Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tea Leaves

So, off-off-year elections tend to be anomalous things.  I could write how Democrats picked up a seat on the Watertown Town Council - a usually reliable Republican body - because of disgust with the Shutdown, but.... really?

I take away two things.

First, polls had McAuliffe winning by six or so points, but he wound up winning by about three.  What seemed to happen was decline for support for the Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis.  Sarvis was polling around 10% before the election, but lost about 3% of those voters back to Cucinelli.

To me, this shows a sort of Tea Party "Bradley Effect".  There are Republicans who have trouble admitting they are voting for a guy who wants to make blow jobs illegal, but at the end of the day, they just can't punch the Libertarian ticket.  I frankly think Libertarianism might be the GOP's only long-term hope, but it's also a fairly off-the-wall ideology.  And it has zero appeal to the Talibangelists that make up the GOP base.

Second, if anyone really thinks Chris Christie will be the 2016 GOP nominee, I would love to have a wager on that.  Christie is - to put it succinctly - a raging asshole with ethics questions in his past.  These are not disqualifying defects in New Jersey.  Jerseyites like assholes; if they didn't, they couldn't live with themselves.  And just about every politician in New Jersey has some sort of ethics question in their past.

As I recall in 2008, Rudy Giuliani was going to sweep to the nomination, along with Hillary Clinton.  This is an inevitable by-product of being a politician from New York, where the media live.  That is not consistent with the country as a whole.

The more interesting question is what will the Christie/Cucinelli results mean to the GOP Civil War.  My guess is that the Tea Party will read the evidence in whatever way confirms their existing ideas.  For consistency's sake.

No comments: