Horserace addendum

by Henry on October 12, 2008

As a quick addendum to my most recent post, Patrick Ruffini at _The Next Right_ effectively calls for the RNC “to give McCain the shiv”:http://www.thenextright.com/patrick-ruffini/save-the-filibuster. It’s worth quoting _in extenso_ for added schadenfreude.

If you’re a conservative looking at the odds, what should really scare you is not the 80 to 90 percent chance that Barack Obama is the next President. It’s the very real chance that Democrats could get to 60 or tantalizingly close to it in the Senate. … If the Presidential race manages to get tighter than it is, it won’t matter in the end. A loss is a loss, just as a win is a win. … But marginal gains will matter in the Senate. There a group of seats we should not lose that are teetering on the brink — North Carolina, Oregon, Minnesota, and now, quite possibly Georgia.

The NRSC and the NRCC, like the McCain campaign at the national level, are being buried by the Democrats’ massive financial advantage. In 2006, the RNC was able to come to the rescue of these committees. In one case, I believe one of their independent expenditures tipped the outcome with their humorous, effective, and perfectly legitimate ad against Harold Ford in Tennessee. …

Extraordinary circumstances compel us to begin considering different strategies, including a break with the RNC’s tradition as the Presidential committee in Presidential years. The RNC’s IE unit should drop at least $15 million on 4 or 5 key Senate races that are salvageable in the last three weeks. And the decision for Victory to stay in or pull out of states should be heavily influenced by the presence of key Senate and House contests. And McCain should start explicitly making the argument for divided government, with him as the only hope of preserving it. This is unlikely to be a voting issue at the Presidential level, but we need to get the idea percolating that we are about to elect Obama with unchecked, unlimited power. …

And while we all to some extent will continue to fixate on the Presidential race, we need to understand the very real consequences if the Senate is irredeemably lost, and if our bench in the House is wiped out. You may not know it, but conservative icons like John Shadegg (AZ-3) and Tom McClintock (CA-4) could lose.

I hadn’t hitherto realized that ‘humorous, effective and entirely legitimate’ was a synonym for ‘sleazy racebaiting innuendo’ but apart from that drive-by, Ruffini’s analysis seems to confirm my argument of a couple of days ago. The Republican money people are trying to figure out who to chuck out of the lifeboat before it breaches, and I wouldn’t advise McCain to be hanging around too close to the gunwales. The RNC probably wouldn’t cut him adrift completely because of party morale, downticket voting etc, but it would transfer as much of its resources as it could to vulnerable Senators. A correspondent notes in email that we saw something similar happen to Dole in 1996 – and then, the Republicans didn’t face the near-universal electoral calamity that they’re facing into now.

{ 16 comments }

1

Ben Alpers 10.12.08 at 9:37 pm

Here in Oklahoma, where McCain and Palin are doing very well indeed, Sen. Jim Inhofe seems to be quite successfully running for reelection on McCain’s coattails. Inhofe’s ads against his opponent Andrew Rice (who would be recognizably a Democrat outside of the Sooner state, which is fairly unusual for us) have consistently tied Rice to Obama and echoed the major themes of the McCain campaign. The latest one calls Rice “dangerous.”

2

MarkUp 10.12.08 at 10:48 pm

Isn’t Sen. Inhofe aiming for the new cabinet post of Sec’t of Education, Management, and Environment {SeMe}?

3

Kevin Donoghue 10.12.08 at 11:14 pm

It calls to mind an old Private Eye caption (about Robert Maxwell AFAICR): The Rats are Leaving the Sinking Shit.

Can anyone explain to me why McCain made it so obvious that he was giving up on Michigan? Surely it would have made more sense to keep up a at least a pretence of fighting on there?

4

P O'Neill 10.12.08 at 11:47 pm

Can anyone explain to me why McCain made it so obvious that he was giving up on Michigan? Surely it would have made more sense to keep up a at least a pretence of fighting on there?

Apparently the loons have the easiest time with this decision. I have heard of an e-mail circulating (although I haven’t seen it myself), along with all the other Obama “rumours”, that McCain had to leave Michigan because (a) Michigan is full of Muslims and since (b) Obama is a Muslim, McCain couldn’t win there.

5

Matt 10.13.08 at 12:04 am

The amusing thing about the linked post is that it doesn’t once mention the possibility of /positive/ campaigning. It’s just taken as gospel that the only way the RNC can assist is by running negative ads against the opponent (though I guess sometimes they can be humorous ads, so that’s all good).

