New Deal Coalition Retained III: A New World

1998 Midterms Part II

California had been the longtime stronghold of the Republican party. It had gone for the GOP in every presidential election since Ike except 1992, and was more often than not solidly Republican downballot. The advent of the Progressive party saw it become a three-party state, but the GOP continued to win into the mid-1990s.

Term limited, Governor Leon Panetta left a state both in prosperity and in turmoil. The economy was humming along well, taxes had been cut, and infrastructure development largely facilitated the massive population growth. However, the Drug War hit California hard. As a moderate, Panetta tried to balance things out, but intra-party pressure from President Bundy found him largely along for the ride. Such left him glad to be gone but a quite narrowly focused election to replace him developed. The frontrunner and anointed one on the GOP side was congresswoman and conservative stalwart Shirley Temple Black, while the Democrats nominated Los Angeles mayor Adam Schiff, a well known figure elected in a four way split that developed a soft-populist, Kennedy Democrat record. Energized on a “Stand up to Bundy” mood - like the one that got Bernie Sanders elected in NYC - the Progressives had a competitive primary that included such luminaries as Congressman James Hahn of LA, Hollywood actor and Mayor of Redondo Beach John Cusack, and State Senator Tom Hayden. But the race was shaken up by the entrance of a new figure… well, and old one.

Since the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan was made by one of his supporters, former San Francisco Mayor Jim Jones had retired to a quiet life in the mid-1980s. Not seen for years, he came back into the public eye to lead People’s Temple efforts to help those hurt in the WWIII Soviet bombing of San Francisco. Such began a general rehabilitation of his image, and he desired to return to politics. Stockdale had bitterly attacked Jerry Jones for his affiliation to Jim Jones in the 1992 Senate race, but it had been a long 6 years. As the Progressive anger at Bundy morphed into electoral rage, Jones’ unquenchable ambition would turn towards statewide office. To great fanfare and derision, he announced he would run for the Progressive nomination.


Long secretive after his mayoralty was done, Jones burst back onto the scene with an energy and drive seen in men far younger.

Most didn’t take him seriously at first, as Reagan was a god to most Californians and a People’s Temple member had tried to kill him with a gun provided by one of Jones’ private security force. This did not deter Jones, who hired veteran political strategist Dick Morris to run his campaign. Morris was of the Roger Stone slash and burn political variety and that suited Jones well. Using the network of People’s Temple congregations as cash cows and free volunteers, Jones would travel the state and hold rallies filled with fiery red meat for the base. Morris bankrolled negative ads in TV and newspaper against all the primary candidates, while also employing private investigators to dig for dirt on everyone. Hayden was painted as a communist shill and quickly fell apart after past pro-Soviet rants were unearthed. Cusack was initially a threat, but Morris managed to cause his numbers to stagnate through painting him as an out of touch celebrity. The real threat was James Hahn, and he led Jones two weeks before the primary by 20 points. However, Morris’ goons found something damning and leaked it to the press - the LA Times ran with a story of intense police corruption in Los Angeles linked to the pro-Bundy police commissioner… who was a close friend of Congressman Hahn. To a base virulently hating Bundy, it was a blow that Hahn never recovered from. On primary day as Black and Schiff were nominated easily, Hayden received 3%, Hahn 21%, Cusack bounced back to 35%, while Jones shockingly topped all of them with 41% of the vote. Jim Jones was back.

An initial threat to Jones came in the frame of independent candidate Eric Boucher, a famous punk rock singer also known under the stage name Jello Biafra. Running on a firmly libertarian platform on social issues and the size of government, and quite anti-Bundy, many progressives felt he was a danger to their chances. A meeting alone with Jones and Morris neutralized that threat. Biafra in a press conference with Jones announced he was dropping out of the Governor’s race to run for Lt. Gov under the Progressive nomination (though he stayed registered as an independant). Jones endorsed him right then and there, while the little known Progressive Lt. Gov nominee dropped out so that Biafra could be their standard bearer against incumbent Republican Tom McClintock.

In the senate race, perennial candidate Jerry Brown, famous for rehabilitating his image of being “the cultists” according to Stockdale by teaching a course on “the Psychology of Cults at UC Riverside from 1994-1996, was back for another try, although him and the little known Democrat State Senator Gary Condit were considered afterthoughts against the popular Republican incumbent James Stockdale. Fate wound intervene however. On September 7, Stockdale announced to the world that he contracted alzheimer's disease. While it was the very early stages, he felt that it would be detrimental to his health and unfair to the citizens of California for him to continue in the senate, and announced his retirement. Stockdale would retire as “the most beloved 1-term senator” having been instrumental in many of the budget debates while also well-known for being extremely kind while helping Californians with citizenships, visas, etc.


Senator Stockdale announcing his retirement from politics.

After the earthquake finished shaking up the field, Ross Perot and the Progressive donor class began funnelling more and more money into Brown’s campaign. The man was a known commodity, with full name recognition from past runs for statewide and nationwide office. His small-p progressive views of social libertarianism and fiscal moderation fit the swing regions of the California electorate perfectly, especially with the backlash from the Bundy Drug War and Jim Jones’ gubernatorial run had in San Francisco. Brown immediately vaulted to frontrunner status - only exacerbated after a glum Republican convention nominated little-known Anaheim Mayor John Seymour, whose greatest accomplishment had been adding another lane ot the I-5. It seemed that Jerry Brown was on his way to a coronation.

