FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
No, The Thumpin’ is/was not inevitable.
Stuart Rothenberg is having absolutely none of this preemptive excuse-making that the Democrats are starting to indulge in. You seem the conventional wisdom is now congealing into the notion that of course the Republicans were going to have a great year in 2010, and it was absolutely silly for anybody to think that it was ever in doubt that this would happen:
…Indeed, on Monday’s edition of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough, a former GOP Congressman from Florida, echoed that point, asserting that a “realignment” in the House was inevitable this year, even if unemployment were at 4 percent.
The reality is quite different. When I first started talking to Republican and Democratic insiders in December 2008, none of them believed that anything was “inevitable” in November 2010.
Ain’t that the truth.
Now, I am not a ‘Republican insider.’ I’m sure that relieves quite a few people, in fact. But let me remind folks of what I was saying in November of 2008. When I wrote this:
…this is all about getting your head back in the game. We have two years before the 2010 election. We can spend them contemplating our navels, or we can spend them doing useful work in giving the rest of the Party critical information about the building blocks of a future Congressional majority.
…I can assure you that I would not have done so if I thought that we were going to get that future Congressional majority with or without Republican grassroots activism. I didn’t; back then I expected that we would get a combination of incremental change and strategic triangulation from the incoming administration to keep conservatives and center-right types from organizing. It was the obvious and correct move, after all. People didn’t vote for Obama and the Democrats because they suddenly loved big government; they voted for them because they thought that the US would get competent government and an end to divisive domestic politics.
And even the people who were expecting nothing of the sort weren’t necessarily expecting that nothing to be quite so… dramatic.
Now, there are two reasons why the Democrats are pushing this narrative. First off, they don’t particularly want to explain how their original “you’ve got me” rely-on-the-President strategy for 2010 is currently out in the back, in a ditch, and on fire. Second, there are going to be a lot of hungover netrooters on the morning after Election Night, and once they get over being gobsmacked, heartbroken, and vomitous they are going to be very, very angry. Best to lay the groundwork early.
PS: We can still lose, by the way.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.