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Sunday, August 15, 2010

NYT posits that Dems will benefit, compared to 1994, by "lack of surprise" over voter discontent

Today's NYT also contains as nice a piece of self-delusion — entitled "This Time, Voter Anger is No Surprise" — as has ever been recorded in the annals of psychotherapy. It begins with an anecdote and proceeds to what the NYT clearly hopes will be accepted as shrewd political analysis applicable to Democratic incumbents nationally:

A year ago, dozens of protesters gathered outside the district office of Representative Ike Skelton, a Democrat who has represented a wide stretch of western Missouri since 1976. The anger they directed at health care legislation — and by extension most Congressional Democrats — left the party in a state of near panic.

It may, in retrospect, have been the best thing that could have happened to Mr. Skelton and his colleagues.

In the arsenal of advantages that Republicans hold as they seek to win control of Congress this year, one thing is missing: the element of surprise. Unlike 1994, when Republicans shocked Democrats by capturing dozens of seats held by complacent incumbents, there will be no sneak attacks this year. Democrats have sensed trouble for more than a year, with the unrest from town-hall-style meetings last August providing indisputable evidence for any disbelievers.

The result has been to goad many Democrats into better preparation: more fund-raising, earlier advertising, lots of time on the campaign trail.

Because, of course, everyone knows that the incumbents who do more fund-faising, do earlier advertising, and spend more time on the campaign trail should win, regardless of what they've done in office.

U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) Take a step back. There is a significant admission not very well hidden in this delusive fantasy: The Dems have known for at least a year already that their actions in office were angering the public. Did they change what they were doing? No, they did not. They've kept doing what the Democratic Party's collection of special interest groups wants, meaning they've kept up the unprecedented and outrageous volume of government handouts and the associated opportunities for graft. And they've extended the bumbling, fumbling, incompetent, and destructive reach of the federal government further into your health care, your energy use, the cars you drive, and dozens of other aspects of what you used to think of as being "your" lives.

And having spat in their constituents' collective faces, they're going to hunker down, fire up their attack ads, fan the flames of class- and race-warfare, point the finger at Boooosh, and generally hope that this somehow turns out to be, against all polls and predictions, one of those years where they can still fool most of the people all of the time.

Yes, Representative Skelton, you and your buddies have finally captured the public's rapt attention, and now they're on to you. As a consequence, the hanging party has gathered, the pots of tar are heating, and they're cutting up pillows for feathers. But just like the NYT says: all that's the very best set of things that could have happened to you — if you're willing to heed the advance warnings and get the hell out of Washington before they catch up to you. But your lack of surprise at their outrage, brother, isn't likely to save you; instead, it just makes you more guilty.

Posted by Beldar at 06:09 AM in 2010 Election, Congress, Politics (2010) | Permalink


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(1) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 15, 2010 6:36:56 AM | Permalink

A warning: Any comment about Bush-era deficits that fails to acknowledge, in quantitative terms, the relative magnitude of those deficits compared to Obama's, will be summarily deleted.

(2) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Aug 15, 2010 10:52:43 AM | Permalink

From "the bottom line" ...
And, do not excuse yourself with George Wallace’s 1968 assertion that, of the two parties, "There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them!"

There truly is a difference; the type of arrogant snots who feel they must control every aspect of our lives (because we’re too damned stupid to do so ourselves) seem to infest the Democratic party far more than they do the Republican party.

That difference is worth preserving, worth fighting for. Always!

But especially during the Nov 2010 elections.

I believe, to the bottom of my soul, that difference to be fundamental, and feel that it is present in the Tea Party movement and in the candidates they support.

My greatest fear of the political elites in the GOP leadership is that they will do (and apparently are doing) their level best to erase that difference; as if they're ashamed of it.

(3) Dwayne Chasteen made the following comment | Aug 15, 2010 4:37:15 PM | Permalink

Glad you're back. You've been missed.

(4) Neo made the following comment | Aug 16, 2010 12:57:04 PM | Permalink

My recollection of 1994 doesn't have the electorate even half a mad as they are now. Sure they were unhappy, but ObamaCare makes this process personal. When it's personal, it becomes a blood sport.

(5) Vicky Hartzler made the following comment | Aug 16, 2010 4:37:55 PM | Permalink

I'd do a trackback if I knew how, but since I don't, I'll just tell you that I shared this post on my Facebook page. Great job! We fully expect to beat Ike in the fall, thanks in large part to you and all the other grassroots folks pressing for change in Missouri and all over the country. Together, we will do it!
-Vicky Hartzler

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