This proved premature, and the cause was Gary Condit. The Democrats were initially bearish on the race, considering how weak the state party was. Condit was low on funds and had little organization, but threw himself into the race with the fury of a madman. Holding impromptu rallies and whistle-stop campaigning that made the local news, Condit’s charm and “Yorty Dem” appeal resonated with many that thought the Bundy GOP was too free-trade while the Progressives were too socially liberal. Brown, who was coasting, didn’t see the threat of Condit before a Pepperdine University poll in early October found the State Senator only four points behind. It was then that Brown’s campaign brought out the heavy hitting war chest as the race became a nail-biter.


In order to counter Brown's name recognition, Condit would make liberal use of local television appearances.

Condit’s rise in popularity was still yet overshadowed by the Governor’s race descending into what could only be described as a mud-wrestling match that even made Ted Bundy blink. The President would comment “Well of course I support Shirley, but Jones… he seems like the Prog version of me. And that’s only a half insult.” Jones and Morris saw the deciding votes of the election to be liberal Democrats that were voting for Jerry Brown, urban latinos, and black voters that could be persuaded to defect from the Lincoln/Nixon party. So the plan was decided: make Shirley Temple Black compete for her base and completely destroy Adam Schiff. As such, the ads and push polls flowed like an onrushing torrent upon the race. Former adorable child star Shirley Temple was accused of being a racist and a heartless slayer of innocent black men whose only crime was mouthing off to a drug cop, while benign Adam Schiff was a “crazy-eyed lunatic” that dabbled in conspiracy theories. When a private investigator found out that Schiff had held a closed to the public fundraiser with a known conspiracy theorist that had said things like “Corporate atheist propaganda needs to be wiped out so that we may journey to the glory of Christ upon the backs of the Sons of Ham,” Jones had a field day. He hammered home the message, ads flooding over the state calling Schiff a disgrace to the state, one that his campaign was too shellshocked into responding adequately. In addition, Schiff's party deep ties to labor unions were mocked in the song “California Uber Alles”, written by Eric Boucher himself, banking on his pre-political musical talents.

I am Governor Daniel White
It’s the one race I care about
Soon I will be the president
Wallace’s power will go 'way
I will be Führer one day
I will command all of you
Your kids will unionize in school
Your kids will unionize in school
California Über Alles
California Über Alles
Über Alles California
Über Alles California

Attempts to smear Jones backfired, since everyone already knew his dirty laundry. His campaign projected an image of a deeply religious man, passionate and zealous for the cause of helping his fellow man - some People’s Temple affiliates portraying him as a saint-like figure who would minister to any flock since “no person is beyond saving.” Debates between him and Black were furious, focused on making her go negative and hurt one of her main strengths over Jones. The race was now between Black and Jones, down to the wire just as the Senate race was.


Results quickly showed it would be a long night. Schiff was getting clobbered everywhere and quickly became an afterthought, while the lead jumped back and forth between Black and Jones. SoCal and the East Bay suburbs were strong for Black, while the Bay Area cities and urban Los Angeles were equally strong for Jones. Rural Spanish-Americans, normally strong for Democrats, began to break 60% for Jones which netted him the central valley while blacks began to crack. His People’s Temple connections made him a non-Republican that had massive black appeal, earning him 30% of the vote. At midnight Pacific time, Jones jumped to a tiny lead and he never relinquished it. The unthinkable had happened. Jim Jones had risen like Lazarus and won the Governorship of California.


Compared to the governor’s race, the senate race was downright sleepy, but on election night it would be the one to watch. It was obvious that Stockdale’s exit had damaged the GOP campaign irreversibly, as Seymour wouldn’t win a single county. Apparently many Republicans had tactically voted - moderates and liberals for Brown or many conservative Bundy types for Condit. As such, the SoCal and Bay Area suburbs broke for Brown, while the rurals went hard for Condit. The result would be so narrow that a recount would be ordered, but over one month later it was finally called. Jerry Brown had finally won a major race. While Republicans carried three other statewide offices, a Democrat rode Condit (who many Democrats felt should challenge Ed Meese in 2000) to take Insurance Commissioner while Jello Biafra won the Lt. Governorship and the Progressives gained seven congressional seats for a plurality in the delegation. Jones, along with Brown, had turned all of California politics on its head.
 
1998 Midterms Part III


The 1998 Midterms would be a slugfest. While Bundy was reasonably popular, he had made more bold moves, in more different ideological directions, than any president had seen in a long time. Far more than most other presidents, Bundy was a pure pragmatist, willing to support any policy which would win him political points. The question remained whether his unorthodox moves could build a winning political coalition. The Republicans predicted that they would have to lose a couple seats, if only because they had extremely overperformed in the senate during Iacocca’s presidency. The Republican message would focus on Bundy being “the man in the fast lane” while Iacocca had been “stuck in traffic”. Ads were clustered around the various PRIZM demographic groups usually associated with business marketing. For example, causes such as military budget cuts and the BGH Ban appealed to affluent young families in so-called “Young Digerati” areas, while ads featuring wealthy white drugged out college kids being arrested were played in areas with a lot of “Back Country Folks”. Many criticized this as “diluting Bundy’s campaign message”, a piggyback of some partisans’ criticism that Bundy was forgetting his core Republican supporters on issues like drugs and foreign policy. This feeling had been exaggerated by the timing of Bundy’s policies-frontloading the Red meat and reaching out right before the election.

In other notable Senate races of the night, Butch Otter would lose his seat to fellow Mormon Larry Echo Hawk. Dick Durbin would gain his long sought after Senate spot, defeating the very conservative Phil Crane, who was hurt by his brother's sex scandal in the house. Bernadine Healy would lose to popular former governor George Voinovich in Ohio, and in Wisconsin, a progressive spoiler would lead to incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold losing to Republican Eric Hovde. In North Carolina, the Democrats would pick up a seat by recruiting a star candidate in the form of popular television comedian Andy Griffith.

