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Why the GOP Lost in 2006

John Hawkins, guest blogging at Tom Delay's site, offers his take on why the Republican party lost control of both houses of Congress in November. He's written a great piece that's spot on and should be read by all Republicans in the House and Senate. A portion:

I'm of the opinion that we lost because the Republicans up on Capitol Hill forgot what I think is the first rule of politics: take care of your base first and then reach out to the middle.


Unfortunately, too many Republicans in Washington ignored what their biggest supporters wanted and instead, seemed to have an attitude that said, "What are they going to do, vote for Democrats?"

Of course, few conservatives are going to vote for a Democratic Senator or Congressman. But, will they contribute money? Will they volunteer to help out campaigns? Will they defend the GOP to their friends and neighbors when they're under attack? Will they show up to vote at all in November? Will they write nice things about the GOP on their blogs? Unfortunately, far too often in 2006, the answer turned out to be, "No."

Go read the rest of John's post here.


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Comments (46)

Nonesense.Republic... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

Nonesense.

Republicans lost because it wasn't important. All us Republicans have done is won for the past several years. We won in 2000, again in 2002 and again in 2004. We had our threepeat.

It's like football. You strive really, really hard to win the Superbowl and it means something when you do. But the next year it gets just a little harder to push yourself to win again, and then the next year harder still. After you've won your threepeat though, what's left to go for? You no longer have that will to win because you've been there, done that.

That's why the Republicans lost. The Democrats wanted to win more than the Republicans. Now the Democrats will win their threepeat and get tired and comfortable at the top and Republicans will come back and win.

All the rest is sheer nonesense.

It's hard for me to say thi... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

It's hard for me to say this but I think Hawkins is mostly on the money about his piece. What, of course is absent is the obvious rejection of the Iraq war by the overwhelming percentage of voters. What I don't understand about many on the right is the idea that all that's needed is the base. It seems to me that this country wants to be in the middle and that's where the independents and moderates frequently take us. What's laughable in Hawkins piece is the reference to the "smear machine" as a cause of defeat. As if the repubs don't have their own! That's almost hysterically funny.

As for Delay's comments: he appears almost delusional in his comments, making it about him. As if were "he" still there the result would be different. At least in these comments he demonstrates no ability to look at underlying causes and policies which led to this defeat for the republicans. But, to paraphrase MLK ..."free at last, free at last..." from the exterminator.

Hilarious. There are sever... (Below threshold)
jeff:

Hilarious. There are several reasons that the republicans lost. The american people are sick and tired of dubya's war in iraq. THe hundreds of billions of taxpayers dollars wasted and thousands of lives lost. We are sick of the republicans saying they are the party of fiscal responsibility, then they spend like there is no tomorrow. Bush's bungling of the response to hurricane katrina. Then of course there are all the gop corruption. Tom Delay indicted for breaking campaign finance laws. Bob Ney resigned from the house of representatives after his guilty plea to comspiracy and making false statements. Then there is Duke Cunningham. Resigned from the house of representatives after pleading guilty to accepting at least $2.4 million in bribes. He is in jail as we speak. Jack Abramoff is also in jail for fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy. Don't forget cheney's former chief of staff, scooter libby, indicted on one count of onstruction of justice, 2 counts of perjury, and 2 counts of making false statements.
God knows how many more will be indicted once the dems start investigating when the new congress sits in Jan.
How many pardons will dubya be writing in his last week in office?

Seven words that caused the... (Below threshold)
Actual:

Seven words that caused the loss:
Denny Hastert Bill Frist and their ilk.

Cant believe libtards are s... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Cant believe libtards are still trying to blame Bush for Blanco, Lanendreaux's, and Nagin's inept response.

A damned shame Bush didnt have 100's of bus drivers ready to execute the evac plan nagincharge either couldnt read or didnt implement, and also a damned shame that he personally didnt help each nola resident to understand that having 5 days of food, water batteries, and other essential supplies is critical for self preservation.

