…I hesitate to call it a ‘meme.’ At any rate: somebody – presumably somebody from the other side of the spectrum – attempted to derail Mark Steyn’s observation that Adam Nagourney is sounding a little bereft-of-information these days by rhetorically asking:
You do realize that Democrats have won every single federal-level election since Obama’s election, right? Five.
Err… wrong, actually. Eight. And the attempt to eliminate the loss of NJ’s governorship (and pretty much VA as a whole) from consideration is both duly noted, and mocked.Anyway, on the assumption that Mark doesn’t update his post again with my brief email on the subject, let me expand on said email a bit.
I recognize, of course, that Steyn’s reader is only repeating what (probably) he read somewhere else, but some people may be dealing with this themselves, so let’s really quickly demolish it. The three races that this rhetoric ‘forgets’ are:
- the Senate runoff in Georgia (GOP Hold);
- the delayed LA-02 race (GOP Gain);
- the delayed LA-04 race (GOP Hold);
…all of which are certainly federal elections that the Democrats lost, and did not want to lose. When people tell you that they don’t count, somehow, be sure to ask them why. You’ll already know the answer – because they’re inconveniently demolishing the argument – but watching the rationalizations should be amusing.
Of the five that the reader acknowledged, I assume that they are these:
- CA-10 (Taucher’s seat): Dem Hold
- CA-32 (Solis’ seat): Dem Hold
- IL-05 (Rahm’s seat): Dem Hold
- NY-20 (Gillibrand’s seat): Dem Hold
- NY-23 (McHugh’s seat): Dem Gain
So; of the five House seats subject to special elections – which the dunderhead that created the original rhetoric probably meant, but my opponents’ inability to write coherently is not really my problem – four were held by Democrats and one by a Republican. The first three results were unsurprising in their results, although CA-10 was closer than people expected and IL-05 combined both an exceptionally low turnout and a surprise candidate winning the Democratic primary*. The NY-23 race was one where the Republican grassroots visibly decided to lose, if that’s what it took to make a point (it was, and it was the right call). That leaves NY-20.
Yup, we lost that one. The Democrats got to keep the seat for another two years.
So, looking at the total picture: we lost one and we gained one. I would have liked to have gained those two NY seats in 2009, but I’ll personally settle for 2010 for either. Or both. I assume that we’ll be hearing a lot of this kind of rhetoric with the upcoming FL-19 and HI-01 special elections. The latter, especially: Wexler’s Florida district is largely considered to be safe, but we’ve got a real shot at Abercrombie’s with Charles Djou. Which is why the original rhetoric, of course: the actual underlying semantic content of it is ‘Lie down and die, Republicans.’
Actually, I must correct myself: these days it’s ‘Could you lie down and die, Republicans? Plleeeeeeeaaaaaaassseeee?’
*That seems to be happening a lot.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.