Some other important gubernatorial races happened at Georgia, where Republican incumbent governor Johnny Isakson won a race over the Democrat Nathan Deal with the support of the urban, black majority counties. In Texas, state treasurer Democrat Kay Bailey Hutchison defeated former representative Republican Mickey Leland in a surprise upset. Leland’s liberal stances, mainly his support for abortions, hurt his campaign among the socially conservative Texan voters and Hutchison, a prominent Christian Right-wing figure in Texas’s Democratic Party, managed to win these voters over to his side and eventually the election.

The Democrats finally convinced Strom Thurmond to step down as Senate Minority Leader, seemingly putting an end to the “Circus Carousel”. Thurmond hand-picked his successor, Al Gore Jr., a southern centrist who could unite the Communonationalists and the smaller Kennedy Democrat factions. Trent Lott, the Bundycrat, was also considered by Thurmond to ensure “that the South will always control this party. I don’t trust that Gore fella completely”. It was also rumoured that Thurmond had been paid off with DNC funds to resign his leadership position, but this was never proven. In all, these new faces would greatly help the democrats “move into the 21st century”.

The Progressives would focus on their “Northern Strategy”, while also presenting themselves as “The #1 anti-Bundy party” by furiously campaigning against Bundy’s drug war. There had been some whisperings of opposition to Perot and Lamm’s hold on the party, especially by Mayor Bernie Sanders, but since every party member and leader knew they needed each other, these divisions would remain under the sheets.

Generally, the Sixth Party system and the presence of relative big-tent parties would make each race “increasingly and increasingly local”. This forced voters to understand their candidates in-depth, which according to researchers at Michigan State lowered turnout relative to the 1980’s when the Progressives first emerged. It did, however, lead to a lot of interesting characters and “fun” elections. For example, an 11 year old boy named Zac Efron made the tabloid news as a successful Bundy impersonator at a Republican County convention.



Post-Election Leadership


Senate President Pro Tempore - Bob Dole (R-KS)

Senate Majority Leader - Richard Lugar (R-IN)

Senate Majority Whip - John Shadegg (R-AZ)


Senate Minority Leader - Al Gore Jr. (D-TN)

Senate Minority Whip - Trent Lott (D-MS)


Senate Opposition Leader - Dick Lamm (P-CO)

Senate Opposition Whip - Ruth Bader Ginsburg (P-NJ)



Speaker of the House - Nick Modi (R-TX9)

House Majority Leader - George W. Bush (R-TX18)

House Majority Whip - David Dreier (R-CA33)



House Minority Leader - Marcy Kaptur (D-OH9)

House Minority Whip - Dick Gephardt (D-MO3)


House Opposition Leader - Ross Perot (P-TX4)

House Opposition Whip - Patty Murray (P-WA1)




Governor elections

Paul Ilyinsky (D) vs. Andy Martin (R)


One of the most surprising stories of the night was the story of Paul Ilyinsky, the Tsar from Palm Beach. Born in the American Embassy of the U.K. to a Russian and an American socialite, he lived much of his life abroad in Western Europe. After his father divorced with his mother Audrey Emery, a socialite from Cincinnati, he moved back to America where had had lived in the city for nearly 20 years. He served in the Marine Corps and worked as a photographer in the Korean War. He later moved to Palm Beach where he worked a stint with associates in Emery Industries, and he became a well-known staple in the town. He had also worked as a community organizer, mobilizing the community on local issues, making state news when he blocked an attempt by then real estate developer, Donald Trump, to privatize the town’s famous Mar-a-Lago club, which he bought recently. He forced through a provision that at least a third of the members be town citizens. Some of his friends told him to run for the mayor’s race, but he elected not to, as his friend Yvelyne Marix had been doing a good job at listening to the needs of the community, and had been an ally in his attempt to limit the interests of developers. After taking up a job at another chemical company based in the Tampa area, he moved to St. Petersburg. After nearly 10 years getting involved in local politics, he saw that the Republican mayor was under investigation for corruption, but still set to run for re-election. Ilyinsky ran for the Democratic nomination, eventually winning the race in a landslide. Caring for local interests, Ilyinsky continued to force through changes for the city, simplifying zoning laws, and driving down rising rent prices. He had unintentionally crossed the path of Donald Trump yet again by refusing to ease restrictions on his interests in Saint Petersburg, with the rest of the Tampa area following suit. Assemblyman Rick Kriseman jokingly petitioned to ban the real estate developer from the city. His public criticism of the now Secretary of Treasury made him a darling of the Democratic Party, so it came to the surprise of none when the 70 year old mayor decided to run for governor. Running off of a promise of protecting the interests of native Floridians and anti-corruption policies, Ilyinsky won the primaries in a landslide, and after the retirement of popular Republican governor Howard Schnellenberger (who had decided to return to coaching at U Miami after his short political stint) had unexpectedly opened up the field, the Republicans were left scrambling for a replacement. Ilyinsky eventually faced off against a no-name Republican from the Kissimmee city council named Andy Martin, who won the primary after his opponents split the vote among themselves. His opponent was a weak campaigner, often turning to surrogates to stump for him in some rallies. Ilyinsky, on the other hand, showed vigor on the campaign trail even in his seventies, and had become a household name for his policies as mayor of St. Petersburg.


It came to no surprise that he won in a landslide. Ilyinsky would prove to be as much of a pain on the side of Bundy and Trump as Bernie Sanders was, but that did not stop his stride. Still sour over his humiliation by the now Floridian governor, Trump had attempted to make Ilyinsky retire, including an infamous effort setting him up to become the new Emperor of the FRR. (Ilyinsky was one of the main claimants to the Russian throne at the time, since his father, Grand Duke Dmitri, had been Tsar Nicholas’s first cousin. His father was banished at the time of the Russian Revolution for his involvement in Rasputin’s assassination, leading him to escape the Bolshevik purges.) Ilyinsky told the diplomats, “I’m flattered gentlemen, I really am, but I am entirely satisfied with my current job. It was one that I was elected to by my own merit, and not one chosen by birth. And I think I like our St. Petersburg more too. The Key Lime pie is to die for!”




