How a Third Party Could Have a Huge Impact

2010 December 19
by drdog09

Nov 2nd was a huge shift politically. There will be another with apportionment. Texas alone will probably gain 4 more CD’s as the shift to the South and West continues. There also appears to be no stopping the slide into the abyss that is California Fiscal. So could a third party develop AND have an impact? The answer is yes with a few caveats.

So lets divine the landscape that would make this possible —

  • The Democrats stay extreme left of center with no signs of reform.
  • The Republicans holding firm now, gradually go spineless again and show only modest additional inroad in the 2012 elections.
  • Realizing that CA is a loss, the GOP abandons any efforts as a party in the State going forward.
  • The country continues its right of center shift. Polls indicating that even lower favorables for govt and Congress specifically.
  • A weak GOP candidate wins in 2012.

Now I am not going to even suggest that a third party would pop up and suddenly have 221 seats in the House and 63 in the Senate. That is just not happening. But here is what could —

Senate. The GOP is ineffective in the Senate even though they can block most anything at will, they seemingly cannot advance even the simplest of adjustments to proposals. In that line up, you might see Kohl, Bingaman, Webb and Nelson; all Democrats go to Independents as the electorate looks for new blood. Two Republicans as well lose under similar circumstances. Leiberman moves to the center and caucuses with this formative group.

In the 2016 cycle Corbin, Murray and Bennet lose, again to independents. At which point you have the core 8 to define a nonaligned group. Combine that with the 6-7 that will still be there under the DeMint banner and that is the number needed to prevent anything in the Senate. The chamber effectively held hostage.

When you have hostages what do you do? Negotiate of course. The target of course being committee chairs — Judicary, Foreign Affairs. So when it comes down to it the leader of the Senate will either consider the requests with concessions on bills or he can figure on sitting on his arse till his next term of election. Not a pretty prospect.

House. Here it is a little dicer. By 2012 we may assume that the GOP will still hold their lead post election. Break down somewhere in the 240 – 195 range. That means an independent bloc would have to acquire somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 seats give or take to account for defections. That would be the number required for a coalition to prevent passage of anything it did not like as it assures that neither side can find a magic 218 for passage.

Is the number obtainable? Going into the 112th Congress only 6 of the 16 in the Democratic minority leadership are under 60. Of the 10 better than half are over 70. You might consider that possibly 2/3rds might consider retiring before 2012 rolls around. Possibly a third of that bunch are in CD’s that might find an independent more favorable than a Democratic replacement. Chalk up 5.

If the GOP would consider CA a lost cause what happens to the CD’s in the inland area components? Facing the possibility of no logistical support from their old party they become defacto independent. Nineteen seats total. Lets say we get 11 of the bunch. Out of the Ohio, Indiana, Iowa nexus there are several picks. Donnelly had a very narrow election 48/47%. Loebsack as well, with dramatic drops since his 2008 results. Bosewell is 76 a likely retirement candidate who probably only one this time due to a 3 way split. Sutton ran a unorganized campign and could be picked off. Ryan as well could be a target though he was successesful in a three way this last go around. Texas picks up 4 new CD’s though districting is not know lets assume a pickup of 2.

Kelly has another run against Giffords he probably wins in AZ. Ross of AR might sit 2012 out if he gets serious about a Governorship. Purlmutter down in CO. Bishop of GA might be persuaded to change allegiances just to have another couple of terms. Chandler of KY is vulnerable. Dicks, WA, would be retirement candidate. Moran, NY, is till under a pay for play cloud. At this juncture we are close to 30 possibles.

Chris Smith, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, John McHugh, Fred Upton, Shelly Moore Capito, Jim Gerlach, Patrick Murphy, Mike Rogers are all possibles as well. So lets say 5 get knocked off. That would leave 5 short. But the point is, given a continuing mood, some stalwart stands it would be quite possible to reach 40 over say 2-3 election cycles.

But still, we are back to hostage taking again. The trade? Appropriations Chair for who has the majority.

Presidency. Most thoughtful answer — Don’t waste the election cycles. A third party move would have to displace one of the existing parties to come even close to making that a viable proposition. It is a large drain on resources which would be better utilized in gaining those controlling swing positions in both houses.

Bottom Line. When you start looking at three way splits rather than two party swaps small cohesive numbers can have a very large impact on control of either house of Congress.

Unrelated Note. In pulling this together it surprised me the number of the members of the Congressional Black Causus are probably going to punch out here in the near future. Most are on the North side of 70.