I guess it’s revealing. Maybe it’s something a few Republicans will ponder after they’ve been extinguished as a force in US government.

6

nick s 10.13.08 at 1:20 am

Ruffini’s fooling himself if he thinks that NC is a Senate seat the GOP ought not to lose. Elizabeth Dole has been AWOL for most of her term, and the state’s shifting demographics matter less in this case than her disengagement and ineffectiveness: her most notable achievement of late was presiding over the NRSC’s atrocious 2006 campaign. If the GOP didn’t want to lose that seat, the grand poobahs should have eased Liddy into retirement; then again, recruiting someone in this climate is probably tricky.

7

ed 10.13.08 at 2:42 am

Indeed,

In one case, I believe one of their independent expenditures tipped the outcome with their humorous, effective, and perfectly legitimate ad against Harold Ford in Tennessee. …

is high comedy.

8

Cryptic Ned 10.13.08 at 3:00 am

They should have run Vernon Robinson for the Senate. That would have livened things up, as compared to the stultifying boredom of Liddy Dole.

9

central texas 10.13.08 at 3:04 am

It is certainly amusing to see a Republican True Believer worry about the consequences of “we are about to elect Obama with unchecked, unlimited power. Power corrupts…” given their 8 year concentrated assault on the U.S. Constitution and adulation of the power of the presidency.

I would oppose Obama in abuses of the Constitution as do Bush and did Clinton, but it would be really nice to listen to Ruffini and all of his friends whining from a cell for just a little while.

10

Davy 10.13.08 at 4:59 pm

Ah, I really have been enjoying the Republican meltdown. I can’t wait to see the wailing and gnashing come election day. The only sad bit is I thought I was above such base schadenfruede.

Oh, well…

11

Biff 10.13.08 at 8:04 pm

who to chuck out of the lifeboat before it breaches, and I wouldn’t advise McCain to be hanging around too close to the gunwales. The RNC probably wouldn’t cut him adrift

The nautical metaphors prove conclusively that Bill Ayers wrote this post.

12

live 10.13.08 at 8:17 pm

North Carolina isn’t “teetering on the brink.” Elizabeth Dole is going to lose. A GOP strategist has already been quoted as saying they shouldn’t even bother counting the votes.

13

Robert 10.13.08 at 8:30 pm

As we get closer to the election and it looks like Obama is going to win, I find it interesting how many Republicans I see talking about how important a divided government is. They say that since the Dems have the House and Senate, that people should vote for McCain so that “one party doesn’t have too much power.”

I’d like to ask some of these people who they voted for in 2004. Obviously with divided government being so important, they should have voted for Kerry, but somehow I doubt it. Obviously Repubs think that divided government is only important when it’s the Dems that are in power.

14

Kay 10.13.08 at 8:56 pm

After raping the Constitution, stealing our wealth and transferring it to the most elite and corrupt, waging an illegal and immoral war based on lies, and borrowing from our enemies to pay for it etc. etc. it is time to throw the bums out! Republicans need to regroup and figure out its core principles. Is the 10 trillion national debt a good idea? How about no-bid contracts to donors and friends (same thing)? Remember the bricks of cash literally thrown around for sport by young Republicans in Iraq early in the game? Firing the generals who said we needed more troops and that it would cost more than advertised? The hiring or incompetent cronies? Katrina where the bulk of the people woh died were elderly,40% of that group white? Firing anyone who dissented against a White House run by the political wing? The outing of a CIA agent? The Rule of Law in general! If you love the Republican party you should vote for Bob Barr,sit it out or something else. Anybody but McCain, and his cynical sidekick Palin.

15

John 10.13.08 at 9:52 pm

Once aboard the lugger the woman is mine……It get’s Pythonesque doesn’t it…….well Ruffini is somewhat Pythonesque as are many on the far right. Anyone wanting to indulge a Pythonesque portion of Schadenfreude should pay a fleeting visit to some of these far right sites like Free Republic or NRO where the fantasies fly like Swallows in Spring. My favorite so far, it was a tough choice, is the financial crisis is all manufactured, by George Soros I suppose, in order to assist Obama and hinder McCain. The sainted Jonah who is intelligent enough to understand the horror of it, faces years when the demand for far right journalism will be at a discount so he will have to shlep around speaking gigs at second rate universities to audiences many of whom will harbor a vague anti Semitism that has been passed down from their forbears. Some of these other characters face a long career in WalMart which should make them happy since they are always saying what a great employer it is.

16

Greg 10.13.08 at 10:32 pm

And…Biff wins an internets.
Biff, it’s in the mail.

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