I’m trying to not spend too much time on hack politics, that is establishment electoral politics. Unfortunately, sometimes I can’t help myself and other times, I think no one understands how to interact with politics in any other way. So, despite knowing better…
We’re in the beginning of a long period of switching people out every election until some sort of viable alternative develops. At this point, the best thing either party has going for itself is the other party. Many people are comparing this year to ’94, but it’s much different, and will be shown to be if the Dems get a health care bill past, they’ll still probably lose the Congress. But there’s a much bigger difference between now and 1994. The Dems kept control of the Congress for another 14 years after the fall of the New Deal coalition via simple inertia. The party was losing seats almost every cycle since 1964 and was ready to drop well before ’94, just the Reps were never that well liked.
In ’94 amongst the Dem political pooh-bahs, the thought the Dems could never lose the House was simply gospel, despite the fact the numbers showed they were easily ready to go down. This year is different because the Dems just regained control in 2006, there is no inertia, and no established political doctrine like the New Deal. The Dems regained power for one reason, they were not the Reps, and the Reps will regain power for the same reason, they are not the Dems. Now, if you think this state of affairs depressing, you’d be right. Nate Silver has a nice little piece about the numbers right now, and they are truly atrocious for Dems, except as he points out, if you are Rep. However, the Reps need only rely on a little more time, we Americans have short memories, and a little gain in credibility, and their numbers will begin going up by end of summer. After all, as Kang said, or was it Kronos, “Vote for a third party, go ahead waste your vote!”
The polling numbers of the past year have really been neither Dem or Rep favorable, they have been completely and virulently anti-established politics. If they stay that way, more than a few Rep incumbents will also meet defeat this November. In fact, unlike most years in our politburo type incumbency return numbers, getting rid of your party’s incumbent before the general will in many cases serve you well. There’s two numbers of great importance for November, unemployment and the Dow. If Dow is above 10,000 and unemployment below 9, the Dems can hold on. Unemployment above 10 and the Dow below 10, the Dems will likely lose both houses to a group of people who have no better idea what to do than those they’re replacing. Our politics is broken.