May 25 2011

Lessons Of NY-26

Published by at 7:20 am under 2012 Elections,All General Discussions

Lots of good comments on the previous post on the NY-26 elevtion, but I would suggest the path forward is still clear and immutable. The GOP lost NY-26, but not by that much. And we really can’t unravel candidate issues from the quirks of special elections in general – not to mention the faux Tea Party candidate. I should note that while the wave was building across the nation in 2009 and 2010, the GOP lost a special election in NY in a similar manner. So a local exception to a massive realignment is not new. But there are legitimate concerns..

It is clear the GOP has not won back the respect and confidence of the American voter – not yet. The two parties could once again vie for ‘least despicable’ every other cycle, as they have been for decades. For all we know, a new status quo may have been established with one more form of divided government that seems to be the preferred norm at times. But that does not mean the voters are not open to reasonable conservative options. They just cannot be fringe conservative options. The far right still has to be muted and the center respected – or else all those gains from 2010 can evaporate by 2012.

Voters want libertarian solutions to government waste and abuse – that is the immutable bottom line.. They want the deficit spending ended. They want reasonable and temporary safety net programs for all but the most challenged. Permanent support is only going to be for those truly in need of it. But it is HOW we get to these goals that is creating the hesitation. Not to mention the lack of trust, even when the path promoted is sound. Too many false promises by pols for too long for words alone to be taken on faith.

The people want an end to the DC-Knows-Best nonsense. Which means proposals from DC begin as just more nonsense. The people want lower taxes, want their lives back and the return of a good economy. They know these are not achievable (in reality) from the left. The left has lost (and is still losing) credibility. But the GOP has not earned their credibility back yet either. It is a gap that can be bridged, between what the people want and the GOP proposes.

And there is plenty of time for the 2012 election cycle. But be fore warned, there is a need to NOT kowtow to easy votes and stupid slogans. No back sliding. No running away. Paul Ryan has a good solution in general, it needs a combination of refinements and explanation.

More importantly, Every conservative not talking about reigning in DC is off message and not helping the cause. Obama’s birth certificate idiocy was an obvious cause of the rot which ate into GOP credibility. We also don’t need any social issues at this time, simply because politics is not considered a respected source of anything associated with morality. No one can preach to others about how to live a good life from the sewer of corruption and arrogance.

It is not the politicians job to tell us how to live our lives – left or right. It is the job of government to ensure the national defense, establish laws of criminal and economic nature to protect the individual’s rights, and to otherwise get out of the way of people and let them live their lives. Anyone trying to be superior is off track from the start. Runaway government is the prime problem.

If the GOP backs off from the Ryan Plan they lose. If they soldier forward and spend all their energy and time focused on shrinking government safely and without hurting those already in its clutches, they can win a big victory – over time. Over a long time.

This is not a one or two election cycle effort. There is no instant gratification here. Leave the juvenile promises of instant Nirvanan to the lunatics on the left. We need Churchill, not Obama. We need to understand our challenges and feel honor in taking them on. We need shared sacrifice, which is why the power has to be pulled from the bureaucracy FIRST, before the people are asked to sacrifice. What we need is humble dedication, not arrogant grand standing.

This is not complicated, but it is radically different from anything the DC elite have had to do for decades. They will not only be uncomfortable switching gears late in their careers, they will be awkward as well. And too many will resist – on all sides. They have grown up believing some government is required when in most cases none is, and it would be better if none was. Those cannot be salvaged, they must be dumped.

Don’t wilt, don’t lower our sites, and don’t get distracted on issues not important to the American voter in the center. You must win the center to make progress. Yes, it is slower than desired, but look at what winning the center did in 2010. Imagine what it could be like if the center was willing, en masse, to make measured steps for a decade or more in one direction – leaving the idea of government as the answer to all solutions in its wake. Imagine what slow and steady progress could lead to, and learn to work with the center instead of the lazy and useless backstabbing so common to so called patriots. Seasaws go nowhere, they just appear to have a lot of motion.

