You’d think the Democrats would learn…

I’m right with Gateway Pundit on terrorism issues… not so much politically, since I’m a libertarian and he’s an anti-liberal.

 But if he’s quoted Rangel correctly, Democratic chances this fall are toast.

 Congress Daily reported today that the Democratic Party’s ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Rangel (D) of New York, all but guaranteed tax increases in the Democratic agenda if they take back the house in November. When approached about whether tax increases across the income spectrum would be considered, Rep. Rangel responded, “No question about it.”

EDIT:  Zathras has correctly taken me to task for overstating the “toast” bit.  No, they could still very well win… but it is also absolutely conceivable that enough hay could be made out of this to dramatically shore up the Republican base, since taxes are the one thing that both sides of the abusive “l”ibertarian/conservative marriage agree on in the Republican Party.

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  1. Sadly, I disagree — the lefties have swallowed the rhetoric that the tax reductions have been “all for the rich”, so any tax increases would “merely unwind the tax cuts the rich have gotten”. If it’s cookies they don’t have to pay for,that’ll bring out the dem’s base just as surely as any number of social issues will bring out the true believers for the right.

  2. Yes, JimDesu, that’s entirely true. What I think your response overlooks is that the Dem base is smaller than the Rep base. Now notably smaller. If each side has their bases turn out on the tax issue (which tends to confuse the “moderates” and motivate them to stay home), the Republicans win in any district that doesn’t already lean heavily Democratic.

    Now, politically, if I wanted to say something that WOULDN’T motivate Republican base members from running, not walking, to the polls, would I say something like this? Whatever the fiscal merits, politically it’s the same tin-eared myopia that has had the Dems nominating utter boobs for their party leadership since we were teenagers.

  3. Zathras

     /  September 27, 2006

    An isolated comment like this will not have any effect on the election. Single point extrapolation will get you nowhere.

    If you look at the individual races, the Democratic chances are very good. A House takeover has been predicted by many, and even a Senate takeover is not out of the question.

    For the Senate, the Democrats need 6 seats. Do the math:

    Pennsylvania–Republican Santorum is in serious trouble.

    Ohio–Dewine is being swept away by the huge scandals enveloping the state GOP.

    Montana: Burns is Abramoff’s #1 friend with privileges in the Senate. In serious trouble and might be indicted next year.

    Rhode Island: Liberal Republican Chafee is swimming upstream in a very Democratic state.

    Viriginia: Republican George Allen has consistently made himself look like an idiot, and he is running against someone with strong national security credentials (former Navy secretary Webb)

    Tennessee: (seat being vacated by Frist) Democrat Harold Ford has run a brilliant campaign and is now consistently ahead of Corker.

    In all 6 of these races a seat being held by Republican has a Democrat consistently being favored, according to all the recent polls. The Democrats might lose one in New Jersey, but there are other pickup opportunities as well, such as Missouri.

    The Democrats have some strong momentum right now. What issues do you hear the GOP pushing day after day now? Pro-torture and pro-surveillance. That’s not going to get people energized to vote for them.

    So how should a libertarian feel about these issues?

  4. This may be one of the rare occasions I agree with Zathras, although we may differ on underlying philosophy: I think the democrats have a chance specifically because the current crop of Republicans have used their total majority completely blindly. I may have railed against Clinton’s “every speach is a campaign speach, and every action a campaign action”, but the Repub’s in power right now are learning the lesson for not following Clinton’s lead in this aspect.

    Lucky for me, I WANT the Republicans to lose the House — it’ll give the more reform-oriented, rational members of them the juice they need to shake off the neocons (WHO’RE NOT CONSERVATIVES IN MY BOOK) and energize the LeHaye-ites for 2008.

  5. Oh, darn, your blog ate the “spit” psuedo-xml I’d surrounded “LeHaye-ites” with.

  6. JimDesu– you might be interested in a couple texts: Anne Norton’s _Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire_ (Yale UP, 2004) and Michael Mann’s _Fascists_ (Cambridge UP, 2004). Compare Norton’s assessment of Straussian neoconservatism with Mann’s working historical definition. Either she deliberately did this to jab at her old classmates or she believes this to be so.

  7. Gents, don’t get me wrong; the Republicans certainly can lose this one, and lose this one bit. They tend to slump early in the the electoral cycle and then pull out (how many times have Republicans been down in polls and then swept the field in the past twenty years?)… but they could definitely lose.

    Zathras, “do the math” ignores the point, which is that this sort of thing gets picked up on and circulated by your opponents, thus motivating their base. Tell me seriously that cadre Republicans like GatewayPundit aren’t already spreading Rangel’s comment far and wide… just like Trent Lott and his unfortuante comments about PorkBusters wound up putting steroids into the process.

    THAT is the lesson that these folks fail to learn, and specifically on taxes, all the way back to Mondale.

  8. @ Zathras: updated my post. You’re right, that overstates the case.

