After Nominee Madness

With the US elections fast approaching, the levels of pro-Obama sycophantism is reaching near-frenzied levels. I always tend to get depressed when American elections come round, mostly because it’s oh so easy to lose perspective of just why one supports their chosen racehorse… erm, nominee.

Jim Manzi has written a pretty interesting conservative reminder to us all that it’s not as simple as just which pedigree poodle pips the post (that’s the last of the alliteration, I promise), but also a matter of how much control either party holds over the Senate:


The exact size of the majority in the House is not as crucial as it is in the Senate, where a key point is reached right around 60 seats for Democrats, which, in theory, allows them to prevent a filibuster. Given that the marginal Democrats and marginal Republicans are not reliable party-line voters, getting very close to 60 will prevent some filibusters, hitting 60 will prevent a lot, and getting even slightly past 60 will prevent yet a lot more.

Electing Obama is one thing, but the thought of a Democrat-dominated Senate and Congress is a little… ghastly. To anyone who thinks this might be a good idea, let me ask you this; Has a large majority in our own parliament been particularly effective? It hasn’t, and it creates an almost hubristic sense of dominance over policy, when what’s really needed is a closer aligment of parties. Manzi highlights that the odds of Democrats seizing the 60+ seats needed for such a majority in the Senate, even under the all-illuminating brilliance of the Oracle Obama, is 30% at best. Some comfort I’d suppose. Not electing McCain is one thing, but being able to take down Democrat special-interest-laden policies a peg or ten has always been crucial in American politics (and vice versa), but it’s especially so going into the next several years of American – and thus international – politics.

He makes the important point here that, as conservatives, it’s important to reconcile the very probable chance of an Obama presidency and focus forward beyond the elections to the actual corridors of power in the US government. It’s so easy to get caught up in the frothy fervour of popular electioneering, but it’s important to remember that breaking the Obama/Pelosi Democrat firesale post-elections is potentially more important than whether a brown man wins the election over an ageing veteran.

The people are stupid, Obama will thus be elected. Now it’s time to start thinking about how one could protect the legislative powers of the US government. A complete majority of Democrats in Congress and the Senate would be just as disatrous as a Republican-held one. It’s about time conservatives remembered this.