Its also W's fault that the NOLA levee board spent levee $ on a marina, a casino, and a plane. FEMA wasnt around in 1970, who would 'tards bame then? There are probably more crack dealers in NOLA, then fema employees, and fema was NEVER meant to be a 1st responder. Its just easier for the tards to bame others for their own ignorance.

That nagincharge and jefferson got reelected shows me that katrina merely was darwinsim at its best, some people really are just too stupid.

It's the war, stupid.... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

It's the war, stupid.

We lost because the Leaders... (Below threshold)
Kasper Hauser:

We lost because the Leadership was taken over by crooks and conmen who sold influence, spending and votes for campaign contributions. Funny how this peice appears on TomDelay.com, huh?

Reps. need to say only one ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Reps. need to say only one word in 2008 to win--NANCY "captain stretchface" PELOOSER.

Frist really was a terrible... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Frist really was a terrible leader.

They also lost because of c... (Below threshold)
jp2:

They also lost because of corruption - from people like Tom Delay.

Hey Baggi - how did you get Greenwald's travel information?

I have one big problem with... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

I have one big problem with the opinion. First Hawkins writes this: "..take care of your base first.."

Than this:

"When did we stop being the party of Reagan and become the Party of compassionate conservatism?"

Implying that your base is conservatives. Your base are the Christian Ideologues. That was Rove's plan, but when votes realized that war was more important than Terri Shiavo, they came to their senses and voted for change.

B'goole --ooooee you sound ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

B'goole --ooooee you sound sooooo "deep" with your words of wisdom that come from a reject from the kos kiddies that get it's talking points from DU. (or Eason Jordan).

I think Hawkins' post is pr... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

I think Hawkins' post is pretty much right on target, but there were other factors. The media's constant pounding to portray the Iraq war on terror in a bad light was one of them.

What I can't accept is the posting of the Democrats here trying to tell us why we lost. It's absurd. They can't even tell us why they lost in the past 3 congressional elections.

The reason that the Republi... (Below threshold)
superdestroyer:

The reason that the Republicans lost elections and will lose more elections in the future and by much greater margins is that virtually every demographic group that would tend to vote Republican is shrinking. The number of white middle class private sector voters is shrinking.

The demographic groups that vote overwhelmingly for Democrats is growing such as blacks, hispanics, asians, retirees.

With every election, the Republicans need to win a higher percentage of the white voters to stay competative. 2006 was the years that the Republicans finally hit the "demographic wall."

My guess is that as demographic change in the U.S. that the Republican party will become irrelevent and that the Democrats will be the one, dominate political party.

When I voted in 2004 - I al... (Below threshold)
Robert:

When I voted in 2004 - I always told my friends if there was someone more diligent in carrying out the war on Islamofascism I would have voted for them. That is the only reason Bush had my vote. I felt the same in 2006 in voting for John Kyl in Az. In 2008, I will base my vote on the same premise. I want someone in power who is going to press the War against IslamoFascism with the diligence of FDR during WWII. If someone has that strength and conviction they will have my vote.

You have to ask just what t... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

You have to ask just what the Republican Congress has accomplished in the last 6 years, even if you're a Republican. Authorizing the war, the tax cuts and a couple of worthwhile replacements on the Supreme Court were all good things, but where were they when they needed to support the White House?

When did they defend Bush against all the obstruction, crazy accusations and insults coming from great statesmen like Reid, Pelosi, Kerry, Kennedy, Schumer, Boxer, and the rest of that lot? Where did they support Bush on the war? Where were they during the Katrina mess? Where are they on immigration reform or ethics reform?

The lies about the Bush administration have been repeated so often that libs and most middle-of-the-roaders accept them as fact (see Jeff's post above, for example). "Bush lied", for example, is now accepted as truth, among countless other insulting lies spewed out every single day by the Democrats. Nobody challenged them. Nobody took the media to task for anything. Where was the hue and cry about all the leaks to the New York Times and other media? It was easier to just hunker down and wait for the scandal-of-the-week to blow over. It's just rhetoric; don't worry about it. "Iraq is a disaster! The sky is falling!" was never challenged and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

NOBODY in the Republican party showed any interest in anything besides bickering, pork, TV face time, re-election, and fundraising. When did they work out a plan to do anything that wasn't about their own selfish personal interests? Did they actually think the voters wouldn't notice?

