Category Archives: Elections

Baseball analogy for tea party “victory”

To follow up on my post Has the Tea Party accomplished anything yet?

Over the last two years, the Democrats have scored a lot of runs. They hit a grand slam with health care reform. Another home run with stimulus spending. Another with financial reform. They racked up one run after another.

Finally, the tea party movement struck out the Democrats in spectacular fashion (the biggest electoral turnaround in 62 years) and the top half of the inning is over. Now, it is the tea party’s turn to try and score some runs. But the limited government side is trailing 37 to zero (government spending excluding defense is 37 percent of GDP).

The GOP now controls the House of Representative, but it does not yet have Senate or Presidency. So the tea party movement has a man on first base. But it’s in a deep hole, down by 37 runs, and has to start scoring runs in abundance.

I’m sure you can see why I am not too excited by the tea party “victory” of November 2. Yes, the tea party movement, which didn’t even exist two years ago, stopped the Democrats from scoring more runs, but to win you must score runs of your own. In this respect, the tea party has not accomplished anything.

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Has the Tea Party accomplished anything yet?

Many people talk about the success of the tea party movement. While we did something remarkable in the 2010 election, we have not really accomplished anything yet.

I recall this chart of total government spending excluding defense over the last 100 years.

Click on image to zoom in:

In 1910, government at all levels spent about 7% of GDP. Today it is about 37%. Do you see what the tea party has accomplished so far? NOTHING!!!

At best we slowed down the rate of growth or maybe even stopped it. But we have yet to reduce it by a single percentage point after it rose seven percentage points in just two years.

Many in the tea party movement claim that Obama is the worst President ever. Yet, the GOP won just 54.2% of the two-party vote, maybe slightly higher if you add in Murkowski’s votes. The Republicans won 240+ seats, but that’s less than the 257 seats the Democrats won in 2008. Against the supposed worst President in history, that’s all the tea party could accomplish?

I don’t mean to minimize the biggest electoral shift since 1948… OK, yes I do. These accomplishments are meaningless unless they are used for something bigger. I will not be satisfied until I see the vast majority of Americans voting for republican government (small ‘r’ intentional) and that trend line of government moving down instead of up. When that happens, I’ll talk about our accomplishments. Until then, I’m too busy working for the cause of liberty to brag about winning a few seats in Congress.

Was the 2010 election a referendum on Obama or a return to republicanism?

Reuters reports:

Big election losses suffered by Democrats were “first and foremost” a reflection of the economy’s weakness rather than a wholesale rejection of his policies, President Barack Obama said on Sunday.

“The party in power was held responsible for an economy that is still underperforming and where a lot of folks are still hurting,” Obama told the CBS program “60 Minutes” in an interview.

Additionally, many are calling this Obama’s Watergate.

If Obama is correct that this election was a reaction to the weak economy and the political analysts are correct in comparing this to Watergate, a reaction to corruption and political heavy-handedness, we are little better off than we were before the election. We may have better people in Congress, or maybe not, but does this election reflect a change in the American people?

It is my hope that the election was about more than just the economy and more than just a reaction to Obama’s over-reaching. It is my hope that the election was about the direction of this country more than it was a referendum on the last two years. I hope this election was a reflection of the American people’s desire for a restoration of the Constitution and a return to republican ideals.

Most likely, the election reflects both dynamics. The Obama backlash will only be temporary, lasting one or two elections. To ensure that the 2010 election is the start of an American reawakening, we must double our efforts in promoting the Constitution and republicanism.

Worldwide backlash against quantitative easing.

Apparently, I’m not the only one concerned about the Fed’s quantitative easing.

Yesterday, I wrote a piece: Quantitative easing. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

Today, we get similar sentiments from around the world:

Could this move turn out to be a modern-day Smoot-Hawley? For those of you who are too young to remember, the Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act was passed in 1930, raising tariffs, and being a major contributor to the Great Depression.

Congrats GOP. Now what do we do?

Congratulations to the GOP. They accomplished a historic election victory. The largest change in government since 1948.