Nevada Gubernatorial race:

Danny Tarkanian (R) vs. Kenny Guinn (D) vs. Edward Bernstein (P) vs. Cliven Bundy (NL)


The 90s were not a good decade for Nevada. The resurgence of social conservatism across the country led to Las Vegas, once a shining beacon of sin, seeing decreasing numbers of tourism. Meanwhile, industry jobs that had popped in in the northern parts of the state had been steadily moving to more profitable areas of the country. Las Vegas was not in the position to find another industry to support itself, and the city slowly hemorrhaged people. It became a sign of decay all across the American Southwest. Incumbent governor, Democrat Bob Miller, was widely seen as a failure. This stretch of low opportunity, low-income areas stretching from Eastern Oregon to San Bernardino to the Texas Panhandle was called the Tumbleweed Belt.
(Though this was not to say American arms-dealers were not involved in the Great Southern War. Despite the media choosing to refrain from covering the Great Southern War except for when major battles occurred, American arms-dealers in Africa were infamous for their cheap guns of sketchy origin. This included many eccentric people, like one Canadian-born Rally Johnson.)


Overcoming the association of Democrats with the poor economy, Jan Jones would be elected to the Senate. She banked on her popularity in Vegas, where as mayor she helped draw in more family friendly tourist attractions. However, the governor's race that year would be far more interesting. Bob Miller’s attempts to “shape up” the state had mixed results.
Overcoming a crowded field of more established candidates, lawyer Danny Tarkanian would win the Republican nomination, barely edging out to cattle rancher Cliven Bundy (no relation to the president). Tarkanian was a demagogue who relied heavily on his coaching success to reach gullible non-voters. Many weren’t sure what he believed in, other than that he was a big supporter of President Bundy. He would be going up against Lt. Governor Kenny Guinn (largely seen as a sacrificial lamb), of the Democrats, and the civil rights lawyer Edward Bernstein from the progressives. The most interesting candidate would be previously unheard of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy. While the Natural Law Party usually caucused with the Republicans and had chosen to sit out the higher level races instead of focus on gaining house seats, Bundy would nonetheless run on the party’s label. Bundy had a history of run-ins with the law, but exploited these as instances of Government overreach.


Tarkanian had a shady history as a coach that would be exploited by his competitors. Many also accused him or running only because of poor results on the court. However, the presence of Cliven Bundy allowed Tarkanian to deflect these attacks and position himself as “The sensible Crazy Angry Populist”.
Guinn tried to win over Mormon support by emphasizing “family values” over the less savory competitors. However, with a poor economy, people felt like voting “with their wallets and bile duct”. Meanwhile, Bernstein tried to win over Casino support by emphasizing looser gambling laws, a state lottery, and statewide legal prostitution. Ironically, this won her opposition from the casino’s (who thought a lottery would take away money) and the few areas where prostitution was legal (who thought statewide legalization would hurt business).
Anger at Democrats, Big Business Support, and worries about Cliven Bundy lead to Danny taking the floor of the Nevada Government.



Maryland Governor: Elinor Kimberly Agnew replaces her brother James, while he replaces Beal Jr. in the senate


While Bundy’s popularity had been hurt elsewhere, it was all kisses and roses in Maryland, where the Agnew family ruled “with an Iron Fist”. A resurgent economy, thanks to Baltimore-Caribbean trade, increased shipbuilding, and manufacturing, all had increased the popularity of the Agnew family. In addition, James Agnew had successfully handled the drug crisis to the point it was relatively unheard of in the state, thanks in part to the great job market, successful treatment centers that went against Bundy’s modus operandi, an inner city housing boom that cleared slums, and tripartisan approval for his state drug policy. James had also been incredibly successful in raising the stature of Maryland University to an elite public university, and sponsored Morgan State’s transformation from a smaller HBCU into a premier institution to rival Maryland U; known for its affordability and “return on investment” through excellent engineering, agricultural, and technical education. He had also eliminated the state income tax (which was only 1% at the time, as critics would note) in favor of a pollution fee (also meant to help fix the Chesapeake Bay) and lowered tolls on state highways. J. Agnew boasted that “Maryland has never had fewer miles of toll-free roads”. Agnew also appointed a record amount of Black Judges and added a Black History course requirement to graduate high school. To top it off, pride in the state rose after the Baltimore O’s won the world series back-to-back in 1997 and 1998 and Maryland Tennis won the NCAA’s tournament three times in four years. Feelings of goodwill leaked onto the ballot box. The Agnew family remained beloved in the state. The fact that they attracted a huge amount of new government offices, (that would usually had been located in Virginia), thanks to their inter-party influence didn’t hurt either, as evidenced by the relocation of the National Smithsonian Naval Museum and National Air and Space into the state after its destruction during the Second Blitz. It came to no surprise when Susan Agnew’s sister Elinor, a prominent businesswoman in Maryland’s famous crab industry, chose her luck in the family profession and won handily to a seat as Maryland's governor, a combination of her door-to-door campaigning and her last name itself able to pull her through. Her brother also cruised to a third term. Many outsiders were worried about the “Machine Politics” (NYPost 1999) in Maryland, but for the moment everything seemed fine. However, the African American elements in the state Republican Party wanted change, but didn’t know how to orchestrate it just yet. It would come soon, just not in 1998.


