Is 2010 1994 Redux?

With the rise of the Tea Party and the anxiety related to the economy many on the right are predicting that the 2010 election will be like the 1994 election year when the Republicans had sweeping wins.  But was 1994 like now?  Not by a long shot.  The political environment and the media were very different.  There was no blogosphere.  Cell phones were the size of a brick and owned by very few.  The economy had come out of a recession and prosperity abounded.  Things were better than they’d been in years.  Things were so good the Democrats figured they could skate into the election, so they did nothing.  And they lost.  Big time.

Things are different now.  Way different.  180 degrees different.  This election season is more like 1964, 1972, 1980 and possibly 1992.  The similarity can be attributed to three areas.  First a bad economy.  Second, a large and vocal fringe element.  Third, a large third party involvement.  Sound familiar?

The outcomes of these elections never went in favor of the fringe element, and that may be the case in 2010.  This is an “off year” election, which tends to bring out the fringe voters, but the stakes are bigger now, so we may see a larger turnout.  Let’s hope so.

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35 Comments

Filed under dnd

35 responses to “Is 2010 1994 Redux?

  1. dnd

    Bringing forward Brian’s last comment from the last thread:

    ‘The gloves are off’: Murkowski pursues write-in bid against Miller

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/119529-the-gloves-are-off-murkowski-pursues-write-in-bid-against-tea-party-favorite

    Just like the Whip Party!

  2. And in 1994 the GOP wasn’t on the verge of full scale civil war!

  3. TempeBev

    The biggest difference is we have a black man in office who has been called and accused of all sorts of racist things, too numerous to mention, except the belief that he’s foreign born, a Muslim and socialist.

    The advancement of technology has definitely contributed to the political climate of today.

  4. Dooty

    wasn’t there ONE (1) tax cut under Reagan and then Eleven (11) tax hikes? That is what I remember.

    • dnd

      You are correct Doots. One of the biggest was an increase in the payroll tax. Necessary, but very regressive. They need to lift the cap on FICA earnings. A-Rod should have the same FICA tax rate as I do.

  5. dog's eye view

    I am wondering if we do have a silent majority core of support for Obama, if only because the opposition is off the rails.

    What I’m hearing all the time re the enthusiasm gap and the bad polls for Democrats, etc, reminds me of the oldest strategy in campaigning: if you cannot enthuse voters about your own candidates, do your best to plant doubts about the opponent and keep his/her voters at home.

    I think you have an enormous contingent of voters who do not trust the mainstream media, on all sides, and for varying reasons.

    They’re listening, and there is still time to make the case.

    Last, I think VP Biden is terrific out there, and that we will see more of him.

    Really last: some of the enthusiasm gap is because Democratic voters are sickened by the complicity, spinelessness, and careerist self-serving behavior of their Democratic senators and probably congresscritters too.

    Too many Democrats are owned by the kleptocracy, and you can’t wish that away. It’s a problem.

    • dnd

      Dog, I think you may be right. The problem is that the media likes controversy and there’s no controversy with people who say times are tough but the President is doing the best job possible under the circumstances. They prefer to cover the wingnuts. Likewise they prefer to cover voters who say they’ll vote for the wingnuts no matter what, rather than the voters who say “there’s a reason they call ’em wingnuts.”

    • dnd

      Holy smokes. Cristine O’Donnell cancels on Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday. I can understand Face the Nation, as that crafty Bob Scheiffer would try to get her to say something stupid, but Fox News Sunday? I’m pretty sure Chris Wallace got the memo to lob softballs to teabaggers.

  6. When the going gets tough the tea baggers just go.

    • dnd

      The old contract on America was a political stunt that was never followed up on. I’m wondering if Thursday’s announcement will be the same.

  7. I suspect it will basically be the following:

    No taxes.

    Repeal health care reform (as if that could happen).

    No new mosques.

    Queers can’t get married.

  8. dog's eye view

    What about unemployment benefits that are keeping all those lazy asses from seeking work in our booming private economy?

    What about being able to afford to send your kid to college? We are talking state school, and maybe after the first two years at a community college to save money.

    How about taking excellent care of our wounded Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans, who gave up their futures so that we could have cheap oil and the neocons could swagger? Some vets survived with traumatic brain injury that is going to make them basically unemployable — do they go into my first category too?

    Asshats.

  9. dog's eye view

    How about freedom of religion?

    Even if you’re a Mooslim. And smarter and more community-oriented than your Christian neighbors.

    Do you have full rights like they do?

    How about the Fairness Doctrine? Because this Idiocracy thing is not working out too well for us.

  10. Dooty

    I noticed the other day that the per hour rate at the Community Colleges here is now up to $50 per hour. When I graduated from HS in 1963 $50 per hour was the going rate for TCU and SMU over in Dallas. I have no idea what the costs are now. I couldn’t afford $50 and I know I can’t afford what it is now.

  11. dog's eye view

    Speaking of freak show: Richard Cohen of WaPo wonders if the Republican Party has fallen under the spell of witchcraft.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/20/AR2010092004256.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    And yes, posting this with reservations because I think Richard Cohen is often an ass.

    But I really liked his passage about the misuse of the Constitution:

    “This fatuous infatuation with the Constitution, particularly the 10th Amendment, is clearly the work of witches, wiccans and wackos. It has nothing to do with America’s real problems and, if taken too seriously, would cause an economic and political calamity. The Constitution is a wonderful document, quite miraculous actually, but only because it has been wisely adapted to changing times. To adhere to the very word of its every clause hardly is respectful to the Founding Fathers. They were revolutionaries who embraced change. That’s how we got here.”

    (PS: got to laugh at the attached poll: do you share Richard Cohen’s view that the GOP is unfit to govern? 84% say…)

  12. dog's eye view

    RE contacting congresscritters prior to tax cuts vote:

    Some good advice from a Balloon Juicer (ok, moniker is NonyNony) to another BJ reader who lives in a birther’s district and doesn’t see how phoning Congress will help:

    “Think about doing it anyway. Half the reason that the House is the way it is is because right-wing screechers pick up the phone and scream at anyone regardless of party affiliation, while left-wing screechers tend to confine their screeching at their fellow Democrats.

    “Give your birther Rep’s staff a polite earful from a voter in their district whose pissed off about tax cuts for “rich asshole bankers who already got a bailout”. Make sure you mention the bankers and the bailout. Repeatedly. Don’t mention your party affiliation unless they ask you point blank – and if it’s not a lie tell them you’re an Independent.

    “Co-opt the Tea Party style rhetoric about bank bailouts and tie it to your outrage. At the very least you’ll stir up some shit in his office. If you can swing it, get some friends in the same district to do the same – a Rep that gets a half dozen or so calls about tax cuts for bankers from his district might start thinking something is up.”

    dog: Good advice. I live in such a GOP congressional district the Democrats often don’t run a candidate. But using this tack, because it might work.

  13. TempeBev

    D – are you getting my email?

  14. dog's eye view

    I think DADT is going to be a “win today’s skirmish, lose the war” moment.

    Now: bring up ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. And end them.

    Make Ben Nelson shiver!

    It’s in your best interests, Dems.

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