Saturday, November 01, 2008

Still with the Polls: A McCain Surge? Or Time to Think about January?

Zogby has McCain within the margin of error on the three-day tracking poll and outpolling Obama on Halloween* by 1%.

While we still stoically expect an Obama victory, we can yet imagine the opposite, especially if Tuesday looks like a classic TV episode about another historic election.

If the likely happens and Obama rules in 2009, we note that liberals are unlikely to get what they want. Not only do budgetary constraints work against their agenda, so does the reshaping of the Democratic caucus. Obama is certainly on the left of his party, but many new Democratic Congressmen will be "Blue Dogs," fiscally and socially conservative Dems, who may number over 60 in the House. These will be enough to stand in the way of anything radical and, in their view, irresponsible. Obama may face the possibility of alternative budgets or legislation passed by a coalition of Republicans and Blue Dogs, much like the previous Democratic President who had majorities in both houses.

Meanwhile, pundits now read the entrails as indicating the Dems will fall short of a 60-seat supermajority in the Senate. Even if they get one, those Dems vulnerable to challenges from the right in 2010 will be cautious.

Chins up, conservative brethren! The Republic will endure.

*Because Democrats stay out later collecting giveaways and can't answer their phones?


JB in CA said...

Meanwhile, in non-economic moves, I think we can expect that Obama and a Democratic congress will succeed in their attempts to (1) rescind the executive order against embryonic stem-cell research, (2) enact "Freedom of Choice" legislation, removing all state restrictions on abortion, including partial-birth abortion, (3) incorporate gay rights into all civil rights legislation, rescinding the "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military, (4) require every state to recognize the same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts and Connecticut (California's same-sex marriages may be reversed by then, if Proposition 8 passes), (5) renew a push for preferential treatment in hiring practices and college admissions, and (6) appoint one or more leftist Justices to the Supreme Court.

I doubt that a Democratic super-majority would be needed to bring about any of these changes. Republican legislators tend to get intimidated when voting on social issues, and Democrats are extremely reluctant to cross party lines on "civil rights legislation" and risk alienating their constituencies.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

We're skeptical on everything except Supremes and maybe stem cells. Blue Dogs don't want to run in 2010 on a left-wing social record.

Anonymous said...

Yes the republic will endure. It made it through the horror of the past 8 years.

rustypants said...

JB - sounds like you've been reading a certain letter from the future brought to us by james dobson.

JB in CA said...

SWNID: I'm a bit surprised that you'd even flinch at #1 on my list, since all it would require is Obama's signature. My guess is that he enacts it in the first one hundred days of his term. What better way to bring about all that hope he's been promising? No more disease, no more death (except, of course, for the stem cells), etc.

As for ##2-5, most of the (47 or so?) Blue Dog Democrats, as I understand it, are conservative only on economic issues. Do you really want to place your bets on rookie legislators that have to choose between the big-money pressures of Planned Parenthood and the gay-rights/affirmative action lobbies, on the one hand, and the voters, on the other?--all while the Democratic leadership is breathing down their necks? My guess is that those who are afraid of losing their seats for supporting liberal legislation will simply decline to vote on such legislation, rather than side against it. And the Republicans will be too weak-kneed to filibuster.

Overall, I think you're vastly underestimating the cultural shift that has taken place recently on the issues of abortion, stem-cell research, and gay rights. Most Americans have bought into the belief that it's always wrong to legislate morality, without even considering the consequences of that viewpoint. I think the Democratic Party understands this cultural shift and is looking to take full advantage of the situation. Sure, the Republic will endure, but it's going to change considerably. I'm not sure we really want that, but I've been wrong before.

Rustypants: Ouch! Isn't hitting below the belt illegal?

Anonymous said...

The Supreme Court is toast. He will appoint 2 judges in his first 4 years. They will not tip the balance of the court, but will solidify at least 4 liberals for decades to come. And we don't need Tony Kennedy as the swing vote.

KevinAK said...

Don't write off McCain just yet.
If the Bengals can win a game, anything is possible.