Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election 2006: What Went Wrong for the Republicans

The midterm elections are over and those who hoped for a Republican victory are still digesting the results. The usual pre-election mainstream media hype led many to the mistaken impression that the Democratic Party's much-vaunted success might not pan out. But in fact, the Democrats did much better than expected, taking the House and possibly the Senate as well.

So what does it all mean?

Clearly, the Republican Party has in some respects lost its way. The dissension within the ranks over the last few years over issues such as runaway federal spending, illegal immigration, the Dubai ports deal, and corruption of both a moral and monetary nature (which to be fair, is not confined to either party) has undermined conservative support for the Republican Party.

The constant pummeling of the Iraq War by the mainstream media seems to have had its intended effect. Dissatisfaction has taken hold and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has been its first casualty.

The Bush administration shares the blame for the growing impatience with the war by not fully explaining the stakes to the American people. By focusing on Iraq and denying the civilizational and religious connection to the wider Muslim world, President Bush failed to fully rally the post-9/11 public for the coming conflict.

The Democratic Party seized on this failing, among others, to sell its "vote for change" platform. And they pursued what turned out to be a very clever, if disingenuous, policy. Putting forward moderate to conservative candidates across the nation while keeping the left-leaning party leadership in the form of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Harry Reid, DNC Chairman Howard Dean, et al, on the backburner turned out to be an effective strategy.

In this sense, the election results were not a victory for liberalism, but rather conservativism. Except that, ironically, it's the Democratic Party that how now assumed that mantle. In voting for conservative Democratic candidates and rejecting liberal Republicans, the American people demonstrated yet again their right-leaning tendencies. How the Democratic Party's leftist leadership will engage with the new batch of conservative representatives, senators and governors remains to be seen. But it's unlikely they will relinquish power anytime soon.

Now that Democrats are holding the reigns, they will have to start putting forward policies instead of simply criticizing Republicans. It's quite likely that a premature withdrawal from Iraq will be on the agenda. As will the possible impeachment proceedings, despite claims to the contrary, against President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. Elsewhere, we can probably expect tax increases, roll-backs of intelligence powers in the war on terrorism, and the ramping up of the culture wars. Whatever happens, it's going to be a rocky couple of years for the Bush administration.

But the Republican Party has no one to blame but itself. Let's just hope it learns something from the experience and comes back in 2008 a stronger party.

Update: A reader alerted me to a post at the leftwing blog Daily Kos indicating that the winning Democratic candidates may not have been so conservative after all. While I can't argue with the background information on these candidates, there's no denying that they ran on a moderate to conservative platform of lower taxes, national security, 2nd Amendment rights and in some cases, border enforcement. If it turns out that these candidates hoodwinked the public into voting for them by putting forward a conservative platform, then that hardly bodes well for the integrity of the Democratic Party.

Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.

3 Comments:

Blogger diurnalist said...

Bush seems thrilled at the prospects of screwing us with an amnesty/guestworker program now that the Democrats are in power. In fact I think that his mission as president was always to protect the oil supply, which I support, and erasing US borders, which I don't.

The idiot MSM seem unable to comprehend that a Democrat victory might be just what Bush/Rove wanted all along.

It's true that conservatism won the day, but the Democrat leadership will silence the newly elected moderates now that they've been useful in putting the wingnut branch in control.

Heaven help us.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Libertas said...

Republicans lost the house and may loose the Senate, at first I was upset but in my heart I think we should have lost.

The party has become some what arrogant, and out of touch with the base, we got slapped the fuck up. American's went to the polls and said shut the hell up and show us where our money is going! And the truth is many of those votes were Republicans.

I hope the leadership of the party learned its fucking lesson, you can not spend, spend with out consequences, nor can you just get by with whispering "lets stay the course". You can not force anti abortion laws on the courts at will, nor can you bring out the gay marriage ticket to scare folks. People's children are dying in Iraq by radical Islamist and they want to know what the hell is going on Mr. President.

To the BushBots who think all is well in Iraq you were proven wrong. I supported the war and I still do, but you do not go to war unless you are going to win, and win decisively.

Bush should have never sent Paul Bremmer to Iraq, the Neocon's and Iraqi dissident groups warned him, but he choose to instead listen to the idiots at the State department under Colin Powell, (yes Colin Powell is no angel), it was the state departments rhetoric that led to the troops staying a little longer which led to occupation, the necons were saying get Saddam out and get the fuck out of there!! As much as I dislike Democrat whining I hope they investigate every thing under the sun, and I hope that they not give one buck to the government unless we know what the hell we are purchasing.

Also to the Democrats while they won should not take this election as some thrill ride for socialist, Trotskyite polices, the American people have giving them an opportunity to show that they can moderate the arrogance of power.

Also the knives will be out for the social conservative Republicans for the loss of good moderate Republicans, in the party. In is amazing that good house seats like Sue Kelly in New York were lost because of one issue Iraq, this is shameful, and makes me sick.

Moderate Republicans who lost or who warned folks like Sean Hannity's should get a big apology. Also moderate Republicans need to fight back like never before, and stand up to those who claim to run the party.

The Republican's no know that they can not win with out the North East, and must become more moderate, to win back those seats.

The facts are as they stand Republican's got shit on this week and no spin can change that, congratulations Democrats, and well done in electing a women to be house speaker...you rock at least for now.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 2:07:00 PM  
Blogger diurnalist said...

"You can not force anti abortion laws on the courts at will, nor can you bring out the gay marriage ticket to scare folks."

Isn't it the other way round? The courts aren't supposed to be forcing abortion laws on us. And gay marriage bans passed in all states but one when it was on the ballot, so I fail to see your point.

If it was Iraq that motivated voters, then how come Lamont was defeated?

The unnecessary profanity in your post is a definite turn off btw.

Thursday, November 09, 2006 12:03:00 PM  

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