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Without Agenda, Dems May Not Capitalize on Dynamics of 2006

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:32 pm - November 6, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,National Politics

If the Democrats fail to capture a majority in either House of Congress tomorrow, they can attribute their failure primarily to two factors, the Republicans’ superior Get Out the Vote (GOTV) operation and their own party’s failure to articulate a compelling agenda, their own inability to make clear what they plan to do once in power. Because so far, they have yet to tell the American people what they stand for — besides opposing President Bush.

Over a year ago, I suggested that the 2006 elections could resemble those of 1998 where the GOP expected to make gains against the Democrats merely largely because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal — as well as the Six-Year Itch. My party ran against Democratic corruption, but failed to offer an alternative agenda of its own — and ended up losing seats in the House (while breaking even in the Senate). That year, without anything to vote for, many Republicans stayed home.

This year, in the waning days of the campaign, there is some sign of an absence of enthusiasm for the Democrats. A recent rally for the Democratic gubernatorial and Senatorial candidates in Michigan featuring former President Bill Clinton “drew at most 500 people, the fewest at any Clinton campaign event in any state this year.

The clear sign of hope for the GOP this year is that, perhaps because of the Democrats’ absence of agenda, there appears to be, as Bruce noted earlier today, a last-minute surge to the GOP. (And since Bruce posted his piece, another poll confirmed this surge, this one by “the Democracy Corps. . ., a Democratic outfit, finds the Dems with only a four-point edge on the generic preference ballot, 49%-45%, with the Republicans closing fast.“)

This surge seems to reflect a pattern reminiscent of the election of 1992 — in Great Britain — where, as I noted in June, “voters deciding at the last minute opted for the incumbent party, not confident that the Kinnock, from Labour’s left wing, could pull the UK out of its then-lingering recession.

Noting a similar trend, blogger Robert Musil thinks “there is a very good chance that undecided voters will break disproportionately towards the GOP in this race – especially in Congressional races.” While he acknowledges that the Iraq war helps the Democrats, he observes that the information on that issue “is all out, and has been force-fed for weeks to virtually every voter. Anyone who is going to make a decision to vote one way or the other on the basis of that issue has almost certainly done so already.

The rest of the “major issues,” he claims “favor the GOP: nearly historic low unemployment, historic stock market highs, stabilized low interest rates, historic high home ownership rates, declining gas prices.” (Now that I’ve whet your appetite, read the whole thing as well as his cautionary followup post. H/t Mickey Kaus.)


My Ambivalence about Haggard’s Letter

While I appreciate that Ted Haggard, the immediate past president of the National Association of Evangelicals, has acknowledged his errors, calling himself “a deceiver and a liar” in a letter of apology he wrote to his New Life congregation, I take no comfort in his apparent reference to his homosexual feelings as a part of his life that is “repulsive and dark.”

It is one thing to admit error, quite another to see one’s own feelings as dark forces. To be sure, we all have feelings which are indeed dark and repulsive. And sometimes we act on them, hurting others and ourselves. One’s sexual/emotional feelings, even when directed to one’s own gender, are not, in and of themselves, either dark or repulsive.

It is how we act on them that defines who we are. And how we act when recognize that we have made mistakes and strayed from our path.

Haggard has done the right thing in admitting his error. In seeking some kind of contact* with a prostitute, he cheated on his wife.

Tammy thinks Haggard has a better “chance of becoming a better person” than former President Bill Clinton and former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey because he has at least admitted his wrong. While I highly recommend Tammy’s post, I wish Haggard had not dismissed his own sexual feelings as dark forces deserving contempt.

But, Tammy is right to distinguish Haggard from Clinton and McGreevey. It’s unfortunate that all too many gay people are so eager to forgive the former New Jersey Governor his faults because he has come out as a “gay American.” That Democrat behaved as badly as did Mr. Haggard.

The primary differences are that Haggard admitted his wrong and did not choose to come out as gay — that is, while he seems to have acknowledged his attraction to men, he will try to repress those feelings in the future. It’s unfortunate that he could not both admit his wrong and acknowledge the possibility of living a moral life as a gay man.

