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The 2008 Anomaly

What's the big takeaway from yesterday's thumping of Creigh Deeds and John Corzine? There's certainly more than the usual Democrat/GOP conflict that can be discerned from the results. To begin with, I'll shamelessly borrow Jay's comment that "there are times when the leaders need to recognize that the people have their own ideas about which way to go." An eighteen point Virginia defeat in the President's own back yard, a state in which he had personally invested POTUS power and prestige in at least five campaign events, was made worse by an embarrassment of Olympic proportions by the Corzine loss in the bluest of Blue states.

These results are symptoms of an underlying tension in the electorate that, frankly, members of the old guard in both parties can't quite get their heads around. Certainly the debate over ObamaCare, Stimulus legislation, Cap & Trade and Afghanistan will continue to dominate the run up to the 2010 mid term elections; however, there is another factor heavily influencing the electorate that politicians desperately want to avoid discussing: fear. People are afraid. They are very worried about their economic futures and financial well being as they see what may be a massive paradigm change in their standards of living.

Jobs on which had been planned educations and retirements are disappearing forever. Historically such transitions in the work force had been softened by an expansion of small business, but small business formation is frozen because of a lack of liquidity in the banking system. Banks are not lending money to small business. In fact, many are doing the opposite by calling loans on good borrowers as they try to shore up their own balance sheets. In short, small business, which has historically been the engine of job growth for decades in this country, is failing. This failure is depressing consumer confidence, which has the concomitant effect of reducing consumer consumption, which represents 70% of U S GDP.

Of the many lessons that can be learned from yesterday's elections, probably the most important is that voters resoundingly stated that the President has no plan to cure these problems. Evidence of this is his legislative agenda, which in no way reflects the real concerns of an electorate worried about their financial future, their retirement and their savings. To paraphrase Charles Krauthammer, the 2008 election was an anomaly; the 2009 election may prove to be the norm.


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Comments (19)

I think 2008 was no anomaly... (Below threshold)

I think 2008 was no anomaly, the message from the 2008 and 2009 elections is the same: upset voters punish the party they believe responsible, usually the incumbent party.

Sir, I find myself searchin... (Below threshold)
pibill:

Sir, I find myself searching you out on Wizbang. Your posts reflect pretty much my thot's and I congratulate you on your breadth of thinking and ability to express it. Keep up the good work, and if possible, post more frequently!

It's all pretty odd, isn't ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

It's all pretty odd, isn't it Hugh? We live in a representative republic yet right now, in Washington, DC, "our representatives" are planning on forcing us all to buy insurance. "Our representatives" are planning on forcing us all to pay massively higher prices for our household and transportation energy. "Our representatives" have decided we all need to scale back our lifestyles.

I think "our representatives" have no idea as to the difference between representation and being dictators. Time to fire all that have failed to make that distinction.

UOG

First off, I'm not a spring... (Below threshold)
Nancy's Nazi:

First off, I'm not a spring chicken having grown up in the 60's and with that came a strong dose of American exceptionalism. My peer group was raised that regardless who was the president (Eisenhower right up thru GW Bush) in the US you could wake up every morning and know that in America the impossible was possible. You could seek and make your fortune by being innovative and hard-working. No matter your current circumstance, tomorrow could be better because you were an American and your destiny was under your control. The line between right and wrong was quite distinct and had not yet been blurred by political correctness or self-indulgent compassion.

This wasn't Europe with it's caste system or any one of the communist or other dictatorships of the third world. We weren't people repressed by our leaders who filtered information and made our lifes choices. We didn't work in rice paddies under the muzzle of an AK47 for the "good of the people" nor did we stand in line for food the govt collective doled out in meager amounts while the "chosen ones" lived lavish lifestyles based on their "party loyalty" or ideology. We stood against these methods understanding what they did to the human soul. We used to believe every person yearned for freedom, and lived it no more dramatically than thru the civil rights struggles of the 60's by following Dr. King and his message.

Today we edge closer toward a society that could be considered something less than that of America, as seen thru the lense of 1965. My daughters (not conservatives) openly fear for their economic & social future. They question whether the news they get is real or doctored. Neither read a newspaper anymore. They see our President and other elected representatives openly lie or twist the facts to meet their self-serving agendas and are sickened. I could never imagine Eisenhower or Kennedy going on TV and making statements that we all knew were not true, (while they were making them!). The Chinese own so much of our debt that to confront them on a geopolitical issue would wreck economic suicide on us. Meanwhile the Iranians continue down the path of building nukes, and China continues investing in Iran. Seems as though our politicians have chosen to allow Iran to have nukes (and the inevitable horrible consequences) just as long as they can continue to borrow and spend money in the quest for their individual power and enrichment.

