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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Monday, April 07, 2003



It's NOT The Economy, Stupid!

OK, I don't mean to be calling anyone stupid. However, the TAPPED article saying that a weak economy might scuttle Bush in '04 is, I am at a loss for words here, misinformed.

First, as the CalPundit notes, national security may trump economic concerns. But TAPPED overlooks some other key lessons from 1992.

First, Republicans won the election in 1992. NO, I am not just blocking the Clinton years. Republicans picked up three seats in the Senate and eleven in the House (I am remembering this from looking it up a few years ago, and posting it as a live test of my failing memory; accurate info to follow. Mini-Update: OK, plus 9 in House, -1 in Senate. I am remembering lies! Whatever. Change "won the election" to "did pretty well".) Clinton, running as a moderate Democrat, got 43% of the popular vote. Bush and the arguably rightish Perot got 57%. In 1992, the electorate leaned right; the big surprise in 1994 was that anyone was surprised.

Well, then, why did Bush I lose? The weak economy surely did not help. However, he was vulnerable because he appeared to be out of touch and because his base, which had never fully trusted him, abandoned him after he abandoned "no new taxes". William Safire, you may or may not recall, endorsed Bill Clinton.

And the lessons for 2004? The Republican base believes in Bush II in a way they never backed Pops. And Bush II has done nothing, read my lips, nothing, to disappoint them. Even if his new tax cut is reduced in the Senate, he has already delivered the tax cut he campaigned on in 2000. On national security he stands tall, he has appointed judges we like, yada, yada.

So, in 2004, we will see a unified Republican Party ready to rumble, with $200 million backing their man George W. IF the Dems even manage to nominate a moderate, they will still have serious problems with money and party unity. Even with a weak economy, Bush will be the favorite.

UPDATE: If I were really slick with my segues, I could work this into the post, but forget it. The Man Sans Q makes a point about global warming, environmentalism, new science, and the next election. It all comes together for him, because he has his segues working.


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