The Puzzle of American Elections: the Midterms

Dr. Turley explains the phenomenon known as “the American mid-term elections”. They have their own rhythm and rationale:

Our Congressional District, Five, is the biggest in Virginia and takes in a lot of blue bubbles – e.g., Charlottesville. So I was sure the (in)famous Leslie Cockburn (Alexander Cockburn’s sister-in-law) would sweep through those urban enclaves. I was so wrong, so delightfully wrong.

I wish Denver Riggleman III the best and hope his ideas prevail. The House will shift to blue, but at least our District is still red. Just think, we have Nancy Pelosi back with the gavel again. Her looney-tunes pronouncements, her private, government-funded flights home to California and her heavily-fenced estate will continue. But the botox may be over. One can hope.

Meanwhile, in the Swamp, the boats are taking on water. Whatcha wanna bet all those along for the ride are looking for golden paddles?

10 thoughts on “The Puzzle of American Elections: the Midterms

  1. In favor of Dr. Turley’s thesis, I went to vote about 11 am. My district is heavily conservative in Texas, and only 123 people had voted ahead of me. Since that was past the morning traffic, I knew the working people in the district were not taking the election that seriously.

    On the other hand, I think the House-Senate split this time actually reflected the Demographic shifts. The immigrants, almost all Democratic, were bunched up in a few urban areas in a few states, increasing the House members there, but not yet tipping less urban states, which is why more Republican Senators were elected.

    Both of my conservative state legislators lost, to socialist candidates, and an empty suit like Beta O’Rourke came close to unseating Senator Ted Cruz. Similarly, the Democratic governor candidates for Florida and Georgia were simply horrible, but lost in very tight races.

    I think there’s a possibility of holding the Senate and the Presidency for awhile, as long as migrants continue to bunch up in a few states and urban areas. There is a reason Hillary won the popular vote, but lost the election. If my state of Texas flips, though, due to demographic changes, the stabilizing power of the state-oriented Senate and the electoral college will not be able to hold forever.

    • Those demographic changes in Texas will be partly driven by California ex-pats, who like the lower taxes but will tend to vote in California-type socialism. Texas will gradually lose its particular, uniquely (I don’t use that word lightly) Texan je ne sais quoi.

      • As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m currently reading the anti-Federalist papers, which were the arguments against the Constitution and in favor of amending the Articles of Confederation to address problems that came up.

        One of the interesting things I found out was that each state had its own policy of accepting immigrants, prior to the Constitution. Actually, the states were more like separate, sovereign countries bound through a treaty. The Constitution completely flipped the relationship, subordinating the states to the authority of a central, federal power.

        Under the Articles of Confederation, Texas could simply refuse to admit the California ex-pats. And Texas could definitely implement a wall on its borders to keep out invaders and intruders from the south.

        I think the arguments for confederation are quite compelling. One problem, I think, the anti-Federalists had was that they wrote dense, foggy prose that was very difficult to understand. They confused rhetorical flourishes with clear, straightforward arguments.

  2. Interesting perspective as always from Dr Turley. Trump cleverly elevated the “caravan” to lift uncontrolled migration and unprotected borders into the election. Some conservative commentators were bemoaning that he was not talking much about the economy, and other success stories. But Trump has perceptive political insight and knew those issues are not as motivating to get out the voters on the day.
    Dr Turley regularly talks of the collapse of left wing socialist parties in European politics. And this is largely due to the uncontrolled migration from muslim countries since 2015. But it is interesting in other non European “Western” democracies (Canada, Australia & New Zealand) these socialist parties are in better shape, but the reason is probably that geography has saved them from the likelihood of being overrun by uninvited foreigners (though the Aussies have had to firmly deal with boat migrants). While migrants breaking through the border is not an issue, socialist parties will still find following among a significant segment of voters. But voters will turn to the parties of the right when they feel prosperity and security (cultural and physical) is under threat.

  3. I just hope the House Dems don’t get really crazy and elect Hillary as their speaker. That would be a ploy to make her 3d in line for the presidency…

    • Hillary isn’t a member of the House. She can’t be “elected” to any position in the House without first being elected to the House itself. Since she is a former Senator from NY, she would be most unlikely ever to run as a House delegate.

      Hillary is saving herself for another go at the presidential primary – and that circus will begin in 2019.

  4. From the British perspective, US politics are confusing (I daresay the reverse is true!) Over here, the “left” is red (as in “We’ll keep the red flag flying”) and the Conservatives blue.

    More seriously, and allowing that ours is not a presidential system, and that the American version sensibly incorporates checks and balances (President, Congress, Supreme Court), holding mid-term elections, as opposed to general ones where all national politicians are elected at the same time, seems designed to hamstring any administration halfway through the President’s term.

  5. Mark these staggered elections are part of the checks and balances.
    They are not designed to hamstring a new administration but serve as a test to determine the performance of the new administration halfway.
    Not unusual. Here in the Netherlands we use the same staggered elections.
    We elect a new parliament and thus a new administration and two years later we elect a new senate. Just to keep things in balance.

Comments are closed.