With 2006 all but in the record books, I’m going to take a leap and make a prediction for 2008. Back in June, I discussed the possibility that America is ready for a viable third party. I linked to a Peggy Noonan article that said the problem “is not that the two parties are polarized. In many ways they’re closer than ever.” I think we saw the evidence last night. Conservatives came out and rejected a Republican majority that resembled a Democrat Majority.
For six years, we’ve been waiting for Republican leadership to act like the majority we’d elected. For six year we anticipated the limiting role federal government was supposed to play. For six years, we were confident in the conservative movement. But for six years, all we got was more of the same over-spending, inefficient, out-of-touch beauracracy that we’ve come to expect from the Beltway. Liberals wanted a change. But so did Conservatives. And Libertarians and Independents were left without any real choices. And last night’s vote was as much a protest against a do-nothing majority as it was a protest against an opposing political party.
GLUM Republicans might turn their attention to the Libertarian Party to vent their anger. Libertarians are a generally Republican-leaning constituency, but over the last few years, their discontent has grown plain. It isn’t just the war, which some libertarians supported, but the corruption and insider dealing, and particularly the massive expansion of spending.
Ed Driscoll says it’s a race to the center:
If you go by the bills that won, and the candidates that won, that sounds correct–several individual conservative Republican candidates didn’t win–but most far left anti-war types like Ned Lamont didn’t clean-up, either. As Jonah mentioned in his recent TCS podcast with me, Democrats win when they move towards the center (just ask Bill Clinton), and right now, the center is where the action is. That doesn’t sound like an environment that will be smooth sailing for a quintessential San Francisco Democrat like Speaker Pelosi over the next two years, but we’ll see.
And in this election, we saw two things occur in the center: Joe Lieberman won as an Independent and John McCain gained political capital. I’ve been saying for years that you could probably switch the party affiliations of both men and nobody would really notice. They’re both as close to the other’s party as one can get without officially registering - at least as compared to the other members of their own party. Neither seems beholden to the party line. And maybe that’s what voters are seeking.
So my prediction comes down to this:
In 2008, John McCain and Joe Lieberman will join forces and make a run for the Whitehouse.
There, I’ve said it. Now bookmark this page and come back in a year and tell me I’m crazy.