The Spectacle Blog

The Coming Republican Surge

By on 10.12.06 | 4:34PM

I'll probably elaborate on this in my column here next week, but for now, let me just note again that I expect Republican fortunes to surge between now and election day. Does this mean I expect a big win for the GOP? No. But it does mean I expect that these elections won't be a total bloodbath. The battle for control of each house of Congress will probably go down to the wire. But watch for an upset in at least one race, by a Republican, to provide a crucial seat in maintaining a majority. Watch, for instance, Randy Graf's race in Jim Kolbe's Arizona district. Or Mark Kennedy for Senate in Minnesota. Or, as I earlier wrote, Santorum for Senate in Pennsylvania. Or Bob Hogue for the House in Hawaii. Or even, in a December runoff, Joe Lavigne against scandal-plagued William Jefferson in New Orleans.

The Libertarian Vote

By on 10.12.06 | 1:27PM

Cato has a study up by David Boaz and David Kirby that contains the most thorough analysis I've seen on libertarian voters, including estimates on how large of a voting block they are and how the block is potentially capable of swinging close elections. It is also pretty honest about some of the problems libertarians have in gaining political influence, especially their inability (or unwillingness) to organize. From the abstract:

Not all Americans can be classified as liberal or conservative. In particular, polls find that some 10 to 20 percent of voting-age Americans are libertarian, tending to agree with conservatives on economic issues and with liberals on personal freedom. The Gallup Governance Survey consistently finds about 20 percent of respondents giving libertarian answers to a two-question screen.

Re: Warner Not Running

By on 10.12.06 | 10:15AM

That's pretty surprising, if true. I had always thought of him as the most-electable Democrat, and the one with the best chance to beat Hillary. But as you say Paul, it seems that now there's no sense in fighting the tsunami.

Sign Me Up for Mindless Voting

By on 10.12.06 | 8:51AM

It's the time of year when lots of fellow conservatives will make the case that we should vote for a third party and send a message via Howard Phillips, Pat Buchanan, or the libertarians.

Put me down for voting in the GOP, dissatisfying as it is.

When I worked as public policy director for a conservative advocacy group in Georgia, the state legislature was still controlled by Democrats. In a parliamentary body, it is extremely simple to bury the other sides issues at the committee level, particularly if the petitioners don't have the media on their side. I saw that dynamic up close.

If you register a protest vote and help the Democrats get elected, the entire conservative slate of issues will go underwater and exist in committee and sub-committee purgatory until another change of power occurs.

I'm not in the conservative lobbyist business anymore, but I sure don't wish that frustration on the guys and gals that are. So, I'll just keep pulling the lever for the Elephants.

A-Team v. Banacek

By on 10.11.06 | 10:31PM

Jed, I'm tempted to defer to you in this battle over classic TV, but I just can't.

The A-Team was one of the most intriguing shows I had ever seen when it premiered after the Super Bowl so many years ago, BUT . . .

If I ever have to watch an elite squad of deadly fellows weld a bunch of scrap iron into armor and rig up non-lethal projectile weapons in order to drive a group of bullies out of a small town ONE MORE TIME, it'll be one time more too many!

However, I DO agree with you that Columbo was the class act of the Movie Mystery Wheel. I've got seasons 1-5 sitting on the shelf to be consumed one by one with the bride on select nights after we put the kiddies to bed.