Maybe the voters last night took the first small step forward to end this madness, while we still can.

Well, guys, I could argue t... (Below threshold)
jim x:

Well, guys, I could argue the ideological points, but I'll cut right to some facts which contradict this thesis:

1). Virginia's approval of Obama remains at 49% - just a few points below the national average.

http://www.pollingnumbers.com/2009/obama-approval-rating-in-virginia-102809001.html

2). Virginia's pattern since 1977 is to consistently have a Governor of the opposite party of the current president.

Oh and "Nancy's Nazi", I se... (Below threshold)
jim x:

Oh and "Nancy's Nazi", I seem to remember a certain President who took a surplus and magically turned it into a deficit, then cut taxes while plunging us into an unneeded war which distracted us from finding a murderer of 3000 Americans.

What was his name again?

Not Clinton. Pretty sure he was after Clinton and before Obama.

a lack of liquidit... (Below threshold)
a lack of liquidity in the banking system
Ah, yes, that ever-flexible "lack of liquidity", the inexhaustible whore that never fails to put out for all her big-government vote-buying suitors. The "lack of liquidity" would have likely worked itself out by now if not for our Keynesian-crazed government stepping in and pouring taxpayer-backed debt into the gaping maw that is the too-big-to-fail's balance sheets. Financial institution's failure to lend is due as much to uncertainty as to what part of the economy Washington is going to *&$% with next as it is to any "lack of liquidity".

In actual capitalism, the "too big to fail"s would have long since failed; there would be short-term disruption while the market adjusted to their departure, but then smaller financially-sound institutions would take up the slack. In the crony corporatism that we live under today, the only institutions that will survive are those that purchased some Congressional seats while the consumer masses were still gobsmacked on American Idol.

Wake up, folks: the country you've always thought you lived in is gone. The republic of the Constitution that we all learned about in American History ceased to exist in the post-Civil War era, replaced by an unholy alliance of connected oligarchy corporatism and votes-for-sale to the special interest offering the highest bid. The open-endedness of the 14th Amendment, The Federal Reserve Act, the 17th Amendment -- all paving stones on the road to debt-serfdom.

The only hope for our children to enjoy the kind of freedom wizbangers purport to treasure is for us to start pushing our state legislators to start flexing some 10th Amendment muscle.

Oh and "Nancy's Na... (Below threshold)
The Big O!:
Oh and "Nancy's Nazi", I seem to remember a certain President who took a surplus and magically turned it into a deficit, then cut taxes while plunging us into an unneeded war which distracted us from finding a murderer of 3000 Americans.

Hey, speaking of these things, jim x...

How's Obama doing on that deficit? He's quadrupled it.

How's Obama doing on those taxes? Tax receipts are down, down, down.

How's Obama doing on those unneeded wars? Predator drones are butchering innocent Pakistani civilians; no support for the actual troops on the ground in Afghanistan. (Obama spent approximately 20 times as much time campaigning for the loser politicians in NJ and VA as he did meeting with the general in charge of Afghanistan.)

How's Obama doing on finding a murderer of 3000 Americans? Despite Obama's blustering campaign rhetoric, Osama Bin Laden (who, let's recall, Clinton declined to take into custody before the WTC attacks) is still at large.

Mmmm mmmm mmmm, Barack Hussein Obama!

the jobs report this week w... (Below threshold)

the jobs report this week will peg the unemployment rate for October. I believe it will crest 10%.

not ONE day has gone by since Obama was innaugurated...not ONE...that he or someone in his Administration has not blamed something on George Bush. NOT ONE DAY! [Leftists...find a SINGLE DAY, you cannot!]

The American people are increasingly disgusted with this weasely whining Administration. 10%+ unemployment...it's OBAMA'S unemployment.

We can only HOPE he CHANGES!

Hey JimX, shall we discuss ... (Below threshold)
Nancy's Nazi:

Hey JimX, shall we discuss President Carter?

Nawww, didn't think so.

How's Obama doing on tha... (Below threshold)
jim x:

How's Obama doing on that deficit? He's quadrupled it.

You mean, the budget he's continuing from Bush, to try to dig us out of the whole Bush dug us into, by actually healing the economy instead of killing it?

Guess what? Sometimes you can spend money stupidly, get in a mess, and have to spend more money to get out of it. That's exactly the situation we're in right now.

How's Obama doing on those taxes? Tax receipts are down, down, down.

Gosh you mean, when an economy tanks there's less money to pay taxes? No kidding, really?

How's Obama doing on those unneeded wars? Predator drones are butchering innocent Pakistani civilians;

I agree with you here. It's a violation that, in addition to the moral horror of killing civilians, is probably causing us more strategic harm than good. What Pakistan probably really needs is troops and financial support...which we can't give because we're already fighting a two-front war.


...no support for the actual troops on the ground in Afghanistan. (Obama spent approximately 20 times as much time campaigning for the loser politicians in NJ and VA as he did meeting with the general in charge of Afghanistan.)

Sorry, but that in no way equals "no support". There are such things as phones, email, faxes and other ways to communicate than in person.

How's Obama doing on finding a murderer of 3000 Americans? Despite Obama's blustering campaign rhetoric, Osama Bin Laden (who, let's recall, Clinton declined to take into custody before the WTC attacks) is still at large.

And Bin Laden is currently thought to be in or near Pakistan. Where all those drones are operating.

Should Obama be criticized? Absolutely. Let's just be clear on who caused most of the mess he's now working to clean up.

That would be President Bush.

Ahhhh the eeeeevillll Boooo... (Below threshold)
Nancy's Nazi:

Ahhhh the eeeeevillll Booooooshh

lolol

"by actually healing the ec... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"by actually healing the economy instead of killing it?"

Yeah, jim, he's doing a GREAT job! Banks are still failing, GM about to ask for another handout, talk of Porkulus II. Yeah, jim, GREAT job. Really keeping his eye on the ball. HEALTH CARE caused all the economic problems. Yeah.

Keep sippin' that koolaid, jim. I can hardly wait for your excuses come next Nov.

Oh, and Bush has been gone 10 months now. Barry's got a majority in BOTH houses. How's that working out for you, jim? Can we hear some more excuses why Barry can't seem to move the ball?

GarandFan: "Barry's got a m... (Below threshold)

GarandFan: "Barry's got a majority in BOTH houses."

Twas part of Barry's "Inheritance"...though the media NEVER mention it!

Dems have contolled BOTH Houses for 3 years now. How do people from the Left manage to ignore this FACT??? It's a special "gift" I guess!

"You mean, the budget he's ... (Below threshold)
914:

"You mean, the budget he's continuing from Bush"

Hey jim from planet X. Bush did not budget 12 trillion for Obamas first 7 months?

"Gosh you mean, when an economy tanks there's less money to pay taxes? No kidding, really"

Tax cuts work everytime their tried. Unfortunately the dunce in chief will never try.

" Should Obama be criticized? Absolutely. Let's just be clear on who caused most of the mess he's now working to clean up.

That would be President Bush."

How? By ordering Bill Clinton to allow Bin Laden to live long enough for Him to cheat Gore, attain ( steal ), the Presidency and than let Cheney give OL' bIN THE ALL CLEAR TO ATTACK?


My other favorite comment w... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

My other favorite comment was from Britt Hume: the voters are finding out they voted for hope but got a pig in a poke.

Priceless, and truer words have never been spoken.

You mean, the budg... (Below threshold)
Eric:
You mean, the budget he's continuing from Bush, to try to dig us out of the whole Bush dug us into, by actually healing the economy instead of killing it?


This is from the Congressional Budget Office.

The dramatic expansion of the deficit in 2009 (up from 3.2 percent of GDP in 2008) results from a projected rise in outlays of 24 percent (the largest percentage increase since 1952) and a drop in revenues of 17 percent from last year's levels (the largest percentage drop since 1932). Those changes have largely been the result of the severe economic downturn and the fiscal impact of federal policies enacted in response.

Jim X, the Democrats have controlled Congress since 2007. According to the United States Constitution, Congress is in charge of federal spending. Congress had a far larger hand in the current economic crisis than the White House.

By the way, when President Obama was Senator Obama he voted in favor of the current budget, he voted in favor of TARP and as President signed ARRA into law. So he is even more responsible for the current budget deficit than Bush is.

shorter jim x: blame bush, ... (Below threshold)

shorter jim x: blame bush, blame booooosh!

Shorter almost everyone on ... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Shorter almost everyone on this site:

Everything was going just great til Obama came along!




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