It's the Stupid, Stupid

From Bob Cesca

Via Kevin Drum, the new Washington Post poll shows across-the-board preference for the Democrats over the Republicans on everything from the economy to personal values. On the "deserve to be re-elected" question, Republicans are less deserving of re-election than Democrats.

But more people said they're going to vote for Republicans anyway.

As Drum notes, it's the economy. And I agree, but I would add that it's also stupidity. Many of the most determined voters right now are people who believe the Obama administration is somehow banning prayer and indoctrinating children. They don't realize that 30 percent of the first stimulus was tax cuts. They don't realize that less spending and deficit reduction will make things worse. Most of all, they're willing to let the Republicans have a stab at governing again, even though they believe the Republicans are less competent and less capable. Pure insanity.


J said... / Sep 9, 2010, 11:37:00 AM

"Today, as usual, but perhaps even more so, Americans are in the iron grip of cognitive dissonance. It is a genteel mental disorder afflicting those people -- essentially everybody -- who have contradictory convictions and yearnings. Consider health care. Americans want 2008 medicine at 1958 prices, and universal coverage with undiminished choice -- without mandatory purchases or government interference with choices, including doctor-patient relationships. As usual, neither party completely pleases a majority of voters. That is why 19 of the 31 elections since World War II produced or preserved divided government -- the presidency and at least one chamber of Congress controlled by different parties.

Divided government compels compromises that curb each party's excesses, especially both parties' proclivities for excessive spending when unconstrained by an institution controlled by the other party. William Niskanen, chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute, notes that in the last 50 years, "government spending has increased an average of only 1.73 percent annually during periods of divided government. This number more than triples, to 5.26 percent, for periods of unified government."

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