[Author’s note: Writing this now, as there is no guarantee the Republicans will continue to possess a spine in the run up to 2012.]

41 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 December 19 7:18 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    I am all for a third party now if the best R can do is to “unimously consent” to a government takeover of food production!

    We need to start dismatling the centralized AUTHORITRIAN nanny state not expanding it!

    Why vote for folks who just enable it but want it “paid for”?

  2. 2010 December 19 7:36 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    #2 Romney is a Pickle Puffer; probably Puffing a Pickle right now…..or packing some Fudge!

  3. 2010 December 19 7:38 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    You trigger a thought in my head I had not considered. What happens to RomneyCare if SCOTUS overturns BammyCare? The second question, in so overturning BammyCare, does this hurt of help He Who Decides After the Fact?

  4. 2010 December 19 7:40 pm

    Interesting thought experiment Dr.

  5. 2010 December 19 7:43 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    #2 Good article EPH, gave me a chuckle…..not enough to make up for how sucky an evening this is with finding out that our “strong conservative” R Senators decided a Federal government food takeover was “A-OK” with them…..

    Yeah, I think a third party is just fine IMHO…….obviously, the R DC elites felt they could sell us out on this because its a Sunday nite right before the holidays……and it would be overlooked….

    Not by me…….I aint forgettin’ crap

  6. 2010 December 19 7:56 pm

    Even better article…

    with a great pro life message to boot!

  7. 2010 December 19 7:57 pm
    gnqanq permalink

    drdog, I wish it was so. But unfortunately, there are too many idiots on the Left and the Right to overcome their stupidity.

    Those on the Right who would not vote for Jesus if he was a Democrat. And those on the Left who would not vote for Jesus if he was aRepublican.

    I will admit that the Democrats are far worse. But neither side can see how bad it is on their own side to an honest 3rd party candidate.

  8. 2010 December 19 8:07 pm
    mulletover permalink

    Time to secede. Let DC, the NE and west coast survive on their own. When they exhaust all their regulated food and energy, we’ll trade ’em some for the DC real estate.

    Then let Chavez sponsor their existence from then on.

    Who needs it.

    (got to get our people out first, of course)

  9. 2010 December 19 8:10 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    #9 I am with you Mullet…..

    A lot of my thoughts lately have been “Where in the heck on the planet earth can men live free of Authoritrian government and have their Individual Rights be respected?”

    As far as I know, no such coutry currently exsists…..

    Therefore it must be created….

  10. 2010 December 19 8:16 pm

    10 – I think tension are high, it’s not the first time and probably will not be the last. Not to poopoo the recent flair up’s, but how many times have we heard similar statements in the last 15-20 years? I’ll basically believe it once the shells or icbms start flying.

  11. 2010 December 19 8:18 pm
    mulletover permalink

    North Korea is unstable. Kim Jong Il and his idiot son are maniacal. There are so many moving parts in that region, something or someone is going to light the fuse, and we are going to lose a lot of people. It’s just a question of when.

    The feckless adolescent will be in Hawaii about 10 over par after four holes, and clueless, as usual.

    There are no adults in his administration.

  12. 2010 December 19 8:21 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    #12 I think your correct……I just love looking a the nighttime satalite photos of the Korean penisula……all dark in the North……and like a huge strobe light in the South…..

    Tells me all I need to know about how well the theory of autocratic socialist rule works vis a via a Free Society and a Free Market (or at least semi-free)…..

  13. 2010 December 19 8:23 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    #13 But he has “worked” so hard being “compassionate” with other’s earnings……dont begrude him a few games of “stick” lol

  14. 2010 December 19 8:27 pm
    mulletover permalink

    And true to form, he sent FLOTUS and the little floti over on their own 747. He and the dog will follow on AF1 at $200,000 an hour.

    The little people cough up the bucks.

  15. 2010 December 19 9:13 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “What you don’t have is a right to make someone else pay for it or to force someone to give it to you. Your right to health care — and mine — is exactly the same as your right to a big screen HDTV: If we can pay for it (whether directly or through insurance) and we can find someone to sell it to us, we have a right to it.

    By definition, there can be no rights granted by government. Rights inhere in us as human beings. “Legal rights,” by contrast, are mere entitlements or privileges. If a law creates such a “right,” another law can take it away. And the very concept of a “right” for one person that necessitates the abrogation of the inherent rights of another to fulfill is self-annihilating.

