Shinui’s totally gone. 15 seats in one Knesset. Nothing now.

    I’m fascinated by Israeli politics. But I respect our American system so much more! We’re the luckiest folks on earth.

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