The election of 2006 is over. I guess you could say it was full of voter irregularities because for the first time since 1992 voters gave the Democrats a majority in both the House and the Senate. First time in 14 years? Yeah, I'd say that’s irregular.
It is interesting to note a couple of things about this election. First, it was interesting to hear the pre-election run up with liberals claiming that new voting machines meant there would be widespread cheating. Also, that this election, despite the voters electing Democrats, is not a move to the left for the country.
First the claims by liberals that voting could be tampered with due to more widespread use of new voting machines. Liberals used this cry to lay down the strategy for another round of post-defeat "Republicans bad, Democrats good" screaming. They've done it since the 2000 election, why would this year be different? Unless, of course, the Democrats won, then they’d say (and have) that all of the voting was on the up-and-up.
Most interesting was the media’s reporting of the "glitches" throughout the day on November 7th. "Election workers can't use machines!" "Machines aren't working!" "Unauthorized software found on some machines!" On and on the liberal media machine began spinning this election before results even started to come in. And when the results started to roll in? All of those stories of voter irregularities went away.
Come Wednesday, when it was clear that Democrats had taken the House, and would probably take the Senate too, the stories of "widespread" voting problems had disappeared. It makes you wonder what would have happened if the Republicans had kept the House and Senate, would the media have "forgotten" the reports of irregularities? Or would that have been the sub-headline under every "Republicans Retain Power" story in the nation's papers and on the nation's news sites?
In the end it proves one thing; conservatives are more classy in losing than liberals are. Then again, conservatives have more class in every area of life than do liberals.
Now on to what this election means. If you just heard Wednesday morning (and most of you did) that Democrats gained control of the House and (probably) the Senate, you would have thought: "Wow! A victory for liberalism!" But that would be wrong.
The problems the Republicans faced were two-fold. First, they took for granted their Christian-conservative base. Second, the new Democratic candidates made a definite play to be right-of-center.
Republicans have owned the Christian-conservative vote for two decades. Moderates are where Republicans have made the strongest gains in the last 15 years. But many of those moderates also lean to the right on social issues: abortion, capital punishment, 2nd amendment rights. Republicans in the last two years have taken for granted the right-of-center voter in hopes of gaining more left-of-center voters. And that strategy backfired in a bad way for them.
No liberal is going to vote Republican. Liberals are for the destruction of the unborn, for using the destroyed unborn for scientific experimentation, for protecting criminals (anti-capital punishment) and for taking away 2nd amendment rights. Since Republicans are seen as opposite of those positions, no liberal is going to vote Republican. So trying to gain more left-wing voters just doesn't work for Republicans.
But by making a play for those voters, the Republicans agitated their conservative base, especially those that tend toward the liberal side of the fiscal house anyway. Since the Republicans weren't seen by those voters as champions for morals, they voted for their pocketbooks instead. Bad move by those voters, but it is what they did none the less.
Democrats on the other hand took advantage of this by running more socially conservative candidates. Many of the Democrats that were elected are social conservatives. Heath Shuler, the representative from North Carolina is an example of this. Pro-life and pro-gun, Shuler beat his Republican opponent because he offered socially conservative voters another choice. No longer did those voters feel obligated to vote Republican because Shuler is also pro-life. Many social conservatives cannot, in good conscience, vote for a pro-abortion candidate, this writer included.
What you ended up with was conservatives that felt abandoned by the Republicans (thanks John McCain), and Democrats offering conservatives an alternative. An alternative that hasn't been there from their side in the past. The result? A Democratic majority in the House and Senate.
The problem now is this: just because Democrats ran campaigns as social conservatives doesn't mean that they'll vote that way once in office. Watchdog groups will have Heath Shuler and other Democrats that claim to be social conservatives under a microscope. Fortunately we have President Bush, with his power of veto, as the last line of defense for the next two years.
And finally, if you want to believe what the media wants you to believe about the war in Iraq being the big issue, then go ahead and let the wool be pulled over your eyes. Those on opposite sides of that issue have been on those respective sides from day one. Very little movement in either direction has occurred. If you believed it was the right thing to do in April of 2003 then you probably feel it was the right thing to do in November 2006. Bill O'Reilly aside that is.