    Our current social structure is, of course, rife with such so-called rights. The fact that we countenance such abuses does not justify expanding the abuse, of course. We tacitly accept the ongoing abrogation of our real rights to provide ephemermal privileges to others because it’s easier than fighting back, we feel guilty, or we see some utility in it. But that does not make it right.

    The solution to decades of government distortion of the health care industry is not more government. It isn’t enough to scrap Harry Reid’s abomination of bribes, buy-offs, and backroom deals. We need to go back to the post-WWII price fixing that started us down the path we’re on and rip out the whole skewed structure root and branch and really start from scratch. We need to make the industry an actual part of the free market for the first time in generations.”

  16. 2010 December 19 9:16 pm

    South Korea (and her allies) to the North: Sir may we have another? Can we get you anything?

  17. 2010 December 19 9:37 pm

    Besides the question of is this a good or effective idea… can’t help but think the lobbying to service such a contract is gonna be ridiculous.

  18. 2010 December 19 9:41 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    #19 Well, at least something like that would allow the Pickle Puffers to call their boyfriends

  19. 2010 December 19 9:51 pm

    20 – Or more efficiently leak intelligence data to the world. 😉

  20. 2010 December 19 9:56 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    #21 Evidently that is sometimes one-in-the-same based on the “Bradley Manning” feature posts that were on here…….glad to see our tax monies not only helping “create” a “right” to pickle puffering but also facilitating a better way to leak info

  21. 2010 December 19 9:57 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink,_or,_not_so_off-topic_after_all.thtml

    “But the problem is not only evident in terms with no proper meaning, it also exists for terms that have a proper meaning, but one upon which there is no general agreement. For example, the term “rights” has been so poorly defined that was have government officials arguing for a right to a job, the right to education, and a host of other “rights” which can only be fulfilled by violating the rights of others. (“Negative and Positive Rights”, “How the Right Loses to the Left”) By using the word “rights” in this vague way, it is possible for everyone from strict minimalists to those seeking totalitarian rule to claim to be champions of the rights of man. (“Symmetry and Asymmetry in Government”) Of course, this is mostly a rhetorical victory, not a true misunderstanding born of confusion over multiple perspectives (“Protean Terminology”), but it is not entirely so. There are many who truly believe in the expansive definition of rights (“The Inherent Disappointment of Authoritarianism”), and as a result understand most political debate just a little differently from those with a more limited view. And thanks to that somewhat skewed perspective, they truly hear the same words with different ears, and thus fit perfectly the topic of this post.

    But, there is an even more precise match to my initial topic. And that is the way in which one understands the government’s duty to “protect” citizens. I normally formulate my understanding as the government’s duty to protect man from force, theft and fraud, which fits quite well the traditional minimalist view of government. Even then, however, one can find those who will distort “fraud” or even “theft” into a completely new term, and will find in this minimalist formula justification for minimum wage laws, safety regulations, closed shop laws, collective bargaining and anything else they can shoehorn into the term. And if we allow for a more expansive definition, going beyond force theft and fraud to protecting the “safety” or “well being” of citizens, it is quite easy to see the protective function of government as a justification for almost any action one cares to undertake. (“Excuse Me?”, “Saving Us From Lower Prices”, “Price Gouging”, “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Or The Logical Implications of Price Gouging Laws”, “Misunderstanding Economics”, “Exploited Labor”, “Exploiting Workers?”, “The High Cost Of Protection”, “Madoff Teaches Us Something Important”, “Bad Economics Part 2”) Just as modern jurists have found endless meanings in “general welfare”, “protection” can be made to mean whatever one wishes. (“Misunderstanding Profits”, “Envy And Analogy”)

    The greatest change comes when we accept that protection is not just a question of against what we are protecting, but against whom, and whether that “whom” might include the individual himself. Once we allow that protection may include protection against his own bad decisions or poor judgment, we enter the realm of truly totalitarian government.”

  22. 2010 December 19 10:00 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    ” almost all modern interventionist governments, from simple liberalism through the most authoritarian state imaginable, rest upon the concept that government must protect citizens against themselves.

    Of course, in reality, even the previous category, the protection of individuals against the bad acts of others, is really just protecting individuals from themselves. The most malign of forces, so long as they are private citizens, without the force of government, can do not more than try to deceive, cajole, bully or otherwise convince an individual to accept their offers.

    And so, even though they describe it as protecting against “corporate exploitation” or “unfair bargaining positions”, the truth is, in a free state, protecting an individual against other private citizens or groups amounts to restricting their right to contract (“In Praise of Contracts”, “Greed Versus Evil”, “A New Look At Intervention).

