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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Opinion Journal today has a piece that completely defines "whistling past the graveyard..."

The consensus on the Senate is actually a major problem for the consensus on the House. Historically speaking, the House switches only when the Senate switches. In other words, the improbability of a Democratic capture of the Senate is a sign that a capture of the House is improbable.

Jay Cost is arguing that historically, the House of Representatives switches control only when the Senate switches, and thus, since the Dems are not going to capture the Senate, the House probably won't switch.


Just because something hasn't happened before doesn't mean it won't . More importantly, Cost cites a historical pattern concerning 6 switches of the House in the 20th Century. But the last switch was 1994, where the GOP did indeed win control of both houses. But the next most recent House switch was over 40 years prior to that! Basically, before the era of modern politics. That's a very small sample to be making predictions on.

Kid Various doesn't think there is much relevance to this analysis. In fact, Kid Various is extremely disturbed by the apparent acceptance of the larger consensus, which is that the GOP is gradually losing control of the House (and Senate for that matter.)

The thing is not whether or not the Republicans will lose either House, but the trend. We hold a 15 seat majority in the House - extremely narrow. So after 2006, even if we hold the House we'll have what? 5 seats?


So we've managed to hold on for another 2 years until we're wiped out? The Kid has seen this in New Jersey, where we went from veto-proof majorities in each house to having just a few seats picked off every election. Every cycle just losing a little more. Because we were no longer hungry. No longer striving to come up with innovative ideas. We were in control for a decade, but the trend line was down.

Until time came that we weren't in control. And now picture a Dem boot on our face - forever...

Their trend line ain't going anywhere (even after a corrupt US Senator forced from office and a gay-sex/blackmail gubernatorial scandal - what do Dems have to do in this freakin' state to bump the trendline down? Pass a law promoting pedophilia?)

This is where the national GOP is going at this point. Grasping at lame theories at why we won't lose our privileged positions isn't going to help. New ideas and an end to business as usual will help.

One interesting thing that Cost brings up is the 1930 House election.

(A seventh switch occurred in the middle of the 72nd Congress. The 1930 elections left the GOP with a slim majority. However, 14 representatives-elect died before the 72nd Congress convened, and the Democrats won enough of the subsequent special elections to take the House. This capture was "ratified" in the 1932 elections, which would have delivered Congress to the Democrats even if this tragedy had not occurred. So, let us henceforth identify 1932 as the seventh time that the House has switched since 1918.)

That's freakin' ODD. How did 14 reps-elect die in a couple of months?


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