Iâ€˜m trying really hard to avoid blogging about politics, but I canâ€™t pass up the opportunity to gloat a bit.
Here is a quote taken from a discussion on the Swing State Project (emphasis mine):
There are even those who postulate that the Republicans could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat this November by putting a greater distance between themselves and Bush on immigration, like [the Republican candidate] didâ€¦ I think we should all be a little more cautious of our expectations for this November. The GOP has thrown a huge monkey wrench in the form of Immigration into the Democratsâ€™ 2006 strategy, and itâ€™s unclear yet how the Democrats plan to manage the issue.
Itâ€™s nice to be so blatantly manipulated by the Republicans, huh?
Here is an important point a lot of people missed because they don’t know the history:
Basically Billbray was the moderate Republican candidate who managed to win a hotly contested primary contest that extended even to this special election. A lot of right wingers were not going to vote for him. Read this analysis and note this quote:
Bilbrayâ€™s being jilted at the fund raising alter by that darling of the middle (or, is it the darling of the muddled?) John â€œMan For All Seasons, Audiences, People and Votersâ€ McCain may well prove to have been the final pounder of Bilbrayâ€™s political surfing hopes. McCainâ€™s boycott is a blazing sign to moderates and independents that Bilbray just ainâ€™t their dude.
McCain, the â€œstraight-talking maverick,â€ doesnâ€™t pee unless the Republican Party says it is okay. The reality is this idiot got it backwards. McCainâ€™s â€œboycottâ€ was used to solidify Billbrayâ€™s anti-immigrant creds in the eyes of right wingers (who weren’t going to polls to vote for some moderate) and that is the reason he won by 4 points.
Thatâ€™s the take-home point here kids: remember your first year game theory course! It doesnâ€™t matter what a majority of people think on a single issue, it matters what gets people angry enough to vote. If you can set the agenda, you control what gets people angry enough and allows them to ignore the real issues that bother them. If you lived in CA-50 (extending from the richest hillside retreats of Pacific Beach, through La Jolla (the conservative parts), to the even-more-absurdly-rich Rancho Santa Fe), youâ€™d â€œgetâ€ why McCainâ€™s boycott help keep the â€œbrown people bogeymanâ€ front-and-center and allowed him to pull out a win by 4 points! This is classic agenda-setting.
(Stop with your rationalizations here, Democrats. By my guess, Republicans can use dirty disenfranchisement tricks to maybe swing the election by one or two points. So 4 is a comfortable win!)
As long as people fall victim to the wedge-issue agenda-setting of the Republican party theyâ€™ll keep doing it and Iâ€™ll keep admiring it .