Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Waiter: Here's Your Reality Check Sir

For those who shall remain nameless whose comments seem to indicate the belief that BHO's popularity funk is the consequence of progressives' disappointment with the man, we offer Mark Mellman's analysis of the 2010 midterms from The Hill.

Mellman notes well that compared to the 2006 midterms--not the 2008 presidentials, an invalid comparison--all the indicators show that the party of the left lost because voters who voted D in 2006 voted R in 2010.

The dramatic shift to the GOP happened in all demographic categories except African-Americans (whose political isolation is thereby indicated, but that's another topic). The only group with under-par turnout was union members, who still voted in numbers disproportionate to their percentage of the population at large but didn't respond to their leaders' marching orders with the same esprit de corps demonstrated in 2006. And if the term "Reagan Democrat" means anything these days, it has to suggest that at least as many who wear the union label were stay-at-homes because they were angry with the leftward direction taken by their patronage party as were disappointed that the Internationale is not yet the national anthem of the People's Republic of Lands Unfairly Taken.

BHO is in trouble along with his party because they really can't believe that this is an intrinsically center-right country. They believe all the fantasies that the Common Folk should Rise Up when they encounter the properly gifted and enlightened Beneficent Leader. And they get really prickly when the Common Folk don't do what they're supposed to do when given the chance.

Leave that waiter a good tip.


Tom_KY said...

Flattery will get you everywhere.

The SWIND suggests this is a center-right country, as if the president has flung the country wildly to the left with his government policies.

Let's see…

Caving on tax cuts, despite the fact that only 26% of the country support the GOP - according to a CBS News Poll. He is thus - RIGHT - of 74% of the country.;contentBody

Let's see, did he nationalize banks as a liberal would want to do and since even W. said that the free market couldn't fix this problem (another miscalculation on his part)? Nope

Did he withdraw troops immediately from Iraq & Afghanistan? Nope.

Did he prosecute war criminals as the ACLU demanded. Nope

Did he use any of his political capital to move the debate to the left on marriage equality or DADT? Nope - hasn't exerted any influence whatsoever.

Is he a radical lefty on energy exploration? Nope - moved to the right on deep sea exploration.

Oh, wait, his education plan probably calls for rampant socialism and more union memberships. Uh, no. Supports teacher accountability and has irritated one of his biggest supporters – teacher’s unions

It seems that the only person that has stood by his convictions (since Obama hasn't and the Republicans haven't with the Pledge to America going down the drain before they've even had a chance to run the place) is the Senator-Elect from KY, who has signaled that he will vote against the compromise.

Seems to me that the SWIND should have an Obama sticker on the back of his car.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

We are reminded of Monty Python's immortal "Spam" sketch: "How about the eggs, beans, sausage and Spam? It doesn't have much Spam in it!"

Not as liberal as Henry Wallace's ghost would be. Noted. We give thanks for all the blessings of a beneficent providence.

26%? Who controls the House on January 2, and by how much? These elections are so annoying!

Tom_KY said...


The people who will control the House on January 2nd are the same ones that were thrown out when your Seniors were Freshmen.

The 26% is proof-positive that voters are what Bryan Caplan theorized as "rationally irrational". Caplan is an economist at George Mason, not exactly a bastion of liberal thought.

"If voters are systematically mistaken about what policies work, there is a striking implication: They will not be satisfied by the politicians they elect. A politician who ignores the public's policy preferences looks like a corrupt tool of special interests. A politician who implements the public's policy preferences looks incompetent because of the bad consequences."

I would refer you to a SWIND hero - Dubya. Said he would privatize social security if re-elected, was re-elected, went around the country promoting the privatization of social security, and the public treated him like a leper.

But that was a campaign promise! Why was he re-elected?

Back to the quote...

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

And 40% of Americans self-identify as conservative, a slightly smaller percentage as moderate, and a little over 20% as liberal. Three quarters of the electorate is conservative or moderate; hence, center-right. Thou shalt not confuse the number of registered Republicans with self-identified conservatives.

Now and then the moderates irrationally swing to the Dems, hoping that this time their snake oil will work. Their irrationality is not learning their lesson permanently.

BTW, we're not sure how your example fits the theory, inasmuch as it isn't a policy failure but a political failure that you cite. If Bush had miraculously passed the hyper-rational privatization of the SS, and voters didn't like it, the theory fits the anecdote. Otherwise, it fits some other anecdote, like the ability of FDR's party to run on his ghost's coattails for nearly a century.