That said, as social conservatives go, Haggard has shown some sympathy for gay concerns, even before last week’s revelations. As Eva Young noted in an e-mail to me, he has “criticized one of the more extreme anti-gay candidates in a GOP primary in Colorado.” Another reader e-mailed me a link to an article noting that he supported Lawrence v. Texas, “2003 Supreme Court decision striking down Texas’ anti-sodomy law on privacy grounds.

Mr. Haggard has the freedom to live his own life as he chooses. So, I will not pass judgment on him if he decides to stay with his wife and raise his children together with her. If he does not return to his past practices and is faithful to her, that choice may very well be a very good thing for those children. But, it would be nice at least, if he could say that while he has chosen this life, he understands that other men with feelings for men make different choices, acting on attractions which are neither dark nor repulsive, but merely natural feelings on which one can act in a moral manner.

-B. Daniel Blatt (AKA GayPatriotWest)

*I use the term “some kind of contact” to acknowledge the difference between Haggard’s account and that of Mike Jones, the gay man whom Haggard claims he paid for massage.

GOP Has The “Big Mo”

Four separate polls over the weekend are showing a dramatic shift toward the Republicans on the eve of the mid-term elections.  RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman summarizes this momentum nicely.



DATE:   NOVEMBER 6, 2006


The momentum continues with a fourth poll in recent days showing Republicans gaining ground on Democrats in the closing days of the election.  James Carville and Stan Greenberg’s Democracy Corps poll (November 2-5) confirms the findings of three other polls released in the last two days that show Republicans gaining ground in their competitive district survey. 

GENERIC BALLOT.  Republicans have cut the margin from down 11 (41-52) last week to down only four (45-49) this morning. 

PARTY IMAGE.  Democracy Corps shows that Republicans have a better image rating than Democrats for the first time since early September.  From their last poll, Republicans’ favorable/unfavorable ratio had improved a net-5 points while Democrats dropped a net-4 points. 

HANDLING OF ISSUES.  A big reason for Republican gains is that trust on key issues has increased over the past few weeks.  Built on recent good economic news, Republicans handling on the economy has improved a net-9 points from a week ago.  Republicans have also seen significant gains on handling of taxes (+7), Iraq (+7) and national security (+4). 

GOP CAMPAIGNS MAKING IMPACT.  Another significant reason for Republican gains can be found in the GOP’s 72-hour get out the vote program which is now in full swing.  This poll showed that Republicans have made a greater impact than Democrats with TV ads (+6), mailings (+6), and phone calls (+6).   


·         Direction of the nation, otherwise known as “right track / wrong track”, improved a net-6 points from their previous poll. 

·         The President’s job approval has increased a net-5 points and Congressional Job Approval increased a net-12 points from their October 25-29 survey.

Reporting from the Charlotte area, I can tell you that the news “on the ground” has been very good for the GOP this week.  A Mecklenburg County GOP volunteer told the PatriotMom last week that early voting has been above 2004 levels and “it is all Republican voters.”

The Charlotte Observer noted this trend in a weekend story as well.

More Republicans than Democrats have voted early in Mecklenburg County, a potentially crucial indicator for Tuesday’s election.

Election Day is still three days away, but more than 18,000 people have already voted.

In the past two major elections in Mecklenburg, the party that dominated early voting controlled the board of county commissioners and chalked up victories in other major races.

Through Wednesday, registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats, 43.2 percent to 39.1 percent, according to an Observer analysis of in-person early voting.  The strong Republican turnout bucks national predictions of Democratic success, and could leave power over property taxes, parks and school construction in Republican hands.

The numbers also mark a huge reversal from 2004, when an early-voting surge helped Democrats sweep all three at-large county commissioner seats and deliver Mecklenburg to presidential candidate John Kerry.

Is the Democrat “wave” going the other direction now that the voters are actually deciding?

