Thursday, November 4, 2010

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·       We Told You so in 2008; Now We Tell You About 2012

·       Reader Queries on UFWR Endorsements



Linus! The Great Pumpkin Is Real!

New Orleans Revelers Greet Big Squash


The Big Easy, long the big home of big partying and celebrating big all manner of holidays, has kicked it up a notch on Halloween weekend.  The city has added an annual Halloween parade to its long list of parade credits, now appearing for the third year in the French Quarter. 


This last weekend the city was jammed with hundreds of thousands of visitors for a triple whammy of events, not least of which was the football match at the Superdome between the Pittsburg Steelers and New Orleans’ own Saints (Saints won!).  Also happening was the Voodoo music festival featuring big names across all genres of music, such as Muse, Ozzy Osbourne, MGMT, Paul Van Dyk, Drake, Florence and the Machine, Interpol, Deadmau5, and many others.  And the city again had the biggest Halloween party between the East and West Coasts, Halloween New Orleans 27, a huge charity event that attracts thousands of mostly gay men from around the South (though much diminished from its pre-Katrina heyday, it’s still the best place to see dazzling costumes).  And of course, the city streets were brimming with partiers in costumes looking for treats AND tricks beneath the Christmas wreathes already decked high along Canal Street.  Blue, sunny, skies and mild temperatures favored the city throughout the weekend, making for a perfect holiday weekend- except for the ill-timed wreaths.


2010 Elections Over, Ended as We Predicted in 2008

Now Republicans Repeat Misunderstanding of Electorate Backlash


We Told You So in 2008, and Now We Tell You About 2012

In our brief last week, where we discussed Republican reforming attitudes in the aftermath of the 2008 elections, and Barak Obama’s likely future, we said it would be two weeks before we could make a final call, but made a tentative prediction (read it here).  While we will still take the two weeks to make our first full assessment of what we expect to happen, already we see more evidence that our tentative first call is on the mark.


Republicans and Tea Party conservatives from every strata of our social fabric, from rank and file voters to B-List pundits on Fox News, to big name talkers like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, are all atwitter over the electoral results of the 2010 midterm elections.  Their jubilation is self-delusional, if somewhat understandable.  If they really think that the “country has moved right,” and that the vote is a ‘repudiation of the ideology of the Obama administration,’ to paraphrase Monica Crowley on the O’Reilly Factor show on Wednesday night, they really have learned nothing during their two years in political exile. 


As Rachel Maddow helpfully pointed out the same day in her show in a rare moment of serious lucidity, midterm elections routinely go against the incumbent president’s party in the first election following a new president’s election - if not always to the degree we witnessed last night (and sometimes hardly at all).  Last night was at its core not a repudiation of ideology.  It was a repudiation of failure. (Conservative Republicans don’t want to hear the former and liberal Democrats are blind to the latter.)  The Tea Party energized conservative voters, and no doubt was behind the huge electoral success of many Republicans.  But notably, the Tea Party candidates themselves did not fare as well.  This election was won with an energized Right, an Independent vote that saw the current administration as a failure, and a disheartened Left that partially sat out the vote.  It was not an ideological shift – at least not yet.

Reader Queries on Vote

Endorsements to Come to UWFR


     We must admit that we were taken aback by the number of requests from friends and other readers for suggestions as to which candidate to support, or which proposition to favor.  We did issue endorsements for the primaries for both parties last March, but did not detect an appetite for what might be seen as partisan endorsements in the general election.  Having now received these queries, we look to come up with a list of candidates we endorse in the next general election go round.


     Now, some who did not call to ask may wonder, who would we have endorsed, say, for governor of Texas?  Or, which propositions did we favor?  Well we see no purpose in hindsight endorsements.  However, let’s just say that we were neither for Perry or White in the governor’s race, and opposed all three propositions.


   The other thing we might add is how unsettling it was to review the ballot, and realize how many races had only crooks or small-minded people as options.

Obamacare Repeal Not on President’s Menu

Sean Hannity’s insulting address on his radio show to the president on what he ought to do next was as off the mark as it was childlike (as if he could possibly have any interest in seeing Mr. Obama re-elected).  The president has nothing to gain from chunking everything he did these last two years and tacking to the center, let alone to the right.  Let’s be clear:  we don’t mean he won’t or shouldn’t moderate.  He has to, and he will.  But, from a philosophical point of view, this president has no interest in making changes for the sake of power itself.  He will make changes for the sake of keeping power, in order to make more changes later. And, Obama surely understands that from a practical political point of view, turning on one’s own agenda and reversing one’s own legacy will never be a winning hand for a political leader.   


After observing the president’s press conference on Wednesday, following the election, we now feel more confident that our tentative forecast is on the right track.  President Obama will moderate enough to try to secure advances for the economy to enhance his party’s and his own electoral chances.  But, he will not permit the repeal of Obamacare, and without the Senate, the Republicans cannot make him do so.  Furthermore, the Republicans, with only one house of Congress under their control, will still share the blame for any economic malaise.  In fact, the presence of the Republicans in the House of Representatives may be the stick Mr. Obama needs to whip far left loonies in his own party into the compromises he will need to survive 2012.  



Psst:  Keep an eye on Marco Rubio.


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