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"the duty of the losing party":
There are better and worse ways to lose elections. This statement by Mike Pence (via Glenn & the Corner) seems to be among the better.

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Congressman Mike Pence released the following statement today on the GOP's midterm election loss:
Election day 2006 will be remembered as a turning point in American political history. Twenty-five years after the Reagan Administration came to Washington with a conservative agenda of limited government, the American people chose a different course.

It is the duty of the losing party in a free election to humbly accept defeat and to acknowledge that the people are sovereign in the People's House.

As we examine the results of this election, it is imperative that we listen to the American people and learn the right lessons.

Some will argue that we lost our majority because of scandals at home and challenges abroad. I say, we did not just lose our majority, we lost our way.

While the scandals of the 109th Congress harmed our cause, the greatest scandal in Washington, D.C. is runaway federal spending.

After 1994, we were a majority committed to balanced federal budgets, entitlement reform and advancing the principles of limited government. In recent years, our majority voted to expand the federal government's role in education, entitlements and pursued spending policies that created record deficits and national debt.

This was not in the Contract with America and Republican voters said, "enough is enough."

Our opponents will say that the American people rejected our Republican vision. I say the American people didn't quit on the Contract with America, we did. And in so doing, we severed the bonds of trust between our party and millions of our most ardent supporters.

As the 110th Congress convenes next year, Republicans must cordially accept defeat and dedicate ourselves to advancing our cause as the loyal opposition knowing that the only way to retake our natural, governing majority, is to renew our commitment to limited government, national defense, traditional values and reform.


Mr. X (www):
Election day 2006 will be remembered as a turning point in American political history. Twenty-five years after the Reagan Administration came to Washington with a conservative agenda of limited government, the American people chose a different course.


This should read:
Election day 2006 will be remembered as a turning point in American political history. Twenty-five years after the Reagan Administration came to Washington with a conservative agenda of limited government, and six years after the Republican Party abandoned that agenda to choose a different course, the American people realized it and kicked them to the curb.
11.8.2006 11:25am
Josh_Jasper (mail):

In recent years, our majority voted to expand the federal government's role in education, entitlements and pursued spending policies that created record deficits and national debt.


So, clearly the way to get more votes is to cut off aid to the poor, and make sure education funding is slashed. BRILLIANT!

You Republicans should get right on that. While you're at it, kick a few gays, blacks, and unemployed singlr mothers in the teeth. Bonus points if you tell them it was for thier own good.

Also, keep supporitng the way Bush is conducting the war in Iraq. Because it's going *SO WELL*.

Go team, GO!
11.8.2006 11:31am
David Maquera (mail) (www):
This lifelong conservative who happens to be a "minority" and a son of a "single mother" seconds Mr. X's sentiments. With respect to Josh Jasper, the problem with your sort of thinking is that you equate a slowdown in spending growth for social programs as "cutting off aid to the poor." Well Josh, you are certainly entitled to your arrogant and condescending liberal plantation politics toward us "minorities" but you can be assured that not every "minority" buys into you or your party's policies.
11.8.2006 11:40am
JosephSlater (mail):
I basically agree with Josh_Jasper's point. While the original comment was gracious in style (which does count for something), it's questionable on the substance. Do Republicans REALLY think that if they had spent less money on education, they would have fared better? And even generally, was the deficit the main issue? We had a deficit in 2004, after all.

This election was, IMHO, first and foremost about Iraq, then maybe secondly about the culture of corruption.
11.8.2006 11:41am
Chumund:
I think there is an excellent chance that between this "loyal opposition" in the House and President Bush's veto power, we are about to see a substantial slowdown in the growth of federal government spending.
11.8.2006 11:42am
WHOI Jacket:
Yes, we Republicans simply hate black people. And the poor. Espically black single mothers. With crippled children. Those are the ones I personally cant stand the most.