It is time to stop seasawing between the fringes and for someone to make a lasting alliance with the center.

Update: Interesting discussion on this over at Hot Air

27 responses so far

27 Responses to “Lessons Of NY-26”

  1. WWS says:

    There is some good news – New York loses 2 seats in redistricting this time around, and this was probably one of the seats that will be eliminated. So, it’s an 18 months and go home for good seat, not much of a prize.

    Given the problems that happen over and over, the New York GOP leadership must be hopelessly screwed up. Years of repeated failures suggest that a total housecleaning is due.

    Interesting gambit Pawlenty is taking – he went to Iowa and spoke against ethanol subsidies, and then he went to Florida and spoke about the need to reform Medicare. Will this win him respect, or did he just guarantee 2 early primary losses? That’s the great question of our times – will voters support those who tell the truth, or will they punish truth telling and elect only those who tell them what they want to hear? (applies to both the primaries and the general election)

    Time will tell.

  2. WWS says:

    Just saw an interesting development in Greece this morning, which is related to the choices we face. In fact, it may be a choice we have to face in a few years.

    As you all know, Greece is under huge pressure because it can’t control it’s deficit even though they are out of money. The reason they won’t and can’t control it is that more than 50% of the population now either works for or is permanently supported by the Greek government. To cut their deficit is to throw the majority of the country into poverty, hence the riots in Athens everytime they get close to doing that. And if you think the Army is going to calm those riots down – the Army is going to face massive cuts, too, so they can’t be trusted for support.

    So, this morning, rather than impose austerity or find a way to pay back the huge foreign debt, the Greek Prime Minister this morning has announced that he may hold a referendum on whether or not Greece should default on all of its debt obligations. Of course, he knows that polls show 80% of Greeks want to default rather than pay the money back to foreigners.

    How will this play out? We don’t know yet, but we may see for the first time an entire nation chooses its own destruction in a free, fair, and open election. With the slight emotional benefit that they will know they are taking the rest of Europe down with them.

  3. lurker9876 says:

    Paul Ryan came out with a new video explaining what’s really going on with Medicare. A good video.

    wws, that may be the only choice given to us. Go ahead and put it on the ballot and we’ll vote on it…see what happens. The Americans are NOT ready to give up on the benefits.

    Biden reported yesterday that they can cut 1 trillion from the budget. Yeah, right.

    I understand that Texas may not be able to complete its redistricting plan in time…Joe Barton is planning to file a suit because they’re eliminating his district. Wayne Christian’s district is also wiped out in this same plan. And they’re refusing to look at another plan more suited for the conservatives.

    So this may end up going to the judges…wws, what do you think?

  4. kathie says:

    I don’t see that Greece is much different then California. Individuals are so invested in their little piece of the puzzle they can’t see the whole picture. When the ship goes down they will be holding the little piece not knowing why it sunk.

    I feel totally discouraged! I truly believe it’s George Soros vs the United States of America and Soros is winning.

  5. dhunter says:

    Lurker TX,
    Do I understand the redistricting is unfavorable to conservatives?

    Something I have been wondering because in IA we took back the state house and governorship and our realignment was in my opinion still more favorable to the Dems. We do have a unique system here, but if this is widespread it seems just another instance of the Repugnantcans being asleep at the switch and not willing to fight.

    The loser in the New York race was unable or unwilling to explain the Ryan plan. As even Krauthammer said any Republican running on the plan had better be able to explain it because the rats strategy is simply to propose NOTHING and Demagogue the hell out of the Republican solutions.
    Reid says they won’t even propose a budget, they won’t offer a solution just criticize those who do, despicable bunch of RATS.

    AJ how about a post on McCain siding with Kerry to pull the OBLahBLahs chestnuts out of the fire over his illegal involvement in Lybia. They did so without forcing the Won to go before the American people or congress to explain its purpose, its objectives, timelines and plan for victory.
    All other Presidents did this and were attacked by OBlahBlahs Party now he does it and does not even explain it, McCain is there to haul his water.

