Friday, November 10, 2006

A wonderfully simple analysis of the US mid terms

There is something sensible about this analysis from Kevin Drum (via The American Scene):

. . . I want to add one more thing so simple-minded that I'm almost embarrassed to mention it. Here it is: if you pursue popular policies, you win. If you pursue unpopular policies, you lose. Ideology is secondary.

In George Bush's first term, Republicans passed tax cuts, No Child Left Behind, campaign finance reform, Sarbanes-Oxley, a Medicare prescription drug plan, went to war against Afghanistan and Iraq, and appointed a bunch of conservative judges. Liberals may not have liked all of this stuff, but all of it polled pretty well. They were popular policies.

In Bush's second term, Republicans pursued Social Security privatization, made a spectacle over Terri Schiavo, and fiddled while New Orleans drowned. In addition, they passed a bankruptcy bill and an energy bill that didn't win them any points with rank-and-file voters, fought over immigration legislation, and refused to even allow a vote on widely supported measures like a minimum wage increase. This did not exactly reflect the popular will.


It isn't exactly intellectual hence, perhaps, why it has been so little remarked on in the wider post election discussion but this description makes a lot of sense.

1 comment:

edmund2 said...

I'm unconved to be honest, bush's and Republicans fall in rattings and the generic ballot went with iraq not policy crisis, eg they dind't fall after Shchaveo and not even that much after the attempt to privitize Social Security ect

What i think is true is thye lacked popular issues that differentiated them, which was very important, the nearest one was immigraiton but bush sided wit the unpopular ken livingstone style position on that- this helps explain incidentally why so few Republican who campaigned hard from early on lost-because immigration gave individual candidates a strong wedge issue but not the paryt as a whole