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring….no one does for sure.  But I will be very glad to see that if the actual voting results do not mesh with the Big Media’s Mid-Term Storyline…. that the MSM, Zogby and all of the other talking heads will have egg on their face and James Carville will put another trash can on his head.

**UPDATE** — DSCC head US Sen. Chuck Schumer has now written off the Dems capturing the Senate (hat tip: PatriotPartner)

[Related Story:  Charging Rhino has some personal picks from NJ.]

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Support Peter Hankwitz, Openly Gay Republican in California’s 27th Congressional District

In a surprisingly even-handed article for the LA Times, the local daily to which I no longer subscribe, reporter Amanda Covarrubias profiles Peter Hankwitz, an openly gay Republican running for Congress in California’s San Fernando Valley. (H/t: OpinionJournal’s Political Diary (available by subscription).) Alas that I cannot vote for this good man — and that he has little chance of winning in his gerrymandered district.

Hankwitz, like me wants to return the “the GOP to a Barry Goldwater conservatism that emphasizes fiscal over social policy,” contending, “the federal government has no business being involved in social issues.”

A television producer, Hankwitz has observed something that I have also noted:

It’s so much easier to be openly gay in the Republican Party than to be a Republican in Hollywood.

While he has only received a few pieces of hate mail, it seems the missives he receives are similar in tone to those that Bruce and I have received (and similar in tone to some of our comments):

The only ones who bring it [his sexuality] up are gay Democrats who have a problem with the fact that I’m a Republican,” he said, adding that those writers have accused him of being the equivalent of a black KKK member or a Jewish Nazi.

Seems I’ve heard such slurs before — on more than one occasion.

Anyway, this will be one of the few times when I recommend you read an LA Times article and encourage you to vote for Peter Hankwitz if you live in California’s Twenty-Seventh Congressional District.

Liddy Finds Her Fire

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:41 pm - November 6, 2006.
Filed under: 2006 Elections,National Politics
YouTube Preview Image

Maybe Bruce’s Senior Senator reads our blog. On Friday, I faulted Elizabeth Dole for not showing adequate “fire in the belly” in her face-off against Charles Schumer on Fox News Sunday. Well, yesterday, on Meet the Press, she seems to have found the energy she lacked in that encounter.

As she tried to explain her point that “The Democrats appear to be content with losing” (In Iraq), Rahm Emmanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, demanded she “take back” her comment. But, Mrs. Dole stood her ground and tried to explain herself as both Emmanuel and Tim Russert, the show’s moderator, kept interrupting her.

Good job, Senator.

GP Update:  I loaded the YouTube video above, but wanted to acknowledge Dan’s original hat tips to Ann Althouse and Instapundit for this item.


My Picks for Election 2006

I imagine that Dan and Bruce, among others here, will take issue with the following.  Ah well.  I never claimed to be wedded to the Republican Party.

Virginia Candidates for US Congress

US Senate: Glenda Gail Parker, Independent
US House of Representatives: Marvin F. Pixton III, Independent