The voters aren't nearly as stupid as they think in Washington. You snooze, you lose. I gag at the thought of the whiny surrendercrats taking over Congress, but the Republicans just blew the first chance they had in 40 years to accomplish something useful for a change. The libtards didn't win; we threw the fight by not showing up.

It's amusing how the leftie... (Below threshold)

It's amusing how the lefties here bring up the corruption issue as if it's a uniquely Republican issue. Can you say "William Jefferson"?

Having said that, though, I agree that Frist was and is a crappy leader. And so was Denny Hastert, who actually defended William Jefferson's absurd claim that he was somehow immune from having his office searched as part on the corruption investigation. How tone-deaf is that?

What Jeff said. Plus one: O... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

What Jeff said. Plus one: OPENBORDERSOPENBORDERSOPENBORDERS...

Tom Delay, You have some re... (Below threshold)
MQ:

Tom Delay, You have some responsibility in the great republican loss of 2006. I attempted to make a list of what you should have done, and what you did and with that it only becomes confusing. Sadly I am left only to say you failed as a congressman but you achieved a better golf score, because a lot of the time when the country needed you, you always found it better to tee off first, and do your job second.

You know it's funny, I orig... (Below threshold)
MQ:

You know it's funny, I originally sent my post (above) to the Tom Delay Blog yesterday, twice even and they chose not to display it? The only difference in the original is I added "Delay" to this one. What's the point? Who is Tom Delay and what does he stand for? Like go on golf outings and be hosted by the heavy weights. He is tough, and fighter in the trenches, but he is also someone who can sit by and watch the Republican majority dwindle away. Self gratification, Tom that's about all you stood for over the past few years.

Reps. need to say only one ... (Below threshold)
Patriot's Game:

Reps. need to say only one word in 2008 to win--NANCY "captain stretchface" PELOOSER.
Posted by: jhow66 at December 14, 2006 10:02 AM

Quick, jhow. Grab a calculator. That's FOUR words.

Hugh:Wha... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Hugh:

What, of course is absent is the obvious rejection of the Iraq war by the overwhelming percentage of voters

I suspect that the reason for the absence is that the statement is false. The Iraq War ranked 3rd as the top concern expressed by voters in exit polls. The PR campaign waged by the Democrats and MSM managed to paint the Republicans, however accurately, as the 'party of corruption'. This was the top issue according to the exit polls - if you believe them.

I know that for me and most... (Below threshold)
barbMD:

I know that for me and most of the other health care physicians and hospital staff in Florida, it was the Terri schiavo debacle that changed most of our minds. It was the final nail in Bill Frist's career. The AMA and every nursing organization was out campaigning against the high profile people involved in that disaster. Michael Schiavo spoke at our hospital 6 times. Internal polls done among physicians here were devastating for Republicans. MD's voted 97% for Dems just because of the Schiavo fiasco. Frist diagnosing Terri Schiavo from the Senate floor was the last straw. They'll never get those voters back, myself included, even though I had voted Republican for 30 years.Republican

If the war in Iraq was the ... (Below threshold)
sam:

If the war in Iraq was the reason for GOP to lose, how do you explain Lieberman's crushing victory in Connecticut, of all places?

We know that, while base Republicans still voted for the party candidates, the independent voter broke for Democrats.

In my opinion, one of the big reasons for independents stayed away from the GOP was the internecine warfare they saw within the party, which suggested a lack of cohesion and unity. I mean, how stupid do you have to be to run your national campaign on immigration, where your party is divided and the opposition is united, rather than on positive accomplishments such as a booming economy?

The Republicans lost becaus... (Below threshold)
hermie:

The Republicans lost because they forgot what they were there for. They became supporters of the status quo; and thus became what they were supposed to replace.

