Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The paranoid style

If you're looking for clear-eyed analysis if yesterday's election results, LGM's your spot. If you're looking for the item that best anticipates the craziness that we can expect at least through 2010, this is it.

The thing that worries me about yesterday's results is that Dems will misguidedly follow the typical Beltway analysis of this being 1.) all about Obama's lefty agenda; 2.) a warning to Dems on going "too far" on health care, climate change legislation etc.,; 3.) the electorate is swerving rightward.

All utter nonsense.

On #1, Obama's favorability is still plenty high in VA and NJ. I mean, look to New York City for a read on how a bad economy combined with an uninspired campaign ("He's capable!") left Bloomberg both $142 million less wealthy and almost out of a job despite a 20-1 advantage on spending and an equally uninspiring opposition.

On #3, turnout for off-year elections is generally low and dominated by older, wealthier, more conservative voters.

And on #2, Dems had better start delivering on progressive health care and cap & trade legislation as well as other issues meaningful to younger, more liberal voters or we'll really be lamenting the results a year from now. The voters who were energized in 2006 and propelled Obama to the White House in 2008 are not going to be inspired to vote by half-measures and compromises with Joe Lieberman.

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