An Election Not Won But Lost

The GOP abandoned its libertarian wing and we sat it out, voted for gridlock, or just plain voted “L.” The Libertarian Party website has a long list of candidates that drew more than 1% of the vote, and I'm not sure yet how many covered the margin between a GOP win and a Democrat one.

Of course, LPers are notorious for stealing votes from the GOP, and I'm pretty sure in this round they may have stolen one or two from the Democrats, but I sure hope that the “tax less, spend less” side of the GOP listens a bit more for a while.

The Iraq war is being blamed for the GOP losses, but that's certainly not all of the story. I think alienating elements of the base had a lot to do with it as well. I'm sure we'll see Get Out The Vote analysis soon.


From Senator Tom Coburn's press release today:

The overriding theme of this election, however, is that voters are more interested in changing the culture in Washington than changing course in Washington, D.C. This election was not a rejection of conservative principles per se, but a rejection of corrupt, complacent and incompetent government.

I especially liked this part:

This election does not show that voters have abandoned their belief in limited government; it shows that the Republican Party has abandoned them. In fact, these results represent the total failure of big government Republicanism.
The Republican Party now has an opportunity to rediscover its identity as a party for limited government, free enterprise and individual responsibility. Most Americans still believe in these ideals, which reflect not merely the spirit of 1994 or the Reagan Revolution, but the vision of our founders. If Republicans present real ideas and solutions based on these principles we will do well in the future.

And he had a condemnation for pork, his pet peeve:

Republicans oversaw a seven-fold increase in pork projects since 1998. Republicans increased domestic spending by nearly 50 percent since 2001, increased the national debt to $9 trillion, passed a reckless Medicare expansion bill and neglected our oversight responsibilities. While some of these decisions may have helped secure specific seats in the short-term the totality of our excess did not secure our majority, but destroy it.
There should now be less doubt about whether overspending and pork projects are bad policy and bad politics. This year, in particular, pork did not save our vulnerable incumbents but helped drag them down. The challenges facing our country are too great and complex for members of Congress and their staff to continue to be distracted by endless earmarking.

Go get 'em Tom!


The Economist:

Glum Republicans might turn their attention to the Libertarian Party to vent their anger. Libertarians are a generally Republican-leaning constituency, but over the last few years, their discontent has grown plain. It isn't just the war, which some libertarians supported, but the corruption and insider dealing, and particularly the massive expansion of spending. Mr Bush's much-vaunted prescription drug benefit for seniors, they fume, has opened up another gaping hole in America's fiscal situation, while the only issue that really seemed to energise congress was passing special laws to keep a brain-damaged woman on life support.
In two of the seats where control looks likely to switch, Missouri and Montana, the Libertarian party pulled more votes than the Democratic margin of victory. Considerably more, in Montana. If the Libertarian party hadn't been on the ballot, and the three percent of voters who pulled the “Libertarian” lever had broken only moderately Republican, Mr Burns would now be in office.

Josh Poulson

Posted Wednesday, Nov 8 2006 07:48 AM

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Good election news

As regular readers no doubt could guess, I'm not exactly cheerful about spending the next two years hearing about Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Ways and Means Chair Charles Rangel, and Judiciary Chair John Conyers. And I'm disappointed by the departure of ... [Read more]

Linked Wednesday, Nov 8 2006 04:09 PM


There are 2 comments on this entry.

Libertarians are now oddly enough the centrists of the Republican Party. Many people like myself feel betrayed by the new Republican Party who have abandoned their roots in favor of huge Congressional earmarks and resulting in "Bridges to nowhere". Now is the time for the Libertarian party to separate themselves and create a third party movement, the base exists for them to capture a new seats in the House. They lack the universal support for the Presidency but there is no reason they can't make themselves a strong but small unified front against Democratic Socialism and Republican Extremism.

If they were to secure 5 seats in the House everything would change, it would force the radical elements in each party out. If you controlled 5 seats (granted you would have no committee power) but when it came to roll call votes both parties would need your support and the Libertarians could in effect barter their way into forcing Congressional oversight. The Republicans and Democrats have become so corrupt because there is no one to tell them otherwise. A Democrat can make a dozen or more reasons they won this election but ultimately it comes down to this, In practice what real difference is there between Republicans and Democrats anymore (except their stance on religious matters, where Republicans have taken a decidedly pro-religious stance) voters are not as dumb as people would like to believe. Voting numbers rarely reach more than 30-40% of the population so I like to think at least a third of that number actually know what is going on and are not fooled into thinking that this is the Republican party of Regan or even George Bush Sr.

Something has to be done to save the souls of both parties, I mean Nancy Pelosi is the new Speaker of the House, what the hell people this is bad for America. Anytime you give ideologues power your asking for trouble. The answer is a small but strong third party movement to counter the "culture of corruption" on both sides.

Simply put the Democrats won because the Republicans have abandoned their traditional platform of smaller government, less government spending, and strong national security, not to mention that have sold the party to the fringe elements of the Christian Coalition. Where has all this gotten them, it elected Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House, the public on the whole has lost faith in George W Bush, so what harm was there in voting for a Democrat it’s basically the same person only with a more flashy tie.

Democrats have claim a mandate but look at all the races they one, almost everyone of the ended with a slim margin of victory of less than 5 thousand votes and many of them were hovering around the 2 thousand mark. Hardly an overwhelming show of support basically they won by a thread but that thread was just enough in every important race for them to win. The people still believe and want these old school Republican values they just couldn’t find them anywhere.

I seriously doubt the Republicans will see this as a moment of truth, there are no Newt Gingrich’s in Congress anymore, there is a monumental leadership void across the board in Congress on both sides of the isle. Now is the time for Republicans to go back their roots but they won’t. They much like their Democratic brotherin have found out there are riches to be had in manipulating the government to their own needs, plus it’s easier to be a populist as opposed to making a stance on an issue. Currently practically all politicians in America are populists both parties a littered with them. The public wants someone of substance someone who actually stands for something and isn’t out for themselves.


Posted Thursday, Nov 9 2006 11:44 AM

We Libertarians have not been "stealing votes" from anyone. The R's and D's don't have a God-given right to the votes they have historically counted upon. Each and every vote has to be earned. And, that is exactly what we Libertarians have been doing.


Posted Monday, Nov 13 2006 10:21 AM

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