Political Hay

The Political Earthquake — As Predicted

Even if you were vision-impaired you would have seen it coming.

By 7.21.10

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Just over a year ago, in July 2009, this column predicted in an article entitled "2010" that a political earthquake was coming this year that would shake Washington to its foundations. In October 2009, I argued that the real danger facing Republicans was that they would underestimate their strength this year, and not win all the seats they could win by failing to recognize soon enough just how vulnerable even established Democrats would be.

At the time this was laughed off as wild-eyed, unhinged, bluff and bluster. Today, one year later, it is actually conventional wisdom. The political earthquake is here. We hear the tremors even from the White House Press Secretary.

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi

When San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House, the federal deficit for the year was $161 billion. Since then federal spending has soared by 36%, more than one third, and the federal deficit is now $1.6 trillion. As Rep. Jeb Hensarling rightly said, "The annual deficits under the Republicans became the monthly deficits under the Democrats."

Under CBO projections, by 2012, the national debt will have more than doubled since Nancy Pelosi became Speaker, to $11.5 trillion. By 2020, it will have quadrupled, to over $20 trillion.

When Nancy Pelosi became Speaker, the unemployment rate was 4.6%. Today, under her inspired leadership, it is more than twice that.

But it is not just her. The House leadership under today's Democrat Socialist Party is uniformly left-wing extremists, from Barney Frank to Henry Waxman to Pete Stark to John Conyers to David Obey. If you vote for a supposed Blue Dog who claims he is a conservative, you are voting for these socialists to run the House. (Hello, Johnstown, PA, are you awake yet?). Under this national leadership, the above results are only the beginning.

This is why most of the country has woken up already, and it is determined to remake Washington. America is not, and is never going to be, a socialist country.

Most generic polls have Republicans leading for Congress by 4 to 6 percentage points, with Rasmussen, the most accurate in recent years, at a whopping, unprecedented, 9% Republican advantage. Given how concentrated the Democrat vote is in some districts, that translates into a huge win for Republicans in the House. Republicans have won the House majority in the past when they were just even in the generic polls. Moreover, in 1994, when they won over 50 seats, the Republicans did not take a lead in the generic polls until the fall.

Democrat pollster Dick Morris sagely predicted Republicans would take the House months ago. Republican pollster Frank Luntz, loath to get caught overpromising, is now predicting a Republican takeover as well. The upside limit for Republicans this year is an 80 to 100 seat gain. If Republicans can come close to that, they will gain enough shaken, panicked Democrats on critical votes to override Obama vetoes.

That is why it is so important for conservatives and Republicans not to get fooled this year into voting for any Democrats. If you are represented by what you think is a conservative Democrat, he or she needs to cross over and run as a Republican now who won't be a vote for keeping the San Francisco Socialist in power, but rather a catalyst for reversing Obama's socialist policies.

Former Senator Harry Reid

The first target of opportunity I raised in my column of a year ago was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which no one else thought was possible then. He hasn't just voted for the Obama socialist agenda. He has led its enactment, from socialized medicine, to the stimulus, to the budget, deficits, and debt, to the phony financial takeover bill that institutionalizes bailouts (which he helped to start by leading enactment of the TARP as well). But he is still fighting for you, as Barack Obama puts it, to enact the cap and trade energy tax bill that would produce soaring electricity taxes and gasoline prices by design, next year's across the board tax rate increases on the nation's employers and investors, and the surprise Value Added Tax (VAT) he is cooking up in Washington targeting working people and families for new soaring taxes.

In return, the people of Nevada now enjoy the highest unemployment rate in the country at a depression level 14.2%, up yet again from last month, higher even than Michigan suffering from long-term depression. The people of Nevada also enjoy under Reid's leadership the highest home foreclosure rate in the country, and the highest rate of personal bankruptcies.