    In other words, limiting their options, restricting their choices. That is protecting them against themselves.”

  23. 2010 December 19 10:05 pm

    Well ideally they would have thought about these things as well as say what happens when one of these fall into enemy hands during an ongoing engagement, ie the rest of your crew don’t know your even dead or missing yet but the enemies got your phone. Ie.. finger print+personal pin might address that to some degree.

    I can see it now, some foreign government sponsors the creation of a virus for these thinks that quitly reports the last known position of a device. Don’t get me wrong there’s some valuable things I could think of that the average trooper could use this for… but the more valuable things I add to the list the higher the security benchmark has to be set – translated the more it’s likely going to cost.
    Be interested in what the result are of the trial though.
    In IT there is a sort of semi common expression that goes something like this.
    Cheap, useful\feature rich, and secure. Pick two.

  24. 2010 December 19 10:21 pm

    Ok so besides it being a good piece I now know how a worm “breaths” and how to relate it as well as scaling other creatures to the fate of the USA. fascinating. lol

  25. 2010 December 19 10:27 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    #25 Yeah, I am not sure that the folks in DOD buying these gadgets have entirely thought through the implications of one of these gadgets ending up being dropped on the battlefield and ending up in the wrong hands……

    Ideally, you would think that they would restrict the information that could be put on these things to “unclassified” or non-restricted items…..but almost any info can be used by the islamofacists as they have proven to be pretty tech-savy for guys that adhere to a 7th century authoritrian relgious zealotry

  26. 2010 December 19 10:29 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    another “take” on the whole Korean penisular thing:

  27. 2010 December 19 11:02 pm

    “pretty tech-savy for guys that adhere to a 7th century authoritrian relgious zealotry”

    A bit comical isn’t it, but I suppose you make some kinda of similar remark about many groups in the ‘west’.

  28. 2010 December 19 11:13 pm

    “But to carry out an exercise is just to play the North Korean’s game – they’ll bluster a bit, South Korea will bluster a bit and then there will be the sit-down…at which North Korea will name the price for keeping the peace for another six months or a year.”

    Worth it or not that’s exactly how it will play out if it doesn’t triggering a reactivation of the Korean War, and it’s exactly what the north wants, more free stuff.

    I don’t know if now is the best time for South Korea to shit or get off the pot, I know it’s not for us as committed as we are elsewhere but I suppose there is never really a “good” time to go to war. Not a fan of this rinse and repeat process from the North though. BTW your not the only one that get a kick out of the night time light index sat photo’s from that area.

  29. 2010 December 19 11:20 pm

    Are any of you aLibrocubicularist?


  30. 2010 December 20 6:09 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Cheap, useful\feature rich, and secure. Pick two. — KH

    Google an Android app called glympse. Its all you need to know to not want cells in the battlefield. At least of the kind we civies use.

  31. 2010 December 20 6:11 am
    mulletover permalink

  32. 2010 December 20 6:14 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Are any of you aLibrocubicularist?

    Sometimes. But it is a good thing that young lady was not english teacher back in the day. I would not have learned a damn thing but had smile on my face most of the afternoon.

  33. 2010 December 20 6:24 am
    drdog09 permalink

  34. 2010 December 20 7:01 am
    justrand permalink

    Howdy folks!!!

    I’m back from the wedding of our youngest son to a splendid and beautiful young lady. It was wonderful (though the outside temperature never got above 20 degrees!!)

    Didn’t have a laptop, wouldn’t have had time. I’ll jump back into the fray now! 🙂

  35. 2010 December 20 8:20 am
    mulletover permalink

    Welcome back. Did your toast to the bride and groom make a hit?

  36. 2010 December 20 8:23 am
    justrand permalink

    mullet, I didn’t get a chance to give it…the reception timed out in a different way. I would cried anyway! 🙂 I will send it off to them in a letter!

  37. 2010 December 20 8:27 am
    JustMary permalink

    Welcome back, Dad. I spent too much of the weekend sad that I wasn’t there!!! Glad everyone made it home safe.

  38. 2010 December 20 8:30 am
    mulletover permalink

    I will send it off to them in a letter!
    ~~ Justrand

    Put a check in it. That’s the only way I ever made a hit.

    My toast went off like a scene from Meet the Fokkers.

  39. 2010 December 20 8:47 am
    justrand permalink

    JM, we missed ya deeply. Your baby brother understood, but knows he gets to see you in the Spring! You’re gonna love “the peanut”…he’s soooooo gorgeous!

    p.s. you would have frozen your butt off!

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