House Results - R’s keep house, just barely


House Before: (175R+ 1 LP), 171 D, 88 P


House Change: -6 R, -7D, +12 P, +1LP


House After: 169R 164 D, 100 P, 2 LP


In the House, the Progressive Party and the Democrats cannibalized each other, according to the final analysts. Numerous Republicans won by pluralities as neither the Progressives nor the Democrats could present themselves as the major second party. The Democrats lost seats overall and the progressives were by far the smallest major party. The Progressives, however, won numerous seats in California thanks to the wave in the Senate and Governor races.


The Natural Law Party (now holding 2 seats) helped the Republicans to keep a narrow majority in coalition. However, negotiations failed when the normally Republican-aligned party demanded control of the house agriculture committee chairmanship, which failed. Modi was forced to govern alone. While not important at the time, Modi grew increasingly irritated at the “whole stupid ag committee”, as negotiations around it and the LP had taken months for nothing. The LP members were only able to secure 1 seat on the Veterans Affairs and Small Business subcommittee’s respectively, which would deeply hurt this party’s appeal.




Senate Elections

Florida: Norman Schwarzkopf R Gain off D Buddy McKay vs Michael Arth (P)


In an interesting development, Norman Schwarzkopf, American hero and chief of the aide to war-torn Europe post-war under Donald Rumsfeld and especially Lee Iacocca, chose to run as a Republican. In his announcement speech, Schwarzkopf said he wanted “to chart a new path for American diplomacy in the Senate”. He criticized the “more isolationist elements of the cabinet and our national discord as...ostriches sitting the sand” while acknowledging that “the old powers of Europe, the French, Germans, and even the Russians have all made moves on the chessboard that have left America adrift...it is time for us to go on our own path without leaving the rest of the world behind.” At the same time, Schwartzkopf praised Bundy’s economic efforts (especially CarFTA which had been a boon for the state) and war on drugs. The latest drug wave had avoided florida (“the first time THAT’s ever happened” -Johnny Carson) thanks to both national and statewide efforts. In addition, Schwarzkopf’s opponent, Buddy McKay was notorious for his support for the South American interventions, which were unpopular with hispanic floridians. These two issues took away the most powerful arguments against the Republican Nominee. Schwartzkopf, after winning the nomination, also made the “bold” choice of endorsing Ilyinsky, praising him for his “bi-partisanship”. With no fourth candidate running, Republicans were “forced to stay with their man”,who did lay some Red Meat for the base in his economic platform and civil rights proposals, while also while Schwarzkopf won moderate Democratic support with his Gubernatorial endorsement.


Helping Schwarzkopf was Progressive candidate Michael E. Arth, the lone Progressive State Representative. Nicknamed “the Bernie of Tampa”, he had a coup when he won the endorsement of the state chapter of the SEIU that drained traditionally Democratic support.
Schwarzkopf's celebrity, public speaking, and mixed-platform allowed him to win in Florida and another celebrity voice entered the American political scene.



South Carolina: Bob Conley R Hold

Navy Pilot Bob Conley, who initially had only wanted to run for State Senate, was pushed to be a sacrificial lamb in the US Senate race, but after meeting with Cheney, Cheney convinced Bundy to invest in South Carolina (Bundy thought that there would be special meaning in keeping a “reach seat” in “redneck country”) and thus Conley thought there would be a chance.


Many considered Bob Conley an ultra liberty conservative (With Treen-esque elements) but of a new breed that could attract minaprogressives after he won the nomination of the very small state progressive party (which decided to focus funds on in-state races) due to his lukewarm opposition stance to the “nastier parts” of Bundy’s drug war and his firm isolationism. While this endorsement seemed not to matter at first, it could have been the difference.


Bob Conley ran a creative campaign. He even made moves to play up the Navy vs. Air Force dynamic of the race in various ads, as he attempted to run up his numbers in Charleston (with its huge Navy Presence). This would be reflected in the final vote total where Conley would dominate the coast of the state (though this was partially due to support from the tourist industry) as Graham won in Spartanburg (home of a huge air force b-51 bomber factory) and “redneck country”. Even with the tricks up Conley’s sleeve, Graham had the endorsement of Thurmond, a huge amount of campaign money, support from the few in-state liberals (as unlike Kristol he was a huge supporter of Caseycare) and started the campaign as the resounding favorite in a race few national pollsters aid attention too, thinking it was a given Democratic Pickup.


However, Graham would make one big blunder. In a speech at Clemson University, Graham would attack Bundy for “abandoning our French Allies in their time of need...it is time for the civilized part of the world to teach the Southern Rabble their place in the world...to punish them for djibouti..and to ensure that India and China never blot out the American Empire whatever the cost...Yes this means war, but war is the natural order of things”.
In a later television interview, Graham said that he stood by his commitment of the US to war citing “the natural danger that such a demographically potent country such as India presented, and still presents, to the USA”.


However, at the time, this completely transformed the race unto a referendum on the Great Southern War. Conley would play this up, accusing Graham of being a “warmonger” and a “dangerous presence on the world stage”. The winner of this race would likely have a seat on the foreign relations committee, a fact that Conley would repeat everywhere he went. Conley asked “do you want to die for France and return to the days of rationing, well than you have your candidate”. When Conley won the endorsement of the “Disabled Veterans for America” who cited Graham as “the type of individual who discredits the fine peacemaking our armed services do” it seemed that Graham would never recover.


Bob Conley, who started the race down twenty points, started running up the score and winning in a 7-point thumping, outside of core Democratic areas and Air Force hotbeds by the end of the campaign, and won comfortably.


The “New Internationalist” Democrats would have to wait. Graham, thanks to all his fame, became a professor at Furman University while Conley would be “the new kid on the block” in the senate.


Senate Elections


Alabama Richard Shelby D Hold


Alaska Ray Metcalfe P Hold


Arizona John Shadegg R Hold


Arkansas Winston Bryant D Hold


California Jerry Brown P gain of open seat off Gary Condit (D) and John Seymour (R)


Colorado Gale Norton R Hold


Connecticut Lowell P. Weicker Jr. P Hold


Georgia Larry McDonald D Hold


Hawaii Patsy Mink P Hold


Idaho Larry EchoHawk D Gain off of R Butch Otter vs Matt Lambert P


Illinois Dick Durbin D Gain off of R Phil Crane


Indiana Evan Bayh D Hold


Iowa Tom Harkin P Hold


Kansas Sam Brownback R Hold


Kentucky Steve Beshear D Hold


Louisiana James Carville D Gain off R David Treen


Maryland Susan Scott Agnew R Hold


Missouri Mel Carnahan D Hold


Nevada Jan Jones D Gain off R Jim Santini


New Hampshire Bob Smith R Hold


New York Bill Kristol D Gain of C-NY James Buckley (retire) R Susan Molinari vs P Chuck Schumer


North Carolina Andy Griffith D Gain off R Jim Broyhill


North Dakota Kent Conrad P Hold


Ohio George Voinovich R Gain off of D Bernadine Healey


Oklahoma James Boren - P Gain off D Wes Watkins vs Frank Keating


Oregon Jack Herer R Hold


Pennsylvania Hillary Heinz R Gain off of D retirement.


South Carolina Bob Conley R Hold


South Dakota Larry Pressler P Hold


Utah Jon Huntsman Jr. R Hold


Vermont Patrick Leahy P Hold


Washington Linda Smith R Hold


Wisconsin Eric Hovde R Gain off of D Russ Feingold




Senate Results


Before: 49 R+1 C-NY+1 AKIP, 33 D, 16 P


After: 47 R, 35 D, 18 P+1 AKIP


Total change: -2R,+2D, +2P, -1 C-NY


Due to the fact that a majority or even a tie was impossible, Lugar declined to negotiate with AKIP, even though Vogler was very close to Bundy. Lugar knew AKIP alienated moderate voters, and he had a personal distaste for Vogler’s “independence antics”. Lugar also knew that if Vogler interacted more with the Progressive and Democratic senators that he would be of more help winning them over to any new legislative proposals. Joe Vogler of AKIP decided to Caucus with the Progressive Party after they offered him one of their posts on the Energy Committee even though they agreed little on economic issues and less on social issues. Bundy hoped that he could build close enough partnerships to win over the votes Bundy needed to keep churning out legislation.






While the 1998 Midterms were not the “Home Run Mandate” wanted by both parties of the opposition after the NY Mayoral Race, they did force Bundy to re-examine himself. He realized that he would have to “flip the deck”, meaning he would have to build political capital with bipartisan measures before rallying up support for more Republican policies before the 2000 elections. The Progressive Party had been rewarded for its unity with gains in both the Senate and House. Many wondered if they would overtake the Democrats eventually as the leading opposition party. However, the Democrats believed that many of their old voters would “Return home” with the Presidential elections. In addition, they had new blood in their ranks in the Senate and Governors mansions. The Progressives also had severely underperformed in state house and senate races, in part one of the key weaknesses of Perot’s “Northern Strategy”, although Progressives did relatively well in Mayoral elections. Regardless of the conclusions on drew, the next few years would be fascinating.
 
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105th Senate


Alabama-



1. George Wallace Jr. (D)


2. Richard Shelby (D)



Alaska-



1. Jack Cogill (AIP)


2. Ray Metcalf (P)



Arizona-



1. John Shadegg (R)


2. Jon Kyl (R)



Arkansas-



1. Dale Bumpers (D)


2. Jim Guy Tucker (D)



California-



1. Edwin Meese (R)


3. Jerry Brown (P)



Colorado-



2. Dick Lamm (P)


3. William Armstrong (R)



Connecticut-



1. Barbara Kennelly (D)


3. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. (P)



Delaware-



1. Pete DuPont (R)


2. Mike Castle (R)



Florida-



1. Mel Martinez (D)


2. Norman Schwarzkopf (R)



Georgia-



2. Zell Miller (D)


3. Larry MacDonald (D)



Hawaii-



1. William F. Quinn (R)


3. Patsy Mink (P)



Idaho-



1. Larry Echo Hawk (D)


2. David H. Leroy (R)



Illinois-



1. Dick Durbin (D)


2. Al Salvi (R)



Indiana-



1. Richard Lugar (R)


2. Evan Bayh (D)



Iowa-



1. Terry Branstad (R)


2. Tom Harkin (P)



Kansas-



1. Sam Brownback (R)


2. Bob Dole (R)



Kentucky-



1. Peppy Martin (R)


2. Steve Beshear (D)



Louisiana-



1. Mitch Landrieu (D)


2. James Carville (D)



Maine-



1. Susan Collins (P)


2. Olympia Snowe (P)



Maryland-



1. John Glenn Beall Jr. (R)


2. Susan Scott Agnew (R)



Massachusetts-



1. John Kerry (D)


2. Margaret Heckler (R)



Michigan-



1. Dave Bonior (R)


2. Owen Bieber (D)



Minnesota-



1. Dean Barkley (P)


2. Paul Wellstone (P)



Mississippi-



1. Trent Lott (D)


2. Thad Cochran (R)



Missouri-



1. John Danforth (R)


2. Mel Carnahan (D)



Montana-



1. Judy Martz (R)


2. Conrad Burns (R)



Nebraska-



1. Bob Kerrey (D)


2. Chuck Hagel (R)



Nevada-



1. Jan Jones (D)


2. Paul Laxalt (R)



New Hampshire-



1. Jack Smith (R)


2. -Steve Merrill (R)



New Jersey-



1. Christine Todd Whitman (R)


2. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (P)



New Mexico-



1. Art Trujillo (D)


2. Harrison Schmitt (R)



New York-



1. George Pataki (R)


2. Bill Kristol (D)




North Carolina-



3. Andy Griffiths (D)


2. Jesse Helms (D)



North Dakota-



1. Kent Conrad (P)


2. Byron Dorgan (P) (NPL)



Ohio-



1. Jerry Springer (D)


2. George Voinovich (R)



Oklahoma-



1. David Boren (D)


2. James Boren (P)



Oregon-



1. Denny Smith (R)


2. Jack Herer (R)



Pennsylvania-



1. Hillary R. Heinz (R)


2. Harris Wofford (D)



Rhode Island-



1. Fernand St. Germain (D)


2. Lincoln Chafee (R)



South Carolina-



1. Strom Thurmond (D)


2. Bob Conley (R)



South Dakota-



1. James Abdnor (R)


2. Larry Pressler (P)



Tennessee-



1. Al Gore Jr. (D)


2. Phil Bredesen (D)



Texas-



1. Phil Gramm (R)


2. Antonin Scalia (R)



Utah-



1. Orrin Hatch (R)


2. Jon Huntsman Jr. (R)



Vermont-



1. Jim Jeffords (P)


2. Patrick Leahy (P)



Virginia-



1. Pat Buchanan (R)


2. John Warner (R)



Washington-



1. Linda Smith (R)


2. Slade Gorton (R)



West Virginia-



1. Ken Hechler (D)


2. Robert Byrd (D)



Wisconsin-



1. Dave Obey (P)


2. Eric Hovde (R)



Wyoming-



1. Teno Roncalio (D)


2. Jim Geringer (R)

 
Interesting. What is Mary Landrieu up to at this point in time? Has she focused mainly on the state level for a possible Governor run?



I must admit my confusion at this. What lead Thad Cochran to be a Republican ITTL?

Mary is in politics as well, it's just more fun to try to avoid giving too many people the positions they had IOTL.

And believe it or not, Trent Lott was considered one of the more moderate Republicans in the Senate during most of his tenure IOTL.
 
That is a really good question.

OTL, Thad Cochran was as Dixie as they got. ITTL, the Republican Party is the party credited for civil rights.
Mainly he got into a massive fight with the Mississippi Dixiecrat establishment due to personal issues and ego conflicts with the Bosses leading him to be more or less kicked out of the party. Still not wanting to give up on politics and agreeing with the Republicans more on Fisical issues (along with being abit less racist due to butterfly’s), he decided to take the leap to the Republican side and take their nomiantion.
 
Mainly he got into a massive fight with the Mississippi Dixiecrat establishment due to personal issues and ego conflicts with the Bosses leading him to be more or less kicked out of the party. Still not wanting to give up on politics and agreeing with the Republicans more on Fisical issues (along with being abit less racist due to butterfly’s), he decided to take the leap to the Republican side and take their nomiantion.
Same thing happened ITTL as well
 
Great Southern War - African Front


Battle of Victoria Falls

By the time of the Christmas of 1997, the situation on the ground in Rhodesia was beyond horrible. The Rhodesian forces, reinforced by South African, Bechuanalander, and French troops, were barely able to hold the Entebbe Pact forces north of the Umtali-Gatooma-Wankie Line, stretching from the Mozambican border in the east to Victoria Falls in the North-West. They were starting to crumble further under the pressure of the Indian bombing campaign. Rhodesian morale was also hurt by the fact that the northern third of the country, which included the capital of Salisbury, was occupied by Entebbe Pact forces, propped by many African nationalists and fifth columnists that opposed the Chequers Court Agreement of ‘82. Many of these same people had allied with communist Zambia during WWIII, and after Zambia was defeated and divided between the victorious Entebbe Pact leaders, they offered their services to the new African nationalist strongmen of the region. As 1998 began, the Entebbe Pact’s Supreme Command in Kampala had decided to break the defense line around Wankie (or as they called it, Hwange), in order sweep over the Matabeleland and threaten Bulawayo, the new provisional capital of Rhodesia. The Rhodesian government had forged a plan of outflanking the Entebbe Pact forces by attacking the enemy lines at the Victoria Falls. They would take over the strategic city of Livingstone and advance along the border from there to take over the northern bank of Lake Kariba. By then, they would practically cut the enemy forces in charge of the northern midlands from their supplies. Rhodesia would have no choice but to attack. In charge of the Concordat’s counter-offensive was Peter Walls, a well-known commander in the Rhodesian army, willing to command for the last time in the defense of his nation. His lieutenant, Constantino Chiwenga, would lead the crucial second half of the attack.


Members of the newly-born Zimbabwean army, armed with surplus arms and equipment of the Entebbe alliance, are ready on the front line (1998, around Lubimbi)


RLI troops pose for a picture before the launch of the counter-offensive (1998, around Wankie)

The attack began in February 1998 and was somewhat successful when initiated as fresh reinforcements from France and Belgium came in. They managed to sweep across the way to the Zambezi and cross it at Victoria Falls. After a heavy battle on both sides of the falls, which included heavy bombardment campaigns and an amphibious assault, the regional hub of Livingstone finally fell into the hands of the Concordat. However, they faced resistance when they tried to advance eastward on the northern bank of the river, on their way to Lake Kariba.


