Sunday, November 12, 2006

Senate Midterms, scandal, not politics

Much is being made of the role of policy and the Iraq war in the Democratic takeover of the House and Senate. This seems to me to be misplaced.

Only two of the Senate losses can be attributed to policy issues: Santorum and Chafee. The voters were voting against GOP control of the Senate, not Chafee. The voters in Pensylvania realized that Santorum was exactly the type of Republican politician that disgusted them most.

The other four fell because of self inflicted wounds. Looking straight into a video camera held by an Indian and directing a racist insult at the as Allen did in Virginia is simply incomprehensible. Burns and DeWine were both felled by corruption, Burns because he is likely to face prosecution over his role in the Abramoff scandal, DeWine because the entire state party was embroiled in the Noe scandal.

It appears to me that the only race lost due to a bad campaign decision was Talent's loss to McCaskill where the Talent campaign mishandled the stem cell research issue. Michael J. Fox's campaign video was personal and powerful. When Rush Limbaugh attacked Fox as a faker the Talent campaign should have disowned him immediately. Instead they were silent and were (correctly) interpreted as endorsing Limbaugh's mean spirited attack.

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