Neither Parker nor Pixton have a prayer of winning IMO, they are but vehicles to register my utter disgust for both parties.  I’ve gotten so fed up with the two major parties that I will not support either in this election.  Republicans George “Macaca” Allen and Jo Ann Davis haven’t done enough to blunt and counter what has greatly angered me about the Republican Party; indeed at times they’ve joined in quite willingly.  The GOP has abandoned just about every principle it supposedly stood for and which I’ve regularly given them my vote in the past to support.  Instead of tackling the major issues I want resolution to, such as border security, they’ve pussyfooted around and offered last-minute crap along with wedge-issue nonsense like gay marriage, flag-burning, etc.  Here’s a clue to the GOP:  I don’t like John Kerry, that’s why I didn’t vote for him in 2004.  It’s no surprise to me that he continues to make an ass of himself in public; such is part of his nature it seems.  Yet however big of an ass Kerry is, he’s not on the ballot and pointing out his latest gaffe does not make up for continued failures and dismal performance by the GOP over the past few years.  Trying to peel my vote by presenting a nightmare scenario of Democrats winning and then botching the GWOT isn’t very convincing when they’ve acted and behaved as if the war was a side-issue only to be trotted out in order to win elections.  All this does is remind me of the naughty boy caught doing something wrong and saying anything to stave off his just punishment.  That’s not going to work this time.  Some will disagree with me here and claim that I am allowing emotion to enable the Democrats to win.  Ni modo.  I’m finished with being taken for granted of by the Republicans and the fault lies with them for not being the kind of leaders they should be. This kind of reasoning has allowed both parties to put up any boob knowing that a certain percentage will always vote for them no matter what.  If the GOP cannot stand on its own merit and provide leadership beyond the feckless and incompetent manner they’ve been doing thus far, I see no reason to vote for them.  Respect and loyalty are earned, not something they are entitled to.  Just because the Democrats have no concept of leadership is not enough to sway my decision.  I also call “bullshit” on this since we won the Cold War with a divided government, even if it may have taken longer to do so.  A Democrat Congress or one evenly-divided might shake President Bush up enough to rethink the lackluster performance he has given and maybe, maybe he might remember that he does have a veto pen.  If the GOP loses, or even hangs on by the skin of their teeth, let them reform and refocus on why people entrusted them for so long with all levers of power.  Contrary to the delusions of Dobson et al. I do not believe that GOP stands for “God’s Own Party“.  Perhaps I’ll come back and consider them in 2008.  Let them earn my vote and those of the rest of the electorate by becoming the kind of leaders they claimed to be and clearly have not been.

Democrat James Webb is an interesting candidate and if this were peacetime I’d probably vote for him on Tuesday as I did in the primary.  Yet he has run a campaign just as dirty as his opponent and chosen to represent a party I absolutely despise given its embrace of just about every whacko nutjob from the Radical Asinine Left that has come along, from Michael Moore to Cindy Sheehan.  I will not reward their disgraceful, dishonorable, and despicable antics by voting for their candidates, no matter how worthy they may be.  Besides, call me a prude but I do not want my Senator writing about fathers putting their sons’ penises in their mouths in any context.   Democrat Shawn O’Donnell is a party hack hardly worth consideration for dog catcher in my estimation.  Let the Democrats follow the Republicans in reforming and refocusing, along with ditching the RAL, and then perhaps I’ll take a second look at them.  I must admit though, that if the Democrats snatch defeat from the jaws of victory yet again I will have to chuckle and perhaps re-post the YouTube video of that evil genius Karl Rove.  I may be angry with the Republicans but I do enjoy watching the Democrats go down in defeat.  Their wails and lamentations are music to my ears.  Besides, there are some Republicans and at least one [Independent] Democrat I’ll be rooting for on election night, but not Allen.  I’ve had enough of him.

Proposed Constitutional Amendments in Virginia

#1 – Ban on same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. NO

I can understand why some people might oppose same-sex marriages, especially those doing so out of religious conviction, but civil unions and domestic partnerships as well?  No, this goes too far and leaves gay couples with nothing at all.  This is nothing more than discrimination worthy of pre-Loving days.

#2Strike language from Constitution prohibiting churches from incorporating, which has already been struck down by the courts for violating the US Constitution.  YES

This seems to be nothing more than constitutional house-cleaning since the provision is already unenforceable.  Eh, I too question the constitutionality of it anyways so why not?

#3 – “[A]uthorizes the General Assembly to pass laws that will allow counties, cities, and towns to provide a partial exemption from real estate taxes for new structures and improvements located in a conservation, redevelopment or rehabilitation area.”  YES

This seems non-controversial to me and perhaps beneficial.

Local Referendums

#1 – Allows the county to borrow nearly $77 million dollars to upgrade parks and recreation facilities.  NO

I’m in a cranky mood since not enough has been done for transportation, despite the next referendum on the ballot.  No, I’m not willing to allow the county to borrow money for much else until my commute improves.

#2 – Allows the county to borrow just over $161 million dollars for transportation projects.  YES

A no-brainer for anyone stuck in the long commute in this area.