Rhodesian military policewomen march into the newly-conquered Livingstone (1998, former Congolese Livingstone military base)

Battle of Tsumeb

When the Concordat forces retreated from the occupied Caprivi Strip region to the city of Tsumeb, they began work on fortifying the city. The Entebbe Pact was beginning to sweep the dry Namib desert at lightning speed, on a beeline to the regional capital of Windhoek and the mineral-rich region around it. Tsumeb, nicknamed “the gateway to the north”, was the only city standing on their way. Concordat forces, still commanded by South African Lt. Col. Vusumuzi Masondo, had a shortage in manpower. Because of this, the Concordat supreme command made a decision to bring some troops from the South American front to the Rhodesian counter-offensive, and South African defense divisions to the west to fill the gap in Namibia. The flat plains of the region meant there was little geographically to act as a barrier to the frontline.

The Entebbe Pact’s regional commander, one Abel Chivukuvuku however, knew better than to attack the town head-on and try sieging it. He would lose a critical amount of men and supplies in the process. Instead feinted, moving in an unexpected direction. He took the nearby town of Grootfontein, cutting off their main supply line. Expecting this, the local commander, Lawrence Mbatha, recalled some troops to ensure a steady supply of material for his men, who were not well stocked. After fighting a short skirmish, the Entebbe Pact force retreated, allowing the South Africans to retake the town. Shortly afterward Chivukuvuku went and ordered his men back about 20 miles to consolidate recent gains. Masondo interpreting these two events as a sign that his opponent was a paper tiger, and would likely flee at the sign of any real action. He also felt that the enemy’s lines were thinly stretched enough that he could easily make a breakthrough their lines. And so, in a brash move, Mbatha abandoned his position in Tsumeb and ordered a bold counter-attack northward all the way to the Angolan border 130 miles away.

Unfortunately, he fell right into Chivukuvuku’s trap. After Mbatha abandoned his secure position in the town, the Entebbe Pact took to the offensive and called two regiments to cut off the counter-offensive. Mbatha quickly realized that he led his men into a trap and tried to break out, but by then it was too little too late, and he quickly found that both he and his thirty-five thousand men encircled. They were continually given supplies and food by airdrops and sorties to keep them well-equipped and in the fight. And fight they did. They would keep on resisting for months, capturing the imagination of South Africans for their resilience. Their actions drew away troops from the assault on Windhoek and likely prevented any bold pushes into Cape Town.


The Situation in the Portuguese African holdings

One of the hardest positions for the Concordat forces was defending the Portuguese Angola pocket: 69,000 square miles of land surrounded on all sides by hostile territory. As the war has broken, a draft in the Portuguese metropole was declared by King Kaulza. Though there was no danger to Metropole, they needed to conscript enough soldiers to defend “the shelter of the empire”, as the king called it. An extensive war plan was made to keep the pocket in their hands at all costs: First, they decided to retreat from indefensible positions, shortening the frontline. This sadly meant the withdrawal of forces that defended the small, northern enclave of Cabinda. This was despite its strategic oil fields, which before the war started pumped out nearly a million barrels of oil a day. It was even more geographically indefensible than the rest of the Portuguese Angolan mainland, meaning that it would have likely fallen anyways. The province’s population of nearly four hundred thousand Portuguese and native Africans were quickly evacuated to the rest of Portuguese Africa. Second, Concordat allies fortified the region with antiaircraft missiles and SAM systems, which would prove itself as an effective method to prevent “another Djibouti”. Third, they used a strategy not used since WWI: A static frontline of makeshift bunkers and trenches, armed by machine guns and mortar. This proved useful keeping away massive waves of infantry and light armored vehicles offensives, which kept the Entebbe pact forces out of the region. The Portuguese surprised everyone by holding the line.


A Portuguese fighter, armed with a machine gun, defends the "Kaulza Line" (1998, around Cambambe )

Invasion of Thailand

Recent victories by both the Entebbe Pact and India had “cleared the board”. India was stuck in a stalemate with Pakistan, though it was “a very mobile stalemate”, with both sides constantly attacking and counter-attacking. Saddam Hussein and the Entebbe Pact prevented any outside reinforcements. In addition, the French still had limited manpower and were focused almost entirely on Africa. With this, the other half of the Dual Alliance, China, was contemplating their entry into the war.

Taking advantage of the cool Season in January, Chinese High Command wanted to eliminate the Thai Threat as quickly as possible. The French were planning to base gas missiles and bombers out of Thailand as if it were an unsinkable aircraft carrier. The Chinese Navy had increased rapidly in size since the Junta had taken control, although it was the lesser of the branches. Its force would be augmented by a paratrooper force. Moreover, Laos and Burma, while currently neutral, promised to allow Chinese troops to move through their territory before they would officially enter the war.

The Chinese High Command wanted a three-pronged attack, with a naval invasion in Bangkok, and a land invasion in the North through Laos (which had not yet officially entered the war), which would connect to paratrooper and helicopter landings in the northern-center of Thailand. Following this, the Burmese army would advance through the Southwest, cutting off alleys for the retreat for the Thai army. The planned date for the invasion was January 1st of 1999, with the intent to possibly take advantage of any western New Year’s celebration, (and hopefully coincide victory with Chinese New Year).


Chinese soldiers in order exercises north of the border with Laos, prepared for the invasion order (1998, 120 miles south of Kunming, Yunnan)

The Thai knew they would have to defend for an invasion, and had the main goal of buying time, hoping that the French could aide them later on in a protracted struggle. Moreover, they were prepared to wage guerilla war if worse came to worst. The king had built up a huge stock of small arms from illegal Russian dealers from the Caucasus and the Middle Volga. The royal secret police had set up underground fortresses and bases of operation as well, ready to hold out for a long fight.

The pieces were set.
 
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The hopes and dreams of the peace planners in Warsaw have fallen apart quicker than Versailles or Potsdam. The result is a more evenly distributed world power structure, but only on top of mountains of bodies.
 
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