Instead of meeting Dems head-on with regards to Social Security, defense, education, the judiciary, etc, the GOP leadership sought to placade the Dem children who were having tantrums; thus giving them a say in the legislation which the Dems then turned right around and criticized.

McCain and the others who were more concerned with their own face time on TV, and their future political ambitions, undercut the President with their own self-serving 'compromises' like the Gang of 14 deal.

The charges of corruption were never met with the same force as Pelosi and her minions. When Durbin called our troops Nazis, he should have been raked over the coals. The GOP leadership meekly let him 'apologize' and they never brought it up again.

The GOP let the Dems falsely define them over the years, and never mounted any kind of counterattack. Nobody wanted to be the 'bad guy' and take on Reid, Kennedy and the others. Nobody made a fuss when the Dems got caught in their own corruption...No it was just 'play nice' and hope that the Dems would respond in kind.

It's time for the GOP to let go of the leadership that constantly wanted 'comity', instead of serious debate on the issues. Now we have demogogues like Waxman, Kennedy, Boxer, Rangel, Leahy and Conyers ready to plunge the country back to the Carter era.

Time to clean house and put someone in who'll be willing to get their noses bloodied if in the end, they'll win the fight.

jhow66"R... (Below threshold)
Ugnohooiam:

jhow66

"Reps. need to say only one word in 2008 to win--NANCY "captain stretchface" PELOOSER."

Wow, you really are an erudite rightie. I imagine you are fully prepared to lay aside your reaction to appearance & vote for Sen. Lumpface Mccain.

barbMD, you are upset at th... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

barbMD, you are upset at the Schiavo fiasco because her parents were supported in their quest to not allow the medical profession to assist in their daughter's .....? The Democrats will be very happy to hear that you'll never vote Republican again. Seems you won't mind at all whatever favors the trial lawyers get from here on out - no need to worry about your feelings on that. You won't mind your malpractice premiums going up again just as long as you can get those "inconvenient" cases like Terri Schiavo out of your wards.

KimThe Gooper loss... (Below threshold)
Ugnohooiam:

Kim

The Gooper loss in '06 is quite simple. After the Chimp-in-chief alienated the majority of voters with his Iraq debacle, the lipstick on the GOP pig was gone and you were left with little more than your far-right religious boobs as your base. Likely, there are not enough boobs and whacko neocons to control elections in this nation.

As the Bush maniacal Iraqi campaign continues to fall apart, American voters will see that the Elephant has no clothes.

When you elect a moron not even qualified to shovel the turds behind the elephant parade, you eventually get the results you got in '06.

"It was the Terri Schiav... (Below threshold)
cmd:

"It was the Terri Schiavo debacle that changed most of our minds."

Yeah, Barb, and I'll bet Mike cried oh-so-cutely when he talked at your hospital six times about how he only wanted to carry out Terri's wishes. And if your husband decides to pull the plug on you to take up with a younger, hotter woman, well that will be just fine and dandy, won't it?

Something tells me you'll be right at home in the Party of Death. Good riddance.

bobdog & hermie have saved ... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

bobdog & hermie have saved me the trouble of a lot of typing - nice comments guys.

barbMD:

You don't realy expect anyone to believe that you have voted Republican for 30 years and desided to switch forever based on one issue? You libs keep tring to make people believe that you are consevatives that voted republican before and are switching, but no one buys it for a minute. Only a moron would change their whole political philosophy over one issue!

The demographic groups that... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

The demographic groups that vote overwhelmingly for Democrats is growing such as blacks, hispanics, asians, retirees.

You forgot the deceased & the illegals. Uh...superdestroyer, any data to back up your secret wishes & desires. Again the democrats who post here are irrelevant.

"The demographic groups tha... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

"The demographic groups that vote overwhelmingly for Democrats is growing such as blacks, hispanics, asians, retirees"

I live in a community where 95% of the people are retired, and everyone I know makes jokes about the Democrats here - both of them!

Stats I've seen say the ret... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Stats I've seen say the retirees are firmly in the GOP camp.