-
But, go ahead, tax and spend with rightous abandonment. Only good things can come. I mean, look at Europe. They have pretty much eliminated unemployment, poverty and civil unrest. Espically in France I hear...
11.8.2006 11:42am
buddingeconomist:
"So, clearly the way to get more votes is to cut off aid to the poor"

subsidize arts if you want more arts, subsidize poor if you want more poor. The democrats subsidize the poor for votes, the Repubs could too for votes, but perhaps a better long-term strategy is to recognize that very few poor stay that way when they have the chance to succeed, and then votes can come from the successful. So, yes, the way to get votes is to cut off "aid" that props up poverty.
11.8.2006 11:46am
whit:
i was gonna respond to josh's class warfare, race baiting, victimology screed. but i'll just give props to david's intelligent response and leave it at that.

i do agree this election was primarily about iraq. what i find fascinating is that it even in the case of a guy like lincoln chafee who

1) voted against the war
2) claimed he did NOT vote for bush for president in 2004

he STILL lost, ostensibly cause he's a repub.

it's kind of ironic that bill clinton, whose wife voted FOR the war, went to RI to support chafee's opponent.

basically, the raison was all about iraq. but the methodology was PUNISH THE REPUBS.
11.8.2006 11:47am
orson23 (mail):
When Dems lose, it's the system that failed! Go to court! Bash the people.

When Pubbies lose, they take repsonsibility.

So, I credit the President Bill "I did not have sexual relations with THAT woman" Clinton with making me a Republican.
11.8.2006 11:54am
Chumund:
whit,

Of course, that methodology makes a lot of sense, because the voters did not have the opportunity to vote directly for or against the President and his war policies. So, the best they could vote for was a Democratic Congress to serve as a check on the President, and given the importance of controlling committees and agendas, that meant voting against even the likes of Chafee.
11.8.2006 11:54am
Q the Enchanter (mail) (www):
"The democrats subsidize the poor for votes, the Repubs could too for votes"

But it's far more lucrative to subsidize the rich for money (and for post-incumbancy appointments to the board). After all, as those who read the Conspiracy will know, the poor don't vote.
11.8.2006 12:02pm
Arbusto Spectrum:
Whit -
Given that you gave a a very good example that directly contradicted your conclusion, it is entirely possible that your conclusion is wrong. Iraq was undoubtedly a major issue in this election, and it may have been the single most important factor, but there were a number of other issues that played major roles in many of the individual races. Many people may have wanted to punish repbulicans, but I don't think their reasoning was limited to the war.

Orson23 - It seems, based on your post, that the actual response of some Pubbies when they lose is to bash the Dems -- at least, that is what you, a self-identified Pubbie, saw fit to do.
11.8.2006 12:04pm
ksd:
I was listening to NPR this morning, and they were interviewing a prominent Democrat, Representative John Murtha. He was pontificating about how "the people have spoken" and the Republicans, including Bush, need to respect and acknowledge the overwhelming rejection of their policies and stand aside for the "new direction" offered by the Democrats. The NPR host (can't remember his name) asked how this year was different than 1994, or 2004, or other years when Republicans won in large numbers, whether Democrats then "accepted" the will of the people and acceded to Republican policies, and whether it was realistic to expect Republicans now to respond that way. There was a wonderfully pregnant pause before Murtha said, "I don't understand your point" or something to that effect and then promptly changed the subject.
11.8.2006 12:04pm
CEB:
Excellent words from Mr. Pence; I hope the Republicans take them to heart. In the meantime, we conservatives should enjoy the divided government and partisan gridlock while it lasts; fortunately Pelosi and Bush are about as evenly matched as Clinton and Gingrich were.
11.8.2006 12:05pm
RainerK:
Twenty-five years after the Reagan Administration came to Washington with a conservative agenda of limited government, the American people chose a different course.

Is he saying the voters want less limited government? Then why did they vote the way they did? Didn't they get just that during the last 6 years? Mr. Pence is invoking Reagan as if his agenda had been the course since. Must be the last conservative President worth remembering.

...renew our commitment to limited government, national defense, traditional values and reform.

Renew? How about reinvent? Looks to me like they abandoned their commitment except when convenient to gain more power.
What spin! If this statement is one of the better ones, then what do the worse ones look like?
11.8.2006 12:10pm
David Maquera (mail) (www):
I would further add to Congressman Pence's statement that the House Republicans should ONLY be as "cooperative" with the House Democrats this next session of Congress as Pelosi was with the House Republicans this past session.
11.8.2006 12:10pm
Anon. E. Mouse:
A few think it was about the war in Iraq. Was it? Ask Joe Lieberman.

Pence hit the nail on the head. This election was a loss for the corrupt Replicrats that have had the Hill for far too long.

As for Josh Jasper, sure, that's your opinion, and it is a valid one. But those values have kept the Democrats out of the White House and out of the majority on the Hill in quite a few election years.

