Another example came from a conservative friend of mine. She was a school-teacher, and thus required to join the union. She was horrified to see that some of her union dues were being contributed to various gay and lesbian advocacy groups. She couldn’t understand what the benefit of that would be to her job or the union. So I explained to her: Democrats support unions and the LBGT community supports Democrats. Hence the ‘strange’ alliance. But neither example is at all surprising, since to win the majority vote of over 300 MILLION people, you need more than just one wedge issue or one coalition. The Funny-Mentalists ALONE couldn’t win a pie-eating contect and neither could the
And this is why the Tea Party is so stupid: They can only hurt their own cause. They can only help the party that’s LEAST like them, ideologically. And I’ll go out on a limb right now and predict that the more prominent the tea party becomes, the better the Democrats will do in the Mid-Terms and the 2012 election. That’s not to say that they won’t lose any seats. They will. It’s inevitable. But I’ll guarantee you there will several seats (and possibly the Presidency) that the Republicans could have won, but will lose due to the actions of the uber-Right, the RINO-Hunters and the Tea-Baggers.
The most recent example of this was the recent NY-23 race for the House. Democrat Bill Owens won with 73,137 votes. Republican (the incumbent party since the 1850’s) Dede Scozzafava dropped out of the race, but still got 8,582 votes – as a lame duck candidate! “Conservative” Party candidate Doug Hoffman got 69,553. Now… combine the votes for the “Republicans” and the “Conservatives” and you’ve got 78,535 – not only a victory, but a larger margin of victory than Owns had over Hoffman. Now… maybe Scozzafava wouldn’t have gotten EVERY ONE of Hoffman’s votes, but he only would have needed 64,592, about 93% of them, to win. And I don’t think you’d really see much more than 7% of the “Conservative” (meaning ‘clearly to the Right of the Republicans’) vote going to the Democratic candidate!
Another example that hits closer to home with Liberals would be Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election. Ralph Nader (someone generally perceived as more Liberal than Vice President Al Gore) got 97,488 votes in a State that George W. Bush (officially) won by only 537 votes! If Gore gets just 50.3% of the Nader Vote in Florida alone, he wins the state and he’s our 43rd President, Supreme Court be damned.* And considering how few Nader votes would have likely gone to Bush, it’s pretty clear that Gore would have won Florida decisively. And Nader’s political cause was hardly served better by eight years of a George W. Bush presidency!*
But I want to show you one more historic example, just in case you’re still not convinced: The 1912 Presidential Election.
In 1912 the Republican Party was in turmoil, much the way it is now. Although they had a conservative incumbent President in William Howard Taft, the progressive wing, led by former President Theodore Roosevelt was feeling increasingly disenfranchised and broke off, forming the Bull-Moose Party. (Possibly the only Party name stupider than “Tea,” except for maybe the “Know-Nothing” Party - ironically yet another Whig/Republican offshoot! LOL.) As history played out, here’s what the electoral map looked like in 1912:
Democrat Woodrow Wilson won in LANDSLIDE, 435 to 88 to 8.
BUT… Here’s what might have happened, if the Republicans hadn’t imploded that year. Let’s assume they managed to agree on a Taft/Roosevelt or Roosevelt/Taft ticket, and then combine those votes, state by state. Then, just to be fair, and to try and compensate for the fact that not EVERY Roosevelt voter would have been a Taft/Roosevelt voter, we’ll go ahead and give all of Socialist candidate, Eugene Debs’ votes to Woodrow Wilson. Here’s what the map would look like under that scenario:
Woodrow Wilson now LOSES 285 to 246. A close and hard fought campaign, to be sure, but one the Republican clearly had a good shot at winning by any interpretation. But by splitting the vote in so many states, they ended up losing in a landslide. The only state that would have flipped to Wilson was California, which was much less of a factor back then than it is now. Wilson and Roosevelt ran neck and neck, hence the split electoral vote. But Eugene Debs cleaned President Taft’s clock there. So the 174 vote margin (wow!) that Roosevelt won by, becomes a 75,113 vote margin of victory for Wilson, assuming he’s given all of the Debs vote. But that’s the only gain for Wilson. Twenty other states would have move into the Republican’s column, however, and they’d have won.
And, just in case I’ve got you wondering, George H. Bush would have won reelection in 1992 by getting just over 66% of the Perot vote, nationally. In fact, he doesn’t even need that much: Between 52% and 66% of the Perot Vote would have been enough to flip Colorado (59%), Connecticut (65%), Georgia (52%), Iowa (66%), Kentucky (62%), Maine (64%), Montana (55%), Nevada (55%), New Hampshire (53%), New Jersey (58%), Ohio (54%) and Wisconsin (60%) and give George H. Bush a second term, by a margin of 274 to 264 Electoral Votes over Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Perot no doubt took some votes away from Clinton as well, but given the numbers involved above, saying that Perot screwed things up for Bush is definitely fair.
Also, to answer your next question, Bob Dole would have needed about 98% of the Perot vote, nationally, to defeat Clinton in 1996; and that’s much more of a stretch. So, I wouldn’t say Perot was a factor in ’96 the way he was in ‘92. But who knows? Maybe Two-Term Vice President Dan Quayle would have been atop the ticket in ’96, if Perot hadn’t botched it up for him four years earlier!
And also, just in case you’re
About the only time a prominent third-party candidate hasn’t screwed things up for the front runner was 1968. In ’68, former Vice President Richard Nixon soundly defeated incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey, despite a strong showing in the South by
In any case (in every case) I think the point is clear: The Teabagger Party, the RINO Hunters and all other manner of loud, angry, dangerous and scary right-wingers can only take votes away from the REPUBLICAN candidate. The Democrats will get whatever votes they would have anyway (*assuming Ralph Nader’s learned his fucking lesson!) and what’s left will either go the Republican or get split 2 or more ways. So REST EASY, Liberals! The Tea-Baggers can only attract those who were going to vote against us anyway! And just remember, should things not work out quite the way the Right plans over the next two years: You heard it here first! LOL
* Just a personal Note: As much as I hate George W. Bush, I truly hate Ralph Nader MORE for delivering the Presidency to him! I hate Ralph Nader so much I can taste in my balls! If I ever meet George Bush on the street, I’ll still probably shake his hand and maybe even ask for an autograph. (After all, as much as I criticize Ronald Reagan, I still have, and cherish, the letter I received from him back when I was seven, in response to the ‘get well’ card I made for him and sent to him after he got shot by John Hinckley.) But if I ever meet Ralph Nader on the street, I’m probably going to punch him in the face as hard as I can, and as often as any bystanders present will let me! And that’s coming from a guy who’s worked in the field of automotive safety for the past thirteen years! It’s unbelievable how many things got so fucked up just because that uncompromising asshole [Nader] flunked Political Science 101.