Frist's poker bill is what ... (Below threshold)
Sindarian:

Frist's poker bill is what did the election in. It got every on-line poker player pissed off with the Republician Party with winning a vote. We already have the Churchgoing busybody vote locked up. Most poker players I know are non-polictical or right leaning. They left, with them went the House and the Senate.

Sindarian

If you look at <a href="htt... (Below threshold)
superdestroyer:

If you look at http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/ushouse.pdf.

For the 2006 election, you will see that 89% of blacks voted Democratic, 70% of Hispanics, and 62% of Asians.

For those over sixty-five, it is an even split, so I remembered that incorrectly. However, since the people over 65 are overwhelmingly white you would expect it to be better.

If you look at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_demographics_of_the_United_States#Future_of_Racial_Demographics_in_the_U.S.
you will see that by 2040, the US will only be 50% white. For the Repubican Party to stay viable, they either have to win virtually all of the white voters or begin to appeal to minorities. I personally do not see how the Republicans can hope to establish themselves as a party that blacks or hispanics will vote for.

I personally do not see ... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

I personally do not see how the Republicans can hope to establish themselves as a party that blacks or hispanics will vote for.

Simple. Educate them.

Vagabond, The perc... (Below threshold)
superdestroyer:

Vagabond,

The percentage of blacks that voted for Kerry is about the same as the percentage that voted for McGovern. It has been over years and the number has not moved. What kind of education plan did you have in mind?

The republicans don't do th... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

The republicans don't do this proactively enough for me BUT...

I would educate them how to make decisions based on their mind instead of their heart on matters like taxes, public schools, jobs and retirement.

The rest is simple.

Why they lost? Simple , ... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Why they lost? Simple , they let the Democrat Media and the Democrat lie without impunity. Not to mention they didn't help themselves much. The Democrat leaders offered nothing and made fools of themselves and were a babbling bunch of cry babies for 6 straight years. The Democrat media won the election for the fiends drooling and crying for power.

It's going to be real tuff for the Media to keep these incompetant frauds in power and they are already screwing up so bad that the Media can hardly do a thing about it. Ha ha ha. Looks like someone forgot the plan for how to hide the Democrats stupidity and incompetance that is overflowing.

Attaboy VagaBond, teach the... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Attaboy VagaBond, teach them darkies to think! Maybe once educated they will be like Republicans and use their minds instead of their hearts and vote on important issues that truly affect their lives, like flag burning, gay marriage, the war on christmas, how liberals are going to ban the bible, and whether soy makes you teh gay.

Sindarian's onto somethin'!... (Below threshold)

Sindarian's onto somethin'!!!

We lost because we pissed off The Poker Party.

Sing the dude up, he's a winner.

"That nagincharge and je... (Below threshold)
stephaniejanna29:

"That nagincharge and jefferson got reelected shows me that katrina merely was darwinsim at its best, some people really are just too stupid."

What a piece of crap you are, Gianni. A stupid, faux racist statement like that just accentuates why people like you no longer have anything valuable to say. You're so hot for Bush you're willing to blame everyone but him for everything - and show your insensitive, bigoted ugliness for what it is.

You're a Coward. You're a Loser. You're an impotent non-man.

Mantis, obviously my point ... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

Mantis, obviously my point eluded you. no surprise.

I think too many people are... (Below threshold)

I think too many people are over thinking this "why did the GOP loss?" thing, the answer is simple, Bush.

http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm

mantis pounces on another "... (Below threshold)
Lee:

mantis pounces on another "pray"... lol

"For the Republican Party t... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

"For the Republican Party to stay viable, they either have to win virtually all of the white voters or begin to appeal to minorities."

NAH............just keep the URBAN vote contained in URBAN areas, REDISTRICT, and a little thing called the electoral college will work wonders for presidential fun.

Republicans/conservatives lost, because they got fat and lazy, fiscally and socially, but hopefully they learned from it.
The democrats/liberals are just opportunists with NO or BAD ideas, that is a losing formula in the long run.




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