I know this sounds cheesy, but I just can’t help it. Volunteering makes me feel a little more connected to my community. And it feels good.
As most of you know, we were particularly active with the GOTV efforts in 2008 during the last few days of the campaign. Sebastian took Monday and Tuesday of the election week off, and we spent Saturday through Tuesday walking precincts and calling voters.
Somehow we managed to pick the oddest walks through precincts. There was one house that had no driveway. It was run down, and I wasn’t even sure that someone was living there. There was someone registered to vote there, that was for sure. But this thing looked like it was ready to collapse in the next few years. Today, when I went to pick up m new glasses, I saw that house again. Only now it has new siding, a new railing that leads up the pathway to the door, and even a real driveway. It looks like a nice little home.
I don’t know if the same person lives there as when we came by in November 2008. But if they do, I really want to go congratulate them on their tremendous home improvement projects. And I like that feeling. Even though they aren’t in my neighborhood, I feel a kind of neighborly pride for them. Who knows, maybe I will get to compliment them for their good work if I pick their precinct again.
Howard Nemerov has done some great research on the election. Part one gives an insight into how interest groups use endorsements as a political tool. Part two covers how much of a factor guns really were in this electoin. The final part three takes on the Brady notion of “sensible gun laws”. Howard concludes that the Brady Campaign has been greatly overstating its influence on the Democratic victory of 2008.
It’s worth noting that while NRA hasn’t let loose all of the grassroots force through an alert calling for specific action on Holder, they haven’t been silent.
Since he was nominated, I have received at leastthreestories from them via daily emails with warnings for members about Holder’s positions. They are at least educating, even if they aren’t calling for action. Elections have consequences. You can’t realistically expect the incoming President with the most anti-gun record in history to appoint pro-gun people.
There have been minor grumblings by some of the left about Obama’s cabinet picks and moderation on some issues post-election. But it’s rather quite shocking to see some of fury unleashed when he announced the man who will lead the Inauguration prayer. But it was Jim Geraghty’s comment that made me smile when thinking about Obama’s rhetoric and approach during the election versus the reality now.
Maybe this is a reflection of a disappointing second term for President Bush, but I’m more or less used to politicians disappointing me. The Right pushed hard to reelect the guy in 2004 because they didn’t want an economic liberal, and four years later we’re hearing, “I have abandoned free-market principles in order to save the free-market system.” Henry Paulson was supposed to be the most savvy treasury secretary in ages; now he seems to be making up the plan as he goes along. Two disastrous cycles for the GOP in Congress, and they keep the same leadership in both chambers. John McCain took only a few weeks to start complaining about unfair tactics from the RNC again. Every politician fails to live up to expectations in one form or another — even Reagan gave conservatives only one-and-a-half good Supreme Court justices out of three opportunities.
Yes, I do think that Bush has been responsible for quite a few conservatives being disappointed, disillusioned, or otherwise bitter about politicians. However, I also realize that Obama’s broad messages – not the few attempts at talking policy – were designed to allow voters to make of him what they wanted. They recoiled at our suggestion to look more closely at his background and actual votes because his message about hope and change was vague enough so that they could interpret it to match their views. It would be like telling them to question their own personal histories. In all honesty, even though he initially pledged not to run because he was too inexperienced, I really wonder if he didn’t have to run now in order to keep his record as short as possible so he could use such lofty ideals without being so easily called out on it.
But back to people being disappointed. They feel mislead. I would say it’s really their own fault, but I also view Obama’s message as similar to a very successful ad campaign. Since his base really hates that kind of stuff, they may just now be opening their eyes to see that while they weren’t actively lied to, they did buy into a message that left all the icky stuff out. And rather than hating themselves for not looking into it more closely, they’ll hate him for it. But I think most of them will get over it. I think we’ll see the farther left members of Congress do just enough to make them happy and they will forget about this affair. However, if Obama doesn’t come out as a strong advocate for their causes at some point (he was a community organizer, you know), then they may redirect their energy to the Congressional and state candidates who don’t leave them with less buyers remorse wondering, “Where’s the hopechange?”
Gun sales are up, and most gun dealers consider it bittersweet because they know that the risk of new gun control is very high. They might enjoy brisk sales, but not with the knowledge that more gun control will likely be coming down the pike. But one major gun shop/range owner in Virginia is swimming in the dough from increased sales and then giggles like a school girl when he admits that he supported Obama in the election.
Blue Ridge Arsenal is a pretty big range and gun store in Northern Virginia. I wonder how many of their customers know that the owner helped lay the foundation for possible future gun bans.
For those of you looking for a place to shoot in the DC area, I would suggest the NRA Range in Fairfax.
Looks like Tom McClintock managed to pull it out in California’s 4th. McClintock is a great friend of the Second Amendment, and of conservative causes in general. Unlike a lot of other politicians, he walks the walk. So this is also a nice silver lining to an otherwise ominous dark cloud.
Saxby Chambliss received 49.8% of the vote on November 4th. His Democratic rival, Jim Martin, received 46.8%, with 3.4% going to the Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley. Last night was the runoff election between Chambliss and Martin, which both sides dumped a lot of resources into, including NRA into helping Chambliss retain his Senate seat. Chambliss defeated Martin 57.4% to 42.6%. Between November and now, he increased his lead by 13 percentage points to sail to re-election in a landslide victory.
Aside from preserving a filibuster for Republicans, it will also serve as a warning to Democrats that their victory may be a lot more pyrrhic than they might like to imagine. Without Obama’s coattails to ride in the midterm election, Democrats might find themselves in serious trouble in 2010 if they overreach. The Republican Party is down, but not out, and Pelosi, Reid and Obama govern to the left at their peril. A third effect this will likely have is to decrease the likelihood the Democrats will up the ante in the Coleman/Franken election, since with Chambliss’ victory, it doesn’t matter as much now.
This is a good victory. A shot across the bow of the Democrats from the people of Georgia. We are down, but not out. On to 2010.