However, I continue to fear for this country. Not because of the politicians, but because of the people. Of the 40-50% of those eligible to vote who actually voted, how many voted for liberty and limited government? The GOP won about 54% of the total vote, so maybe 54%. Maybe more, maybe less. But considering the majority of people didn’t even bother to vote, you are looking at a very small portion of the population who understands and cares enough to vote in favor of liberty and limited government. The number is 30% of the population, at best. Probably closer to 25% or even lower.

That is a very disappointing figure. While we must be involved in the political system, that will only help us on the margin. If 25% of the population supports limited government, nominating attractive candidates may boost that to 26% or 27%. Enough to temporarily defeat the political opponent, but not enough to fundamentally change our country.

The only long-term solution is education. We need to further the ideas of liberty, limited government, and checks and balances.We need to read, we need to write, and we need to share. With Amazon.com and social media, we have the tools to spread the knowledge. All it takes it effort.

So, now that the election is over, we have three main jobs:

  1. Make sure that government officials from both parties work toward smaller government.
  2. Begin recruiting for the next election.
  3. Educate ourselves and the public as to the benefits of limited government and checks and balances as described by our Constitution and elaborated upon in the Federalist Papers.

As you know, I’ll be focusing on the third item. I’ve already written one book warning the people of the evils of big government and the democratic demand for free gifts from the government. Many of you already know that I am working on a second book, the topic of which has not yet been announced. I have many more books planned, each of which advances the cause of liberty.

But while I will concentrate on the education portion, I will not be ignoring the first two parts. I will remain active in the political arena to ensure our governments (federal, state, and local) limit their size and scope and to help choose future candidates for political office.

We have a lot of work ahead of us. It has taken 100 years for our government to go from a very minor portion of our society to the huge behemoth it is today. It may take 100 years to reverse what has been done and we may not be alive to see our success. But succeed we must for the fate of our country and the world depend on us.

Eleftheria i thanatos!

NOV 2 Prediction. A Republican tsunami! My official election prediction for the House of Representatives.

It’s election day and I am assuming there won’t be any more polls coming out. So now it is time to make my final election prediction for the House of Representatives. For those who have not been watching, this is not my first prediction.

Here is my prediction from October 22. GOP gain of 61 seats.

Here is my prediction from October 24. GOP gains 78 seats.

Here is my October 29 prediction. GOP gains 72 seats.

First a review of how I make my prediction.

I simply take the RCP average of Generic Congressional Vote as my baseline. I adjust their vote totals to assume the GOP and Dems receive 100% of the vote (ie. no third parties win any seats). Then, I have three models to convert vote totals to House seats.

40-year model: Regression of House seats vs. vote total for every election since 1968.

8-year model: Regression of House seats vs. vote total for every election since 2002. Because of the increase in partisanship and computerized gerrymandering, there are now many more safe seats.

1994 & 2006 model: In these two mid-term elections, control of the House switched sides against an unpopular President. The same will likely occur this year.

The models produce the following results:

40-year model: Republicans win 268 House seats, gain of 90 seats.

8-year model: Republicans win 247 House seats, gain of 69 seats.

1994 & 2006 model: Republicans win 253 House seats, gain of 75 seats.

Taking a simple average of the three, I now predict the Republicans will win 256 House seats, a gain of 78 seats.

The GOP can win 295 seats in the House, a 117-seat gain.

While I am currently predicting a gain of 72 House seats for the Republicans, the polls say that much larger gains are possible. RCP currently shows the GOP ahead by an eight-point margin. My own model shows a 7.7 percent margin. That converts into 242 to 259 House seats for the GOP, a gain of 64 to 81 seats.

However, in recent days Gallup showed the Republicans up by a 15-point margin, Fox News had them up by 13, and CNN/Opinion Research by 10 points. What if Gallup is correct and the Republicans win by a 55 to 40 margin?

According to my most generous model, my 40-year model (see details of the models here), the Republicans would end up with 295 House seats, a gain of 117 seats. My other models show the GOP finishing with 263 seats (+85 seats) or 273 seats (+95 seats) if Gallup is correct. The average of the three models, which I’ve been using for my middle-of-the-forecast, shows a GOP gain of 99 seats to 277 seats if Gallup is correct.