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Inside the Beltway
Question of the Day
POOR PITIFUL POLS
Three Democrats and a Republican need tender loving care and a nice soft Barcalounger. And cookies. Several journalists are casting their sympathy votes to President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele as the politicians who endured the worst turmoil this year.
Aw. Honey baby. Tell mama. Since when did the press create a pity-meter among politicos? Well, no matter. It was inevitable.
“Now, we have been critical of Steele, as have many others. But as the chairman of a party that scored the biggest midterm gains in seven decades, it is hard to see how he can possibly have had the worst 2010 of anyone in Washington,” counters Powerline’s John Hinderaker. “Moreover, given the events of the past year, doesn’t it seem obvious that the winner of that award has to be a Democrat?”
He adds, “It’s a small thing, of course. But to me, it is one more reminder that the Democrats’ cheering section in the D.C. press is not necessarily doing the party any favors. No wonder the Dems are so often out of touch with what mainstream Americans are thinking.”
DADT PART TWO
“The last thing we should be spending our time on is if this man likes men. It’s so crazy because gay men and women are in the Army now and getting the job done. So, what changes if we know they’re gay? For me, it would be like, ‘You’re gay? OK. Get back to work.’ “
(Army Staff Sgt. Cleveland Carr, an infantry soldier with the 101st Airborne Division, Combat Outpost Terra Nova near Kandahar, Afghanistan, to Stars and Stripes)
Little things mean a lot. The new census reapportionment means that President Obama just lost six electoral votes, says Commentary Magazine executive editor Jonathan Tobin. A few stray votes would not have dimmed Mr. Obama’s glorious 365-173 margin of victory in 2008. But the “public’s repudiation of Obama’s policies at the polls this past November shows he will not have as easy a time of it in 2012,” Mr. Tobin observes.
“If we tally up the states’ new electoral votes based on the 2008 election, it shows that states that voted for Obama lost a net total of six votes, and those that backed John McCain gained the same number. If you look back to the election before that, in which George W. Bush beat John Kerry, although some blue states in 2008 were red in 2004, the new electoral vote totals shows the same difference, a net gain of six for Bush states and a net loss of six for those that went for Kerry,” Mr. Tobin figures.
“Big winners” in the reapportionment are Texas with four more seats, and Florida, with two. Washington, Utah, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, and Arizona each gained one while New York and Ohio lost two. Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all lost one seat.
But look out.
“This year’s once-in-a-decade scramble to redraw congressional boundaries is likely to be one of the most contentious in history. Given high levels of partisan polarization and the technological ability to identify population distributions far more precisely than ever before, the redistricting cycle will be intense,” predicts Fordham University political scientist Costas Panagopoulos.
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