Personally, I'd rather see a little *more* divergence between the two parties. Win or lose, the Republicans should offer an alternative to tax-and-spend, and they didn't this time around.

I find it hard to believe this was a vote against Bush. As horrible as his approval ratings are, he's still quite a bit ahead of Congress. The frothing Bush-haters that would've voted Democrat anyway, did.

The dissatisfied Republicans, I think, read the ballots and noted that "Bush" wasn't there. They were voting against another term of same old, same old on the Hill.
11.8.2006 12:12pm
SG:
RainerK:

If this statement is one of the better ones, then what do the worse ones look like?


Some possible worse ones:

"The voting machines were fixed"
"The ballots confused our voters"
"Our constituents were disenfranchised because of long lines"
"We need an ad hoc change to the standards for counting the ballots in favorable precincts"
"I'll sue to stop the vote tally from being certified"
11.8.2006 12:17pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Obviously I'm in the minority, and I have no evidence to back this up, but I don't think the Democrats' big win had as much to do with the war as you think. I think we had a "get out the base" election focused mostly on the war (and judges) in 2004, and Bush won.

Here, the Democrats admittedly got their base out in opposition to Bush and the war, but I don't think Republicans had that same focus. I think the Democrats won mainly because Republicans were dissatisfied with their party's performance, both on spending and on the issues they chose to focus on. In other words, the Democrats didn't win because their base's opposition to the war... they had that in 2004. They lost because Republicans were dissatisfied, and the focus WASN'T on the war without a presidential election in the mix.

Save your fingers the effort... don't bother flaming. It's just my thoughts on the matter.
11.8.2006 12:18pm
Matthew in Denver:
Like many other conservative Americans, I have always thought of our political system as being inherently superior to the parliamentary systems of most other Democracies. They have their odd sequence of squabbling, then no-confidence votes, then their governments collapse and then they have special elections to put things back together, after spending weeks cobbling together a coalition. It always seemed like a big ineffective distraction to me. How could a government ever get anything difficult done if it always risked falling apart?

But if the Republicans had been able to kick out Bush with a vote of no confidence, and replace him with someone more moderate (along with a new cabinet - or at least a new Defense Secretary), then the voters would not have had to punish the Republicans at the polls yesterday. Because make no mistake, the anti-Republican wave that swept America was frustration with a President who was out-of-reach of the electorate.

In a way, our Representative Democracy handcuffs our government and forces them to stay in power, even when it is clear that a vast majority of the country wants a new leader. Obviously, Bush himself could resign, but he probably (and rightly) feels it is his duty to complete the assignment that he was elected to do.

Our government is oddly inflexible. We need a new President right now, but we can't have one. I wonder why the framers of the Constitution didn't provide a way to remedy this kind of situation.

-Matthew
11.8.2006 12:21pm
donaldk:
Cutting education? These born-yesterday types may not be aware that for almost 200 years, education was a local and state matter. The entire federal expenditure and interference in education has produce What? A very widely held opinion that it is worse than ever. The NCBH act was an entirely political boondoggle, intended to show Teddy Kennedy what a good guy the President was. At the expense of the taxpayer: either the preset ones, or as seems more likely, our children and their children. The Republican Congress did not deliver what was promised in 1994. Mr. Pence is 100% right.
11.8.2006 12:23pm
Davebo (mail):
Don't kid yourselves. This election wasn't about Iraq, or corruption, or spending.

It was a referendum on George W Bush. Don't believe me? Take a look at Dallas County, the last place Bush campaigned for candidates.

Now think, what does it take for Dems to practically SWEEP conservative Dallas county?

Answer? W
11.8.2006 12:26pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
According to CNN.com, Bush won dallas county in 2004 by under 10k votes. Out of almost 700k. That's a purple county, not a conservative one.
11.8.2006 12:31pm
Anonymous Jim (mail):
Mike Pence is consistent on his principles. Most of the rest of the caucus is not. Here in central Ohio, Pryce, Tiberi and Hobson focused their advertising on education, pork and tax cuts; hardly a formula for fiscal responsibility.
11.8.2006 12:37pm
Chumund:
RainerK,

It seems to me you are agreeing with Pence. His thesis is also that the Republicans abandoned their principles and were punished as a result.

