Spinning Defeat as Victory

We expect that when a political party has a victory they might over-emphasize its meaning and when they lose they will play it down. That’s just the nature of the game. Back in 2001 the  Republican National Committee argued that their losses that year had no bearing on the midterm election to take place a year later. As is very often the case with such elections, they turned out to be right. I don’t have any proof, but my bet is that the same year the Democrats were claiming that their wins were significant. This year the Republicans are taking the opposite line and are playing up their wins in Virginia and New Jersey. While these wins have no real national significance, a win is still a win. While I disagree about the significance, I cannot blame GOP leaders for bragging. What makes no sense is to brag about a loss.

I already discussed the Democratic pick up in New York’s 23rd Congressional district. Many conservative blogs such as Red State are claiming a victory. Erick Erickson argues that  conservatives “have demonstrated to the GOP that it must not take conservatives for granted.” If the point was to show that conservatives could prevent a Republican from winning by supporting a third party candidate there was no need for this exercise. Anyone would have granted them this possibility.

I am sure that Democrats will be very happy to see conservative Republicans adopt a strategy of challenging moderate Republicans in such a manner and allowing Democrats to win. Of course for those of us who hope to see the return of a viable two party system without one of the parties being dominated by extremists, this is an unfortunate strategic decision by the far right. Unfortunately it has been clear for several years that the far right has won the civil war for control of the GOP and that their goal is purging all members who do not share their extremist views.

If all the support from Republican spokesmen such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, along with intervention from Sarah Palin and the Club of Growth, had resulted in a conservative pick up they would have cause for celebration. Instead one of the rare remaining Republican seats in the northeast has gone Democratic for the first time in over a century. The Republicans had managed to hold the seat in recent years with a moderate Republican. Now they have prevented another moderate Republican from winning  but the result was to give the seat to the Democrats.

Republicans have been spinning yesterday’s results to claim that this will hinder the passage of health care reform. Their two new Republican governors have no votes on health care reform but the real result of yesterday’s elections is that the Democrats now have two more Democratic Congressmen than they had before the election. That’s two more votes which might be cast in favor of the bill.

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  1. 1
    Eclectic Radical says:

    I live in TN, but on the Virginia border. My partner works in Virginia. So I found this comment on the linked post especially interesting:
    ‘…however, my wife left district 23 of NY to live with me in VA, and we can say my wife has had the job opportunities in VA that she would never have had in NY. She is a director, she moved up with no college degree. Try doing that in upstate New York without a college degree. I left MD for VA for a job in the high tech defense industry and R&D and I have never looked back…’
    The tech industry is in Virginia because of the work of consecutive Democratic governors and legislators. Frequently over the opposition of Virginia Republicans. Bristol Virginia Utilities (where my wife works) has become a national leader in fiberoptics because of the investment of the state government under successive Democratic administrations in a local public utility.
    I find it ironic that someone would be so gleeful about their career in an industry brought to Virginia by Democrats in the same breath as they gloat over the victory of a governor who may cut investment in their field.

  2. 2
    Ernie Vogel says:

    #tcot » Spinning Defeat as Victory Liberal Values http://bit.ly/4ASZec

  3. 3
    David says:

    One dissenting coment on Red State and they perma ban.

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