    The right man won in 08 McCain is determined to prove that!

    We can’t let him win again though and in my opinion only Sarah can stop him.

  6. oneal lane says:


    I think you nailed it with your post.

    Folks here in America also want cutbacks, but at someone elses expense. The Dems will scare the public over any Medicare fix. they would rather drive it all over the cliff.

    If anyone believes multi-nation defaults portends the end of leftism, think again. The grand endgame was planned long ago, and that is to drive so many nations off the brink, that the traditional economic state of thinks is destroyed. Install a totally new monitary/economic system.

    Watch for False “Tea Party” and “Libertarian” candiates arise in district after district in the next election, perhaps even the Presidential election. Donald Trump?

  7. crosspatch says:

    Here is a youtube link to the Ryan video. It needs to go viral:

  8. crosspatch says:

    How will this play out? We don’t know yet, but we may see for the first time an entire nation chooses its own destruction in a free, fair, and open election.

    One thing the political left has done is given people, from the time they are youngsters, a distorted expectation of what the role of government is. People believe the government can do anything, it simply has to want to do it. They don’t believe the government can run out of money. They believe the role of government is to “take care of them” and see to it that they have a happy life.

    Greece will likely default on its debt and the people will probably blame the lenders for their trouble, not the people who borrowed the money in the first place. The people will riot demanding the government produce a bleeding turnip. Government will print more money, the money will be useless and prices will rise. People on the dole will actually have to get off their rear ends and do something productive in order to eat. Some people aren’t going to want to do that and will feel it is within their right to simply take from anyone that has more than they have.

    I think it is going to get ugly. That is what happens when you raise generations of people who believe they are entitled to other people’s stuff and that is the fundamental message that the political left sends.

  9. WWS says:

    re: Texas redistricting. It is bizarre to me that the Legislature has been so dismissive of the congressional map, to the point of obliviousness.

    here’s the story on it:

    Of course, they did the redistricting for their OWN seats, no problem. Education board, State House, State Senate, all done. Here’s the disappointing part; even though this is supposedly the most Republican state in the country today, the powers in the legislature wrote the new state districts to protect almost all of the old-time establishment legislators and to knock out most of the new tea-party members. Seniority and the good-ol-boy club still triumphs over ideas and public support, sadly. Oh, the GOP will control the state for the next 10 years, easy, but it’s going to be the old-time Establishment GOP in power, not any of these new upstarts.

    And for this bunch, apparently the answer is: Congressional Districts? Who cares?

    And this is what I have against Perry, for those who think he should run for President because he makes some great speeches; Perry sits there and watches all of this and does nothing and says nothing. He’s fine with it, and having watched him long enough I think it’s a fair guess that he’s fine with it because his money is coming from the same sources that think this is just great, and Perry’s bottom line is always greenbacks, no matter what he says.

    I voted for Perry for Governor, but I would never vote for him for President. My opinion is that he’ll sell out anyone and anything the instant there’s a personal profit to be made from switching, and he’s doing it behind the scenes right now. He talks a good game, sure. But how does he actually govern?

    Perry could still redeem himself by calling a special session to draw these lines, and keeping it out of the hands of the Judges; he certainly has the authority to do that. If he chooses to simply ignore the problem and let it go to the Judiciary by default, it will confirm to me that he’s not fit to go any higher on the political ladder.

  10. sjreidhead says:

    I think the libertarian approach is the loser here. Yes, we want to slash spending, but there is a certain arrogance that the libertarian attitude has begun to employ. They know better than everyone else. Look at Rick Scott’s poll numbers in Florida.

    Just because you are doing the “right” thing is no sign that you impose it without explaining, simply being self-righteous and smug.

    This is a recipe for abject electoral disaster.