Daniel,

We're still dissecting the numbers, but one apparent point is that the biggest shift in voter sentiment since 2004 was not among the Republican base or the Democratic base, but rather among "independents". And I do think that the high voter dissatisfaction with the war and the President among independents translated into crucial votes for Democrats and against Republicans.
11.8.2006 12:38pm
Bored Lawyer:
Davebo:

So if this election was a referendum on "W" what does that say about 2008 and thereafter? You want have W to kick around anymore, then.
11.8.2006 12:43pm
Bart (mail):
Compare this gracious statement and acceptance of the will of the voters with the conspiracy theory whining about stolen elections by the Dems over the past three election cycles.
11.8.2006 12:43pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
True... I tend to discount "independents" in close races like this, but I suppose even if 3% of marginal voters in 2004 were swayed on the war issue in the last two years, it would explain over half the Democrats' pickups.
11.8.2006 12:43pm
Huh:
Yes, SG it's poor sportsmanship to make excuses. On the other hand I'd point out that the first three issues, if REAL, are problems that should be mentioned by concerned individuals in either party and addressed.


"The voting machines were fixed"
"The ballots confused our voters"
"Our constituents were disenfranchised because of long lines"


E-voting machines that are vulnerable to hacking and fraud aren't a single-party problem.

Ballots shouldn't be confusing. Ballots that are easily understood are optimal.

Long lines, at least those due to faulty machines, incompetent poll workers, and mis-allocated resources are also a legitimate concern.

If you want evidence that Republicans can also be "disenfranchised", I'd point to the race for Tom Delay's old seat. Shelly Sekula-Gibbs got 40% of the vote as a write-in candidate. Had she been allowed on the ballot, she almost certainly would have won. As a Houston-area democrat who can't fricking stand Tom Delay, I wouldn't ordinarily have much sympathy for the voters in his old district. But I think it's a shame they're going to be represented for two years by a guy they clearly wouldn't have chosen in a fair fight. In this race, at least, I think a ordinary Republican voters in this district have a legitimate reason to be disappointed at how poorly the law served their right to vote.

By the same token, I'm unhappy about poorly trained poll workers and crappy voting equipment. The goal, in any case, is to accurately gauge the will of the people through a well-oiled democratic machinery.
11.8.2006 12:44pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Ford's in Tennessee was far better. Although he was not faced with the obligation of explaining the systematic failings of an entire party, he faced down the temptation to cry foul (quite legitimately) at the "call me" ad.

And this business of republicans not going to court and dems not is stupid. the title of the case is BUSH V. GORE. As in, petitioner Bush v. respondent Gore. after losing in state court (state's rights!), bush filed an original petition in federal court. for those non-lawyers, that means he availed himself of the court system of a sovereign jurisdiction after he had lost at the state level. or put most plainly, bush won because of, not in spite of, litigation.

the idea that the dems are the litigious ones is one of the more profoundly idiotic inaccurate cliches. allen is, for a fact, preparing to litigate in virginia, the gop was preparing to litigate in southeastern missouri where they ran out of ballots (until it realized it didn't matter), and i'm guessing they'll have an answer in montana too.
11.8.2006 12:45pm
Chris Bell (mail):
Some people have mentioned the "culture of corruption" as the real reason the Reps lost, but I don't think they realize that small-government conservatives include the runaway spending as part of that corruption. The politicians threw their promises to the wind in order to fight for their spot at the trough. That's corruption right there.

Off topic, but does anyone else think that Ned Lamont looks just like the leader of The Others from LOST? Maybe that's why he lost. You can't vote for The Others.
11.8.2006 12:45pm
Bored Lawyer:
One other observation, maybe somewhat off-topic, but I'll say it anyway.

The election confirms what has almost become a truism: incumbency is a huge advantage.

I realized this when I looked at the NY Times map for the House races. They color coded red for Republicans and blue for Democrats. Except that dark blue meant a GAIN for Democrats while light (or baby) blue was a retention of a Democratic seat. Similarly, dark red was a gain for Republicans, pink a Republican seat retain.

If you look at the map, a startling thing dawns on you: the light colors (pinks and baby blues) far outweigh the dark colors (dark blue and red -- actually there were no reds). There were only a sprinkling of dark colors on a mostly light colored field.

Mathematics bears this out. 30 seats changed hands. Out of 435 members of the House, that is about 7%. That means 93% did NOT change hands.

Now I understand that one party taking 7% of the seats from the other has some significance, and certainly gives them the levers of power. It's a solid win, but hardly a landslide.

But 93% win for incumbents is an overwhelming landslide.

So, an accurate headline would be:

Incumbency Wins By A Landslide, Democrats Make Solid Gains.
11.8.2006 12:46pm
SG:
Huh:

I largely agree with you, but the time to challenge the process and procedures is before the election takes place, not after it's happened and returned a result you don't like. And it certainly shouldn't be used as a bludgeon to try to overturn the results of the election or deny the winner the legitimacy of having won.

Those attacks on the process damage not just the opponent; they attack the entire legitimacy of our government.
11.8.2006 12:50pm
Mahlon:
There is little doubt in my mind that the Republicans lost because they stopped being Republican. The Democrats did not win this election; the Republicans lost it. Complacency and, in some cases, arrogance cost the Republicans the election. The War was an issue, but not truly the defining issue. The election was lost because Republican voters turned away from the party. It was a protest about the where the party was taking the country. It is a true measure of the degree of disgust help by the electorate that the Democrats won.
11.8.2006 1:00pm
Mikeyes (mail):
If I remember my numbers correctly, the base for each party only contributes between 20% and 30% of the total vote in regular elections while the remaining 40% or so is made of "others" who are the main target of the ads, dirty tricks, and other means of getting out or supressing the vote. As a result, most voters are "moderates" meaning fiscally responsible Jacksonian types who vote depending on the issues.

In this case it has become obvious that not only were the Republicans not sticking to the playbook of conservatism, but they were both corrupt and incompetent. The polls have shown dissatisfaction with the conduct of the war (but, in my opinion not the war itself, at least not until lately) and the Republicans did themselves in with the handling of the various scandals and their lack of responsible action.

The Democrats did something I thought they would never do: put up candidates that actually reflected the values and positions of the people that elected them. This may have the unintended consequence of making the Democrats more similar to the old labor/liberal/southern coalition that was so successful in the middle of the last century (I am not holding my breath, however) while the Republicans drift farther and farther to the right or at least continue to use their feet for target practice by insisting on bankrupt policies.

The next two years will tell and the first sign will be who becomes the Leader in the House. If it is one of the moderates, the Republicans may be in for more problems in two years. If it is one of the usual suspects, the Republicans may breathe a sigh of relief and prepare for the next cycle with some confidence of regaining the lost seats.
11.8.2006 1:03pm
Mho (mail):
I think the Republicans lost because the Rovian "get out the (Christian right) base" tactics simply ran out of gas. There simply aren't enough Moral Majority voters to elect a congressional majority. In hugging the shore on social issues, the Reps let their libertarian wing drift away.

I think the big story is that the Senate will have been lost by the margin of votes gained by the LP in Missouri and Montana, most of it libertarians who would have voted for a Republican that at showed at least some concern for their issues, instead of the crazy RoveBots presented to them there and in Pennsylvania and Virginia.
11.8.2006 1:12pm
Mr. X (www):
If you want evidence that Republicans can also be "disenfranchised", I'd point to the race for Tom Delay's old seat. Shelly Sekula-Gibbs got 40% of the vote as a write-in candidate. Had she been allowed on the ballot, she almost certainly would have won. As a Houston-area democrat who can't fricking stand Tom Delay, I wouldn't ordinarily have much sympathy for the voters in his old district. But I think it's a shame they're going to be represented for two years by a guy they clearly wouldn't have chosen in a fair fight. In this race, at least, I think a ordinary Republican voters in this district have a legitimate reason to be disappointed at how poorly the law Tom Delay's narcissistic machinations served their right to vote.


Fixed your post.
11.8.2006 1:12pm
TC (mail):
Bravo, Mr. Pence!
11.8.2006 1:54pm
Kovarsky (mail):
I think the Republicans lost because the Rovian "get out the (Christian right) base" tactics simply ran out of gas. There simply aren't enough Moral Majority voters to elect a congressional majority. In hugging the shore on social issues, the Reps let their libertarian wing drift away.

you guys are overthinking this. marginal voters were lost for a variety of reasons, but if you think this was anything other than iraq then you're kidding yourselves.
11.8.2006 1:59pm
KeithK (mail):
One of the most important things in a healthy democracy is for the losing party to be willing to accept a loss. I'm not happy about the result and I am quite worried about the consequences on issues like Iraq. But the people voted and the other guys won. Pence has it right - Republicans need to accept the loss and get back to work convincing the citizens of this country that their message is the right one.
11.8.2006 2:13pm
Chumund:
Kovarsky,

I'm not sure you can neatly separate these issues. I sense a lot of people thought that the Republicans were trying to cynically use "wedge" issues like flag-burning and gay marriage to distract voters from the real issues of the campaign, such as Iraq.
11.8.2006 2:14pm
KeithK (mail):

But 93% win for incumbents is an overwhelming landslide.