Reid thinks he can win by running millions in negative ads smearing Republican Tea Party opponent Sharron Angle. But that is already becoming transparent and tiresome to voters, and has no prospect of lifting him over 50%. Beltway conservative commentators have been blasting Republicans for years for nominating RINOs instead of genuine Reaganites like Angle. Now that they have one, they need to coalesce in backing her up against the overfinanced Reid smear machine. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Nevertheless, this race will be won in the Nevada grassroots, where Angle overwhelmingly outclasses Reid.

In my column a year ago, I wrote, "Turncoat Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania will also be retired next year, when he will find that an 80 year old, opportunist, RINO Republican is not going to appeal to Democrat primary voters any more than to Republican primary voters." I just want you to know that you get next year's headlines here today. (Reread February's The Coming Crash of 2011).

I was also the first to raise the notion that Barbara Boxer will be toast this year, when no one else thought that was possible. Try to think as a Californian. Can you come up with any good reason to vote for Boxer? Carly Fiorina is a supply-sider in the Reagan mold who fully understands how to re-create economic boom. She and Meg Whitman are a perfect tandem for this year's elections (though Whitman is not as solid as Fiorina), and they are going to lead a shocker this fall that will rock the California state legislature as well (unless too many voters are too high to pay attention to what is happening to their state).

These predictions were made seven months before Scott Brown should have woken everybody up by winning the race to succeed Ted Kennedy in ultraliberal Massachusetts, running against the socialized medicine health care takeover Kennedy had been fighting for his whole life. But the Washington establishment just shrugged this off, ensuring that they will be knocked on their keisters this fall. Here's another prediction that should be obvious by now. Deval Patrick is toast in his Massachusetts gubernatorial reelection campaign, cooked by his maladministration of state health care reform, a precursor of The Coming Fall of Obama.

Republicans are now cruising to pick up seats in Delaware, Indiana (not silly enough to fall for the Blue Dog foil again), Arkansas and North Dakota. With the above two, that would give Republicans 47 Senate seats. In Pennsylvania, the original Tea Party candidate Pat Toomey is poised to win over the confused Joe Sestak, who can't quite remember exactly what payoff Barack Obama offered him. Republicans are poised for another win in Colorado as well. In Illinois, Mark Kirk is well suited to win the state, while his Democrat opponent, 34-year-old rich boy Alexi Giannoulias, is already steeped in Illinois corruption. While Giannoulias worked at his father's bank, it helped fund the real estate misadventures of felon Tony Rezko. Giannoulias has also already called for tax increases. Unless the people of Illinois favor inexperience, corruption, and taxes, Kirk will win this race.

Republican Dino Rossi is also ahead of nothing-ever-accomplished Patty Murray in Washington state, which would give Republicans control of the Senate. In Wisconsin, Rob Johnson is also ahead now of Russ Feingold, which would be gravy. Additional pickups are possible in this breakthrough Republican year in New York and Connecticut.

Marco Rubio will lead Republicans in holding the six open R seats, a colossal, blundered waste for Democrats. In 2012, 24 Democrat Senate incumbents will be up for reelection, setting the stage for a 60 seat Republican majority.

They Think You Are Stupid

Democrats and other Washington establishment types didn't see this coming because they think you are stupid, and easily fooled by shopworn, now transparent, political tricks. For example, when he was running for President in 2008, then candidate Barack Obama famously promised the American people, "I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."

Last year, on national television, President Obama was questioned by George Stephanopoulos of ABC News about whether the individual mandate in his health care legislation was a tax violating that pledge. Before the whole nation, President Obama carried on an extended discussion concerning how it could not possibly be a tax, regardless of what the dictionary says.

But last week, as reported by the New York Times, the Obama Administration filed documents in federal district court in Florida arguing that the individual mandate in the Obamacare legislation is constitutional because it is a tax. If it's a tax, then it's a direct violation of the pledge candidate Obama made to get elected not to raise taxes on working people. The President is talking out of all three sides of his mouth on this one. He thinks he can play you for a fool.

