Friday, November 10, 2006


They wear cowboy boots, chew tobacco, love hunting, hate abortion, want less government spending - and some voted for Ronald Reagan. Now they are headed to Congress as Democrats. Although the Democrats' victory was above all an overwhelming repudiation of the conflict in Iraq, it was also built on the back of moderate, often conservative candidates recruited to compete in traditionally Republican territory.

When Congress returns in January, both the House and Senate will see something of an ideological shift, with an influx of freshmen Democrats who, while unified in their opposition to the war, are well to the right of the party's current caucus on cultural issues. Their success reflects a resurgence of "Blue Dog" Democrats - socially conservative but generally economic populists - across the Midwest, and a bold new strategy to target the Republican-leaning West and South West - states such as Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico - as a way of winning back the White House in 2008.

If Jon Tester, the Democrat's Senate candidate in Montana, wins his race against Conrad Burns - he declared victory last night but votes were still being counted - the chamber will have a Democrat who is an anti-abortion, pro-gun, three-generation farmer with a buzz cut, three missing fingers on his left hand and no big fan of Hillary Clinton.

Jim Webb, the Democrat favoured to win a probable recount in the Virginia Senate race, was Reagan's Navy Secretary. A social conservative, he hates liberals and likes guns so much he gave one to his son at the age of 8. He champions, as he puts it, "Southern redneck culture". A decorated Vietnam veteran, he converted to the Democrats only over his opposition to the Iraq war.

Bob Casey, who soundly defeated the Republican Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania's Senate race, is also anti-abortion. Like many of the new Democrats, he ran a profoundly populist protectionist economic message which attracted many blue-collar "Reagan Democrats" back to the party in the Midwest, where job losses and economic pessimism combined with Iraq to make the region one of the bleakest landscapes for Republicans yesterday. Heath Shuler, a former quarterback for the Washington Redskins, was once courted by the Republicans as a possible congressional candidate. He is anti-abortion, pro-gun, anti-free trade - and is now the Democrat representative for the North Carolina 11th District.

In Indiana, a state overwhelmingly won by President Bush in 2004, three Republicans in the House of Representatives lost seats. All faced conservative Democrats. One, Brad Ellsworth, a county sheriff, is a social conservative who signed a no-tax-rise pledge during the campaign. Joe Donnelly was another cultural conservative winner in Indiana.

In Colorado, Democrats continued their push into the West with victory in the state's gubernatorial contest, meaning the party now has a sweep of western governors stretching from Canada to Mexico, through Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. In Kentucky, John Yarmuth, a former Republican candidate running as a Democrat, beat Anne Northup, a five-term veteran. Democrats also picked up an open seat in Republican Arizona and even unseated a Republican incumbent in Kansas - where Mr Bush won 62 per cent of the vote in 2004.

These new Democrats represent what Rahm Emanuel, the congressman who masterminded its takeover of the House, described as the future of the party, and the key to its presidential hopes. The growing belief of many Democrat strategists is that the South - the party's base until the 1960s, but now solidly Republican - is beyond their reach, and that the future lies in targeting the Midwest and West with moderate candidates. That theory was bolstered by the defeat in Tennessee of Harold Ford. Despite running as a conservative on nearly every issue - even immigration - the black former congressman could not prevail in the one Southern senate seat in play.

More here



Anti-Illegal win: "Arizona voters resoundingly passed three anti-illegal-immigrant ballot measures Tuesday and established English as the state’s official language. The landslide victory all four passed by about 3-to-1 ratios statewide sends a message that the state won’t tolerate illegal immigration, said proponent Don Goldwater. "The people of Arizona have said, ’Enough,’ and that they want this issue taken care of," said Goldwater, a gubernatorial candidate who lost in the Republican primary in September. "If the federal government won’t stand up, then by God, the state of Arizona will." Election night proved a sad outcome for immigrant advocates who carried out a grassroots campaign of rallies, fliers and news conferences to try to defeat the measures".

Comment from Boortz: "One thing is certain. The Republicans worked very hard for this defeat. They've earned every lost seat. The Republican majority that was sent packing yesterday bore little resemblance to the Republican majority that rode to power 12 years ago. In 1994 we were promised less government. Over the next 12 years the Republicans more than doubled the size of the government. We were promised control over runaway spending. In the last six years discretionary spending has doubled. We were promised fiscal responsibility. We got a bridge to nowhere in Alaska. We were promised the elimination of the Department of Education. After all, educational achievement had been on a steady decline since education was federalized under this Department. In no time at all the Republicans doubled funding for the Department of Education. In the meanwhile America continues to slip on the international scorecard of educational achievement. The Republicans, in full control of the government, couldn't even manage to stop the Mexican invasion. How many Hispanics invaded our country across the Mexican / American border in the last 12 years? Twelve million? Twenty? Funny, but I don't remember pressing 1 for English in 1994."

FBI looking for congressional sting opportunities: "The new chief of the FBI's Criminal Division, which is swamped with public corruption cases, says the bureau is ramping up its ability to catch crooked politicians and might run an undercover sting on Congress. Assistant FBI Director James Burrus called the bureau's public corruption program 'a sleeping giant that we've awoken' and predicted the nation will see continued emphasis in that area 'for many, many, many years to come.'"

All eyes on Roberts court as it takes on abortion: "The morning after the closely fought midterm elections, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear its first major abortion case in six years. The hot-button issue has been debated for years among social and religious activists, voters and judges themselves. At issue in Wednesday's arguments is the constitutionality of a federal law banning a specific late-term procedure its critics call 'partial-birth' abortion."

Why we should worry more about vote fraud: "An election system that is less than transparent is one that's open to conspiracy theories and fear of fraud, whether or not fraud is actually present. And I've heard quite a few other Democrats echoing Pelosi -- and quite a few Republicans speculating that a Democratic Congress will ride in on a wave of votes from dead people and illegal immigrants. That sort of thinking seems much more common among respectable members of both parties than it was a few years ago, and I think there's reason to fear it's getting worse."



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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