Tuesday, May 31, 2011

NY-26 and Splitting the GOP Vote

The fact is that it is not too hard to split the Republican vote. In 1992 Ross Perot did it (with or without help from the Clintons). And in the NY-26 special congressional election a perennial Democratic candidate, Jack Davis, ran as a "Tea Party" candidate, spent millions of his own money, and gave the election to the Democrat.

Frankly, I'm not sure that this is as big of a problem as Clark Judge thinks it is. Why? Because the tactical win that Democrats get from splitting the Republican vote doesn't help them strategically. So Bill Clinton won the 1992 election with the help of Ross Perot. But by governing way to the left of the electoral center he set up the massive Republican win in 1994, which gave the Congress to the GOP for the next 12 years with a hiccup in 2001-02.

So the Democrats managed to split the Republican vote in NY-26 in a special election in May 2011. Maybe President Obama can demagogue the Mediscare issue for a reelection win in 2012. But the facts on the ground are still facts. Medicare is heading for the rapids. The whole federal budget is heading for the rapids. Pretty soon there will be no more money.

If the Democrats really care about seniors they would be working to craft some kind of a bi-partisan deal to repair Medicare's finances in the long term. If they really cared they would get the government out of Medicare except for direct vouchers for those that need them.

But that is not how Democrats think. They are politicians; they think in terms of winning the next election. And the way to win elections is to get people scared. The way to keep peoples' votes long term is to keep them dependent.

The only problem that Democrats have is that the majority of the American people don't want to be complete dependents on the government. So the only way they can win is to gin up special situations. They must destroy George W. Bush in order to win back the Congress in 2006. They need a complete financial meltdown in 2008 to get inexperienced Barack Obama past the finish line. They need a fake-a-rama Tea Party candidate to win a special election.

But in the end the US is a center-right country. And all the political shenanigans in the world can't change that. They just make it more difficult for the American people to get where they want to go. And that's a shame.

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