Another example, last February President Obama and the Democrats threw a little shindig over at the White House to celebrate the signing of the so-called Pay Go legislation. President Obama explained, "It says to Congress, you have to pay as you go. You can't spend a dollar unless you cut a dollar elsewhere. This is how a responsible family or business manages a budget. And it is how a responsible government manages a budget, as well." President Obama and the Democrats basked in self-congratulatory glory over how fiscally responsible they are.

But whenever the Democrats bring up more spending they want, they routinely include a provision to exempt it from this Pay Go rule, as with the extension yet again of unemployment benefits. When Republicans try to hold them to their own Pay Go rule, Obama and the Democrats demagogue about the mean, nasty, heartless Republicans who can't even support 99 weeks of unemployment benefits in the defunct Obama economy. And don't expect the Democrat party-controlled, formerly "mainstream" media to explain what is going on to the public. Again, Obama and the Democrats think they can play the voters for fools with their dishonest posturing, or play acting, on fiscal responsibility.

This is what the NAACP racism charge against the Tea Party is all about. Try to whip up and distract the African American community, which President Obama and the Democrats think they can play for fools as well. To flatly disprove the Tea Party racist charge, try this thought experiment. Suppose Obama had come out of the closet last year as another Jack Kemp in political philosophy, instead of a Saul Alinsky/Karl Marx acolyte. The Tea Partiers, including myself, would have embraced him as his biggest cheerleaders, and he would be headed for Mt. Rushmore with a truly booming economy, instead of heading to join Brezhnev on the dustbin of history, where he belongs. The racism charge is just playing African Americans to distract them from the Depression level, 16% unemployment they continue to suffer under Obama/Pelosi/Alinsky policies.

Same for the intellectually discreditable lawsuit and charges against the Arizona immigration law. President Obama and the Democrats are lying about the law in an attempt to whip up the Hispanic vote, and distract it from the sustained, Depression level, 14% unemployment rate in the Hispanic community. That unemployment is doing more to mass deport Hispanics out of America than anything the Republicans ever did. Obama, again, is trying to play Hispanics for fools.

Lasting Political Change

To the grievous loss of the Democrat political machine, this is a year of fundamental change in the electorate, establishing new, lasting, long-term voting patterns. That is because the Democrats have been exposed as who they really are, socialist apostles of radical leftist revolutionaries like Saul Alinsky. Among the key changes will be the collapse of the limousine liberals, who will finally recognize that revolution is not fun when you are actually the target of the roused mob. This will be especially so if the Republicans target them by explaining realities they don't get from the former mainstream media, like how vast government support is now for the poor, and how high taxes are now on the most productive. Many of the most liberal members of Congress hail from wealthy, limousine liberal districts, and their loss will be an epochal blow to the Democrat machine. This may take until 2012 or 2014 to fully play out.

Another key change, New England will become a competitive 50/50 region long term, because the Yankees were never really socialists. They just still don't like southerners and their open religiosity, which seemed to have become the face of the Republican Party. Republicans who run exhibiting New England Yankee culture have proven they can sweep the region.

Of course, there are some who will never get it. I have heard directly from some of the handful of listeners of "progressive" talk radio ("progressive," again, is a polite word for "Marxist"), who display evidence of mental illness. (I have that evidence in writing if anyone wants to question it.) These "progressive talk radio" types represent single digits of public opinion, and that meager penetration will be all downhill from here.

The emerging Republican control of Congress will create a whole new political dynamic regarding President Obama, who will try to play off the Republican congressional majorities to win reelection, taking credit for the good they do while fear mongering them still more. President Obama does not have the ideological agility of a President Clinton to pull this off. Congressional Republicans will need to be smart in forcing him to veto populist conservative initiatives. More likely, however, the Democrats will eat him alive for politically trashing the party, and he won't even make it to the 2012 ballot, as I have also predicted. Notice the talk already of a Hillary challenge for 2012, even before the political earthquake this fall.

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About the Author
Peter Ferrara is Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy at the Heartland Institute, General Counsel of the American Civil Rights Union, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Senior Policy Advisor on Entitlements and Budget Policy at the National Tax Limitation Foundation. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush.