Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kathy Hochul's Victory

Hochul, a Democrat, won a special House election in New York's 26th Congressional District, a fairly Republican one. And now we all read the tea-leaves about what this might mean for the future:
There's going to be a lot of debate about whether Kathy Hochul's victory tonight means anything moving forward or not. I think it does. I think it is the first step toward the very real possibility that Democrats take the House back next year. Our national polling has been suggested that for almost three months now and this is the first tangible on the ground evidence backing that up.
Perhaps. But one thing I have learned in the years of blogging politics is to admit that the future is misty and full of invisible beasts which might eat us all. Or eat the other guys.

Still, there's reason to believe that the Ryan budget proposal didn't exactly help the Republican candidate in that election:
Special House elections cannot predict the future, but they can influence the present. That’s why what happened in New York’s 26th congressional district Tuesday is a problem for the Republican Party.
Call it a wake-up call or a major setback. Whatever, the victory by Democrat Kathy Hochul in a heavily Republican congressional district, in a race in which Medicare was a major issue, reinforced the reality that the GOP plunged into a debate over entitlements reform without a strategy for winning the battle for public opinion.
That article goes on to talk about the rapidity with which the Republicans assumed a mandate after their last House victory. That "mandate" is not about jobs and the economy but about cutting government spending and about destroying the unions, by the way.

And, naturally, about banning abortions. Republicans appear to spend lots and lots and lots of time on that particular mandate.