    @ your reply #6: No, not much thoughts: it’s basically drivel, grist for’s political mill. The notion that the Democrats, whose recent record includes alternate varieties of politically-directed bungling in Vietnam, Kosovo, and Somalia, can be described as truly significant from the Republicans vis-a-vis the “war party” is simply a non-starter.

    And the notion that this country has become a thinly-veiled military dictatorship is something that only Andrew Sullivan or an asshat from could contemplate with a straight face.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Jonathon that the real American political divide is a triangle L,E,O, and it is absolutely typical for E and O to attack the other on L grounds whenever they appear vulnerable there. Clearly this administration has done A LOT to alienate those among the “libertarian consensus” cited. But I’d be hard put to think that either party is inherently better for the L folks than the other, and recent progress on that front regarding earmarking and Congressional fiscal accountability has been bipartisan both for and against.

  9. Yes but the ‘cadre’ Republicans are already going to be fired up b/c the current GOP (ie not conservative per se) base has so many litmus-test issues that the GOP will keep pinging them on (Security, Abortion, Gay Marriage) as November gets closer..

    So, sadly, I think that Rangel’s comments are really only going to inflame people who are already inflamed.. Hell, I know a lot of moderates and Republicans who disagreed with the ‘tax cuts for the rich’..

    If they raise MY middle class taxes, though.. Then I advocate firebombing Congress :).

  10. That article is the same paranoid hyperbole voiced by the very people whose opinions would result in them disappearing in the night, never to be seen again.. were their opinions actually correct.

    Whenever I read garbage like that, all I can think is the old axiom that (paraphrased) “the most dangerous lies are the ones that are 80% true”.. That’s what I find disturbing about the current left.. The jackass in the White House is throwing up softball after softball in terms of legitimate ways to attack and set this country back on a better path, but instead of having a strong opposition party who can do so, we have a bunch of conspiracy-theorist minded communists who want to unmake the very country itself.

  11. Yep.

    I think that if Rangel’s comments got out, they’d motivate the small-l’s like me who will otherwise sit this out (not that it matters here in TX this year) to drag themselves to the ballet box, sighing all the way… just like in ’04. If only the Democrats would put up a *credible* candidate…

  12. That may well be but also remember a lot of small-l’s aren’t pleased with some of the civil liberties issues.. While they’re not as bad as the left makes them sound with their flaming histrionics, there still are a lot of bad things happening..

    Ironically, some of which (in the Patriot Act) were written by John Kerry and argued against by John Ashcroft representing the ACLU.. It’s true.. Reason had a source-cited article about it last year.. Ironic how things change..

    Right now I’m not planning to vote. I reject the whole “if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain” and “you have a duty to vote” arguments as mechanisms by which the political oligarchy keeps their power. Granted, not voting does nothing to affect that power either – I’m not that dumb – but there’s a big difference between abstaining out of apathy and abstaining because there is truly no candidate that I want to give my vote. Although, I may just go vote for the Libertarian just to shut people like Dad and my conservative friends up when they start yammering at me.

  13. I’m either going to stay home or protest-vote Libertarian. Turnout gets measured, so staying home *is* a vote.

    There are specific Republicans and Democrats, notably the folks sponsoring the accountability acts, for whom I would drive through thunderstorms to vote for. But none of those in my districts. I’ll vote for Sessions, but only to keep Frost out of office.

  14. Mike

     /  September 27, 2006

    I am in this boat of “no one to vote for” too, for the first time ever actually. Either I vote in Texas in Round Rock for a group of people I know nothing about, who represent a area I haven’t lived in for over 2 years (which I don’t like doing). Or I can switch back to Nebraska and vote for a Republican in name only who only stopped bashing Bush and the war effort when elections came close because he was pissing off his voters. But historically this guy, once re-elected, will start bashing the war effort again. And his democrat opponent is a bigger idiot who can’t do anything but spout off “Bush Lied” crap to a state that is so red it hurts you eyes when you look on the chart. And the libertarians in NE are the “make weed legal” group, so they are right out.

    I am screwed on this election, no 2 ways about it.

  15. Mike

     /  September 27, 2006

    Maybe I can vote for the Bull Moose party.

  16. Write in Mighty Mouse.

    It always makes you feel good when you come to precinct you know nothing about and let a out a lusty “Here I come to save the Day!” as you pencil it in.

  17. Well, at least you’re entertained!

  18. Mike,
    Double check the Bull Moose, especially since their lone congressman, David Obey is a part of the Minority coalition. Most think he’s a Democrat, and indeed he has been in the past, but he won as a Progressive–not likely to be up your alley.

  19. Mike

     /  September 29, 2006

    Wow, no kidding. I guess the party has fallen quite a bit since the days of TR.

  20. convivialdingo

     /  September 29, 2006

    There’s no need to vote anyway, the computer does it for you.

    I’d like to say I’m kidding – but it’s serious:


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