More election hilarity expected!!!
October 2, 2002 8:25 PM   Subscribe

More election hilarity expected!!! So, does anyone here still remember the 2000 election? Its not through with us yet. The GOP could regain control of the Senate immediately following the Nov. 5 elections, thanks to a nutty legal wrinkle associated with Sen. Jean Carnahan's appointment to the seat Missouri elected her deceased husband to. That is, if she loses, and if the Democrats don't pull the trick William Safire expects them to.
posted by gsteff (26 comments total)
 
Here's some more coverage from a less partisan.
posted by gsteff at 8:27 PM on October 2, 2002


Er, less partisan source.
posted by gsteff at 8:28 PM on October 2, 2002


The time bomb in this case is an extortionist named Lincoln Chafee

I think that speaks for itself - I'd realistically challenge any of you to give me a reason to read more after a Freeper libel like that.
posted by crunchburger at 8:32 PM on October 2, 2002


The "Center for Cultural Leadership", eh? Has a bit of a Nazi ring to it, I thunk.
posted by troutfishing at 8:44 PM on October 2, 2002


That was a horrible choice of links on my part. Here's the best coverage I can find from Google.
posted by gsteff at 8:47 PM on October 2, 2002


If the GOP get control of everything now, 2004 will indeed be historic for Democrats, Greens, Independents and anyone else that isn't a Republican. The backlash will be brutal.

The Republicans can either lose some seats now, or lose everything in 2004.

The "Center for Cultural Leadership", eh? Has a bit of a Nazi ring to it, I thunk.

It should be located right down the hall from the Department of Homeland Security.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 8:53 PM on October 2, 2002


Missouri can select its Congresscritters however it chooses, as long as it does not violate the Constitution. If that fucks up Karl Rove's electoral map, too bad.

You mentioned the 2000 election. In my opinion, what stinks most about it is the intervention of the Judiciary into a perfectly clearly defined Constitutional procedure - voting in the House of Representatives - to settle an election where the states had failed to elect a President.
posted by crunchburger at 9:05 PM on October 2, 2002


The Republicans can either lose some seats now, or lose everything in 2004.

If the Republicans win everything now, I'm not convinced we'll get to 2004.
posted by riviera at 9:14 PM on October 2, 2002


Despite the valid "Democrats voted them all in, Roe/Wade supported by the Reagan nominees, etc." Supreme Court argument, I still believe that the 2002 outcome will affect some of the decisions of the SCOTUS judges, some of whom are very likely sacrificing virgin goats to Baal just so they can stay alive a few more months. O'Conner has been quoted as saying that she wants a GOP Senate in place for her replacement, and I sincerely doubt Scalia has hopes of being voted as the next Chief Justice with Daschle holding the floor.

ANd Barney, I'm not too sure I agree with you there. The infamous Gingrich landslide in 1994, despite losses, has garnered continual control of COngress and a mere 1-vote loss in the Senate, not to mention a Republican candidate in 2000 doing significantly better than their 1996 pick.

What's going for the Democrats is a possible Left-leaning 1994 repeat. Traditionally the opposition party gains in midterm elections. If the DNC can do what the GOP did in 1994, and according to many polls that's likely, there might be a lot of changes going on.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:24 PM on October 2, 2002


These possible tactics to ensure Democrat control of the Senate disgust me. Canceling an election because you might lose? Delaying the certification of results? Switching candidates at the last minute before an election? I think the political affiliation of some MeFites is obscuring the dangerous trend developing here. I never realized elections were fair game for such gamesmanship. Bush v. Gore might have been the first high profile case, but it shouldn't be open season on the idea of a fair election.
posted by reverendX at 9:24 PM on October 2, 2002


I'd realistically challenge any of you to give me a reason to read more after a Freeper libel like that.

I agree. When a MeFi poster refers to Bush as 'Shrubya', or 'Duh-bya', or [insert favorite insult here] that's his way of telling me that he has nothing important to say.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:33 PM on October 2, 2002


And Barney, I'm not too sure I agree with you there. The infamous Gingrich landslide in 1994, despite losses, has garnered continual control of Congress and a mere 1-vote loss in the Senate, not to mention a Republican candidate in 2000 doing significantly better than their 1996 pick.

They never had a buddy in the White House, like they will now. He'll sign any bill they send over. They will, in turn, confirm all of the Bush judge picks and budgets.

riviera is correct. We would be lucky to make it to 2004.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:38 PM on October 2, 2002


Oh, come on. The world's not likely to end because of two more years of George W. Bush.
posted by kindall at 10:49 PM on October 2, 2002


OK, it's exaggerating, but not much.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 11:12 PM on October 2, 2002


Who are the Republicans' people? Certainly not the loony leftists who populate Chafee's Providence. They are the social and economic conservatives who happen to make up most of America. They long for a Ronald Reagan — yea a whole party of Reagans, leaders who will lead, not just mark time.

If I'm a republican, my choices are "loony leftists" like Chafee or a whole party of Reagans?

Loony leftists like Chafee, definitely. Most definitely.
posted by namespan at 12:15 AM on October 3, 2002


Oh, come on. The world's not likely to end because of two more years of George W. Bush.

Ah, but my old friend kindall misses the point. It's not two more years of Bush, it's two years of what a government entirely run by the GOP would do, some of it so entrenched it could take a decade or more to reverse. Particularly in the federal courts, where judges serve for life, and Bush's nominees are already pretty far right.

This month's Washington Monthly features a chilling assessment of what an entirely GOP government could do in two years, written by Nicholas Confessore. Anyone wondering about control of either the House or Senate in the midterm elections should read it.
posted by mdeatherage at 1:07 AM on October 3, 2002


If the Republicans win everything now, I'm not convinced we'll get to 2004.
posted by riviera


What nonsensical rhetoric.

If we survived 4 years of carter, we can survive anything.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 1:30 AM on October 3, 2002


I thik the biggest question is: Why can't the party that won a popular majority in the last pres. election win a majority in Congress?
posted by goethean at 3:36 AM on October 3, 2002


I'm as liberal as the next guy, but unfortunately the Democrats have no right to replace Torricelli with another candidate. Whoever is on the ballot within 56 days of the election stays on the ballot. These are the rules, the rules were in place when they chose Torricelli. Torricelli had plenty of time to step out of the race and plenty of indication that it would be the right thing to do. He didn't, so as a result not only is the democratic party going to be screwed over, in my opinion the American public is being screwed over as well.
posted by substrate at 5:17 AM on October 3, 2002


What's going for the Democrats is a possible Left-leaning 1994 repeat. Traditionally the opposition party gains in midterm elections. If the DNC can do what the GOP did in 1994, and according to many polls that's likely, there might be a lot of changes going on.

I have read nothing that suggests that the Democrats are positioned to gain substantial numbers of seats in Congress. Everything I have read -- and a simple examination of the competitive Senate and House seats -- suggests that if either the Republicans or the Democrats control Congress after the election, the majority will be very small.
posted by Durwood at 6:50 AM on October 3, 2002


I'm as liberal as the next guy, but unfortunately the Democrats have no right to replace Torricelli with another candidate.

I'm not as liberal as the next guy, but I can't object to the Democrats replacing Torricelli with Lautenberg (which they just did) because in a similar situation, last year I think, the Republicans pushed a new law through the Jersey Republican-controlled legislature to do exactly the same thing for them, when they were in a similar fix. I'm a (sometimes reluctant) Republican, and I'd rather the Republican candidate not have to run against a proven vote-getter like Lautenberg, but sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, I'm afraid.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:24 AM on October 3, 2002


Why can't the party that won a popular majority in the last pres. election win a majority in Congress?

Because many, if not most, of the voters had a choice between Bush and Gore, not Republicans or Democrats. In Presidential elections, the voting tendencies tend to lie more in character and policy debates, instead of party lines.

Congressional seats are usually more easily secured because people pay much less attention to these elections, hence the 38% voter turnout in 1998.

If we survived 4 years of carter, we can survive anything.

heh. From one hyperbole to another, eh? riviera, why don't you get off your liberal high horse and check into reality. All this noise about Bush trying to take over the world, and yet, the Brits seem to have no trouble backing any US action.

My prediction, what what little it's worth: Attack Iraq after the election, when the Republicans retain control of the House and the Senate remains undisturbed. Daschle did more harm than good crying like a bitch last week; Americans don't want weak leaders. They want decisive action. The economy has now had four consecutive quarters of steady growth, leading to approximately 3% total over the year. Let Bush fail to take out Saddam (again), and watch Gore pounce late in 2003. Oh yeah, and capri pants for men, totally the in thing for the summer. They rock; it's trendy, sexy, and ooh I just love watching men prance around like little girls. But I digress.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:08 AM on October 3, 2002


No off course the Democrats will do anything to prevent losing control. If they lose control of the Senate it prevents them to keep judges out who would interupt the law as is and not make law from the bench ie: New Jersey Supreme Court.

-Z
posted by ZupanGOD at 8:21 AM on October 3, 2002


Durwood is correct. The mid-term elections are notorious for handing a setback to the party controlling the White House (an average of 7 House seats over the 20th century), but the underlying reason is that most Presidents have some amount of coat-tails which sweep co-partisans into office in districts where that party is iffy or weak. Hence, 2 years later, that same sitting representative faces a tough re-election battle. Bush, by contrast with the historical norm, had no coat-tails of which to speak, hence little supernumerary effect on Republican membership in Congress. Also, the Senate class facing elections came in during 1996, which was a Clinton coat-tail moment, weakening their prospects. My guess is that the House numbers will swing no more than 5 seats one way or another, but more likely toward a more even control, i.e. a slimmer GOP majority than they have now; the Senate is simply too close to call.

Nobody's in any shape to come out of this with a 1994 Gingrich-won level of control. For one thing, the Contract With America (agree or disagree with it) was one of the most brilliant and orchestrated party-wide Congressional campaigns in a generation. But it didn't accomplish all it set out to do, and even the GOP, with template in hand, has been unable to repeat that success. Parties simply have less power than they used to; the media-era fundraising requirements ensure that most of a candidate's loyalty is to donors other than the party, and "independent" sells well in a lot of swing districts.

Anyway, for my money, even trying to predict how this will turn out is a losing game, unless you're making your money by writing predictions. I don't think it's possible to handicap this one without access to all the private polling data and other tools.
posted by dhartung at 8:42 AM on October 3, 2002


I never realized elections were fair game for such gamesmanship.

I don't think this example of gamesmanship is particularly noteworthy; Toricelli's dropout more than a month before the election ought to be ample time, in our media saturated country, for his replacement to be publicized and evaluated by the voters. This isn't the 18th century -- there's no justification for a rule forcing political parties to stick with candidates so we can spread the news on horseback.
posted by rcade at 9:36 AM on October 3, 2002


Safire is clever, but he totally ignores the fact that Torricelli dropped out of the race by his own choice. Sure, many Democrats encouraged him to do so, but ultimately the decision was made by the Senator himself.

And the law seems pretty clear here, which is why the New Jersey court approved the change unanimously, with the support of the 2 Republicans on the Court. The 56 day rule says that a party can put a new name on the ballot before that period and doesn't have to ask anyone for permission. Once they are within the 56 days, they have to ask permission. The Court found that there was still time enough to make the change. If this had happened 2 weeks later, the Court would probably have found the opposite.
posted by gspira at 9:43 AM on October 3, 2002


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