Election results about ideology as much as economy
By: Robert E. Meyer
A recent editorial theme that is overworked among the soothsayers of conventional wisdom, is suggesting that newly elected conservatives have a short time to right the economic ship, or face the same expulsion many Democrats faced in the recent election.
In reality, they have no time at all, because hard leftists didn’t vote for them, nor will they in the next election regardless of the level of economic progress made in the next two years. These hard core voters are motivated strictly by ideology, not results, and as such, have a prefabricated template to justify their preferences without respect to what actually happens.
These folks manifest their sour grape juice because they believe that Obama wasn’t given enough time with a Democratic majority in Congress to achieve an economic turnaround. The republicans are the party of “No. They can’t imagine the real problem is that voters calculated Obama and the Democrats didn’t do the right things with the time they were given in the first place.
If the economy perks up in the next two years they will claim Obama’s policies are coming to fruition despite conservative obstructionism.
If the economy fares poorly it will be because of the gridlock invoked by the newly elected representatives against Obama’s policies.
Suppose, Heaven forbid, that Obama is re-elected because of effectual conservative policies, in the same fashion in which co-opting the Contract With America helped Clinton to re-election in 1996. If the economy again tails off afterward, theyâ€™ll say that even Obama can’t reverse 20 years of the Reagan-Bush-Bush complex in a mere two terms. The answer will be either to elect another liberal for president or amend the Constitution so that a third term for Obama is possible.
Of course if things go well theyâ€™ll say â€œlook which party had a president in the Whitehouse when all these good things happened.â€
There is also a flip-flop in how economic data is viewed. When the unemployment rate under George W. Bush reached a staggering 6.4% for a single month during his first term, the Chicken Littleâ€™s were proclaiming that the sky was falling. Recently when I brought up the high unemployment rate under Obama, I was reminded by a liberal apologist that the unemployment rate had stabilized. Likewise, under Bush, debt was a blight, whereas under Obama, all that debt was a small price to pay for bringing this country back from a precipice of economic depression. A healthy DJIA under Bush was â€œgood for Wall Street, but not helpful to Main Street.â€ Under Obama a rise in the market from the bowels of hell is considered a good financial omen.
Equally predictable is the boilerplate assertion that emotional and uneducated voters propelled this political reversal. That disregards voting trends in 2008, where Obama was lifted by enthusiasm of young, idealistic voters, with virtually no life experience to influence their political preferences. I guess these erudite voters were busy watching M-TV this time around.
Adding to that, those wise sages, Bill Maher and Michael Moore made recent statements about the election results that did little to alleviate our perceptions about their serial buffoonery.
Is anybody considering that folks in the middle of the political spectrum(those sophisticated and enlightened moderates who now think theyâ€˜ve been had) might have recognized that Obama did not keep political promises that could have easily been kept. Remember the promises of transparency? Putting deliberations on C-span? How about bi-partisanship? And can anyone not want to run the other way when a president talks about how ethical his administration will be? It was unfortunate that so many of these people did not heed the warnings about Obama that were abundant before the election, but now they have discovered this political debacle for themselves. Good for them.
After all, even Rip Van Winkle woke up.