The Bored Lawyer is right. Take a look at the historical membership of the House. Early in the last century there were regularly shifts in House membership that dwarf the agins that Dems made this year. That's how the House was designed to work - it was supposed to be close to thw current will of the people. Control of the House should be up for grabs in every election. Political gerrymandering has subverted this part of the Constitutional design.
11.8.2006 2:16pm
Huh:
Hey, Mr. X, I'm no friend of Tom Delay, but the democrats who fought to keep another Republican off the ballot sorta stooped to his level when they did so. Granted, Delay's efforts to gerrymander Texas districts for political gain did far more serious damage to democratic voters in those areas. But hey, I wasn't trying to defend Delay in any case.

And, SG, if someone plays dirty and the loser points it out, the tricksters can't be heard to yammer on about the sanctity of our democracy. Yes, when such charges are baseless, I disagree with making excuses. And it's true that disenfranchisement isn't always a result of dirty pool. But whether people are prevented from voting due to actual malice or simple incompetence, it's a failure either way, and it can't be corrected unless someone points it out.
11.8.2006 2:30pm
Steve:
Hey, Mr. X, I'm no friend of Tom Delay, but the democrats who fought to keep another Republican off the ballot sorta stooped to his level when they did so.

The position taken by those Democrats was no different than the position taken by the Republicans in New Jersey who objected to the Torricelli-Lautenberg substitution after the deadline had already passed. The NJ Republicans were screwed by a partisan judiciary; but that doesn't mean they weren't right. You don't want a system where scandal-plagued candidates can be routinely replaced on the ballot after the statutory deadline has passed.
11.8.2006 2:55pm
Bored Lawyer:
The NJ Republicans were screwed by a partisan judiciary; but that doesn't mean they weren't right.

Reminds me of a line I saw in a movie once by an actor playing Winston Churchill. Seems British Intelligence had cracked Nazi military codes and had foreknowledge of where the Luftwaffe would bomb the next day or two. Specifically they knew that the town of Coventry was going to be bombed.

Evacuate the town, said WC. No can do, said British Intelligence. If we do so, the Nazis will know we cracked their code and change to another one. We will then lose an invaluable source of intelligence. WC reluctantly agreed.

An aide tells WC that, "We are doing the right thing."

WC replies: "The town of Coventry is a lovely town with lovely people. Tomorrow night they will experience horrendous bombing unprecedented in the annals of warfare.

At the end of the night, we will be right. But they will be dead."

So, yippee. The Repubicans get screwed once for losing and once for being right.
11.8.2006 3:16pm
Dan Simon (www):
There are better and worse ways to lose elections. This statement by Mike Pence...seems to be among the better.

Nonsense--all he said was, "this loss means we must all rededicate ourselves to embracing and promoting Mike Pence's most cherished political positions." Now, if he'd said, "this loss means we all have to rededicate ourselves to embracing and promoting Dan Simon's most cherished political positions", obviously that would have been a much better way to lose the election.
11.8.2006 6:46pm
Syd (mail):
This loss means, among other things, that the Republicans should pay attention to the intelligence of their candidates, especially their ability to conduct themselves in public without putting their feet in their mouths. Witness Burns, Allen and Santorum. Allen almost won it, too, until his campaign ran the ad on Webb's book, and it backfired by pointing out Webb's intelligence and experience in war.
11.9.2006 12:20am
David Neylon (mail) (www):
11.9.2006 11:09am
Paul Dietz (mail):
If I may make a guess about the causes of this result: Iraq was important, but not in the direct way one might imagine. Iraq solidified the far left fringe of the democrat coalition, ensuring they would largely still vote for more centrist candidates that could attract independents on other issues (abortion, guns, and so on).
11.9.2006 6:34pm