    The Pink Flamingo

  11. lurker9876 says:

    www, I haven’t caught up with the posts but to make one point….remember the brouhaha over getting Joe Straus elected as the speaker of the house? The rumors (may be facts) was that if you vote against Joe, you will be redistricted out. Wayne Christian voted against him.

    I understand that there were lots of thuggish actions by Joe Straus’ thugs threatenting the state Republicans if they voted against Joe.

    There was a lot of Tea Party members that tried to convince the state republicans to vote against Joe. They even warned the state republicans that they will be primaried off the ballot next year if their terms expire next year.

    As a side note, I understand that our state congress people were under lots of pressure by lobbyists for special interests. The civilians haven’t been able to go to Austin to “lobby” for civilian interests…at least by number and money.

  12. dhunter says:

    Thanks WWS,
    confirms my suspicions that it is us versus them, all of them.

    party affiliation doesn’t matter, it is the entrenched imcumbants against the American People.

    Each Party over spending and using taxpayer money to re-elect themselves.

    This is why I feel Sarah Palin is our only hope.
    Her track record in AK shows she will take on the corrupt clowns in both parties and return government to, of, for, and by the people.

    None of the others will, and that is why the long knives on both sides are out for her. The establishment players have picked their status quo squishes and their money will flo to them.

    This will truely have to be a grassroots effort to wrest control from the corruptocrats.

    If she gets in and I hope she does this will get real interesting real fast, in the immortal words of Joe Bite-Me “Gird Yer Loins”

  13. lurker9876 says:

    wws, I voted for Perry in the primary because I didn’t like his opponents. I voted for Perry because it was a vote against Bill White.

    If Perry runs for President, it will be a vote against Obama just to get Obama out of the office. But I would not be happy with Perry’s performance.

  14. lurker9876 says:

    “Perry could still redeem himself by calling a special session to draw these lines, and keeping it out of the hands of the Judges; he certainly has the authority to do that. If he chooses to simply ignore the problem and let it go to the Judiciary by default, it will confirm to me that he’s not fit to go any higher on the political ladder.”

    He certainly can; however, how much control would he have over those certain state GOP elite congressers? Especially with Joe Straus’s power. I don’t think that there is much Perry can do to influence anything other than Joe’s agenda.

    “Oh, the GOP will control the state for the next 10 years, easy, but it’s going to be the old-time Establishment GOP in power, not any of these new upstarts.”

    If these guys can be primaried out and replaced by the civilian politicians with the right principles and virtue, then the outcome of any new redistrict plan doesn’t matter. Any redistrict plan can be worked to and to the best advantage of the group in power.

  15. lurker9876 says:

    dhunter, I would love to see Sarah Palin run in spite of her conservative populism (which I think is the “good” populism – so many people hate this word).

    Her up and coming movie may be a vindication of her past actions. The mainstream media is so afraid of her.

    If I think she is electable, I’d vote for her. If she is nominated for the general election, I will vote for her just to vote for her, her principles, her qualifications, and her virtues. It will not be a vote against Obama (which is different from a vote for Perry).

  16. jan says:

    A very good analysis of NY-26, including some cogent poster comments following it.

    I really hope the message from this election doesn’t involve setting aside entitlement reform. The NYT is already on the dem band wagon with an editorial saying as much. It’s amazng how much the media is an enabler of liberal policies!

    Anyway, Paul Ryan, IMO, reminds me of a scout, way ahead of the wagon train, and able to see the rough terrain ahead which others are in denial over, or unwilling to even contemplate. He is tackling change we can voluntarily make before it is forced upon us. It’s like fumigating one’s house before the termites destroy it.

    My wish is that there will be enough people willing to knuckle down, releasing some of their security net or ‘blankie,’ in order to secure a better more substantial future for all.

  17. WWS says:

    Why a special session would matter, and why Perry should call one: The legislature has created an excuse for not doing the congressional redistricting by saying that there was too much else that had to be done and they just couldn’t get to it in time. Now that’s nonsense, of course, but the session is about to end and it isn’t done, so yes, it is too late now to get it done now. Remember, Texas only has 1 five month session every 2 years, so this is it unless the Governor calls a special session.

