The morning after: Righty bloggers react

"The American electorate just took the Republicans to the woodshed."

King Kaufman
November 8, 2006 8:42PM (UTC)

Three from the National Review online, the first two from "a symposium" called "What Happened?"

Daniel Casse: Let the Hillary campaign begin in earnest! These midterm elections have given us a great preview. The last six months have been, if nothing else, an immense Democratic drag show ... Surely this responsible, reasonable visage of Democratic saneness was a dress rehearsal for the look and style of Senator Clinton's 2008 masquerade.


Ed Morrissey: The American electorate just took the Republicans to the woodshed ... Another thing that happened was that Americans finally got involved in a non-presidential election. Final numbers won't be known for a day or two, but it appears that voter turnout was significantly higher than four years ago. We have hailed Karl Rove as a master at GOTV efforts, but apparently the Democrats learned from three successive losses to their bete noir.

James Robbins: If you liked the foreign-policy impotence of the 1970s, get ready for more.

Fred Barnes, the Daily Standard: This one is pretty easy to explain. Republicans lost the House and probably the Senate because of Iraq, corruption, and a record of taking up big issues and then doing nothing on them. Of these, the war was by far the biggest factor. Unpopular wars trump good economies and everything else. President Truman learned this in 1952, as did President Johnson in 1968. Now, it was President Bush's turn, and since his name wasn't on the ballot, his party took the hit.

Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit: The Democrats now have a chance to govern, not just carp, and how well they do over the next couple of years will have a lot to do with whether they have a shot at the White House in 2008. Perhaps getting back into power will also encourage a bit of responsibility. We'll see. If nothing else, the bitterness that comes with losing, and being out of power, is likely to recede a bit. Republicans would be wise not to succumb to a similar bitterness, especially as this defeat could have been avoided if they'd stuck to their principles.

Dean Barnett, The first thing I want to do is enumerate a few things that did not cost us this election. It wasn't the media. We faced the same media in 2002 and 2004 and prevailed. And it wasn't the savvy campaigning orchestrated by a suddenly gifted group of Machiavellian Democrats. That one doesn't fly either. The Democratic Party remains the organization that allowed John Kerry access to a microphone a week before the election.

Most importantly, we didn't lose because our countrymen suddenly misplaced the virtues that make America great. It is a distinctly liberal trait to blame "the people" when they don't vote as one would dictate. I'll brook none of that from our side. The fact is, we thought our country would be better off with a Republican Congress. We made a case to the American people. They didn't buy it because they thought it was a weak case.


And you know what? They were right. In the closing weeks of the campaign season, I felt like I was a lawyer who had a bad client while writing this blog. That client was the Republican Party which had broken its Contract with America from 1994 and had become unmoored from its conservative principles.

Brian Maloney, the Radio Equalizer (on So while it's a lousy day to be a Republican Party insider, it actually brings great news for conservative talk radio. In fact, this shot in the arm couldn't have come at a better time. Now, it's up to the medium's programmers to capitalize on the new environment. Are you ready?

That's because another two years of GOP control would have put conservative talkers in an almost impossible position, as they would have found it very difficult to defend a tired party leadership. I, for one, welcome our new Democratic overlords.


King Kaufman

King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

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