The Headwinds

Jeff Greenfield outlines the headwinds that Democrats face in November:

If you’re looking for a truism that remains true, then reach out and grasp this one: the “six year curse.” With one (highly instructive) exception, the party that holds the White House will lose Congressional seats in the six-year midterms. It happened to Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt; it happened to Ike and LBJ and Reagan. It will almost surely happen to Barack Obama this November.

In summary:

  • It’s been a long time since George W. Bush was president. Blaming current events on him is less compelling than it was four years ago.
  • Barack Obama isn’t on the ballot (and might not help much even if he were).
  • A poor public mood hurts the sitting president’s party.
  • The party of the sitting president has lost seats in the House in the midterm elections of his second term for the last century except in 1998, “The Great Exception”.
  • Economic conditions are not as buoying to the public mood as were those of 1998.

I find the public mood is as sour today as at any time of my recollection. If the primaries are any gauge, turnout for the general election will be very low and, frankly, anything can happen. Much depends on who turns out and whether those who are very disaffected with conditions are more likely to show up than those who support the status quo.

8 comments… add one
  • Andy

    Sour is right.

    I know I will vote but it almost assuredly won’t be for a Republican or a Democrat.

  • ...

    Andy, no point in voting in FLA this year unless there’s a local race of interest.

  • michael reynolds

    Watching the gubernatorial contest in Florida I was actually feeling sorry for Ice. It’s a big state. These are the candidates? Out of almost 20 million people? Is it the Year of the Reptile or something?

  • Andy

    Yeah, the FL governor’s race is depressing. I need to do more research on which third-party candidate I’ll waste my vote on.

    I’m mainly voting against Bill Posey in district 8, as well as for some local stuff.

  • Bwahaha!

    What can I do in Louisiana, pray tell?

  • Don’t mind me y’all. I’m hysterical.

  • ...

    I wouldn’t insult reptiles like that, Reynolds. I wouldn’t insult pond scum with that, either. This is all on us humans.

    The Dems haven’t developed any credible state-wide talent since the 1970s. All their figures tend to be driven by local ethnic concerns solely, or are obvious crooks and/or incompetents.

    Which cedes the field to the Republicans. But there was a gap between Bush (who was the best governor we’ve had in my lifetime, and even Bob Graham isn’t close) and the younger group coming up.

    It looked like Crist would fill the gap, but it turns out he is only interested in the next office. He spent the first year and a half in office stabbing various national figures in the back in an effort to become McCain’s running mate. When that didn’t happen he spent the next two plus years trying to become Senator. But by then he had pissed off the base by failing to do anything at all as governor. Crist didn’t get the Senate seat and also lost the governor’s office because he gave it up for the other.

    Which left a gap exploited by a very wealthy (and crooked) business man looking to buy an office, which he did, helped by this being a very red state in off years, a republican wave election, a lot of his own money, and a terrible Democratic candidate.

  • ...

    And now the national Dems are so anxious that they’ve turned to Crist. That’s kissed off a lot of the local Dems, but probably not enough for Crist to lose a primary. The Dem bench is just that ethnocentric and poor. The Jews are going to kiss off the blacks and Hispanics, the Hispanics and blacks don’t want to vote for each other, the Jews would never give money and support to a black or Hispanic candidate, and they all hate white people unless they’re bankers, trial attorneys or lobbyists.

    So the Dems are now supporting the worst governor in decades just because he’s white and has name recognition. And Scott isn’t so much a bad governor as he is an irrelevant governor, but he reeks of slime, so we might well get another Crist term. Ugh.

    And this is the combined fault of George W. Bush and Mel Martinez – Bush for talking Martinez into a Senate run and Martinez for listening to him. Martinez preferred executive roles and should have stuck to them. He would have been a better choice to follow Gov. Bush, and if he hadn’t been so burned out by the Senate by 2010, perhaps he could have prevented Scott from buying the office. Coulda shoulda and woulda, but didn’t.

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