    The Governor has the right to call a Special Session *Just* for this one issue, and that’s what he should do. If that is done, then all of the excuses used so far fall away, and the Legislature will have to confront the problem or be publicly humiliated. Now of course the voters want their legislators to do this; no one wants this sent to a Federal Court by default. (Remember, Texas adds 2 seats, so redistricting is *mandatory* before the next election) Perry’s choice is this – does he do what his friends in the Lege want, which is to let them off the hook easy? Or does he do what the Voters want, which is to tell the Lege to get back to work and stay there till this is figured out?

    It’s his call now.

  18. Frogg1 says:

    Paul Ryan admitted that demagoguery by the Dems on his plan contributed to the defeat of the Repulican in this election. However, he is also confident that Repubs have 15 months to educate/explain this plan and will win this issue. He says that he gets the support of our senior citizens once he speaks to them and explains the truth of his plan.

    I also don’t see the referendum against Ryan’s plan that the media talks about in connection with this election. In looking at the election vote tally for the 2008 election in NY-26, I don’t see how this is any big win for the Dems. The winning Dem, Hochul got 47%. The Dem candidate that lost to the Republican in 2008 got 48%. How is that a big referendum for this year? Clearly Corwin’s bad messaging and a fake tea party candidate were the predominant influence in Corwin’s loss.

    Ryan is doing great on messaging, and is a true leader. Wish we had more like him.

  19. roylofquist says:

    The Democrats have stepped in it big time. They did the same thing in 1992 and lost both houses for the first time in 40 years.

    A little history. In 1991 Dick Thornburgh resigned as Attorney General to run for the Senate seat left vacant by the death of John Heinz in a plane crash. He was widely expected to win handily. He was defeated by Harris Wofford who stressed health care as a major issue. The Democrats, as they have done now, jumped all over this and made it a major emphasis of the new Clinton administration. Hillarycare was the result. Along with disaster for the Democrats.

    Analysis of the Pennsylvania election discounted the significance of the health care issue. It was strictly personal. Pennsylvanians were tired of Thornburgh who has been a major player there for years. That and Clinton’s coattails carried the day.

    NY26 was local. Tip O’Neill – “all politics is local”. Yes, the Democrat campaigned on Medicare but I doubt seriously that that was a game changer. Politicians and the chattering class far overrate the importance of single issues in elections. Witness Obama who essentially articulated no memorable policy positions.

    Democrats, and particularly the left, view people as economic animals. Bread and circuses is the name of the game. This was effective from The Depression through 1994. Since then the Republicans have controlled Congress, letting it slip away in 2006 under a media barrage.

    The American people, from my experience and studies, are quite different than the model assumed by the Democrats. They are far more religious, charitable and patriotic than other modern societies. They care not only for themselves but for their neighbors and children and grandchildren. For the most part they are neither stupid nor naive. They see the greatest nation in history threatened by radicals and they are not going to allow that to happen.

    The 2010 election was the most sweeping repudiation of a party in 80 years. That sentiment will continue in 2012 and well beyond. Let the Democrats run on Mediscare. It only serves to get people to focus on Obamacare. The left are suffused with magical thinking. They really are as dumb as a box of rocks.

  20. crosspatch says:

    I think it is obvious that the NY-26 election was a Ross Perot style victory for the Democrats. The “TEA” party candidate was a phony but got votes from people who don’t follow the news much (most people). Most people are extremely uninformed when it comes to elections. Very few people follow political blogs, most get their news from the 5 minute blurb at the top of the hour during their commute or from their friends on facebook

    Most cable channels that are popular with people don’t carry regular news broadcasts. You wont find the daily news on History Channel, A&E, Game Show Channel, etc. You won’t find the daily news on your iPod unless you seek it out.

    The average American might go many days without hearing anything other than maybe a link that a friend might share on a social networking site.