Saturday, November 13, 2010

Non-Mandate for Non-Change

Charles Blow reorients us to the election results, in the Times today:

A poll released Thursday by the Pew Research Center found that people are considerably less happy about the Republicans’ victory than they were about the Democrats’ victory in 2006 or about the Republicans’ victory in 1994. They also approve much less of the “Republicans’ policies and plans for the future” than they did of the Democrats’ plans in 2006 or the Republicans’ plans in 1994. (I must say that that question threw me a bit because I didn’t know that Republicans had “policies and plans” for the future. Silly me.)

About 60 percent of the respondents thought that the Republicans in 1994 and the Democrats in 2006 would be successful in getting their programs passed into law. This year, just more than 40 percent believed this about the Republicans. In fact, unlike in 2008 and 2006, more people than not believed that relations between Republicans and Democrats in Washington would now get worse.

That doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement to me.

Doesn't sound, either, like a political environment ossified in inevitable disaster for Democrats. Most of us lefties expect, out of long experience, our side's discourse to be lacking in conviction while the right remains full of passionate intensity, dominating the debate in terms of volume and media coverage. It's well worth noting that despite a general perception that we've been outshouted, the right hasn't swamped us. Another poll (Pew) noted yesterday that there's some support for tax easing, but that more people than not oppose repeal of the health care bill; 52% want the bill left intact or expanded. It isn't as if folk don't know the current system is awful, unsustainable and in desperate need of change.

Seems to me that were Democrats forthrightly, relentlessly and consistently fighting for their views as much as the right does, but with the addition of fact and logic, progress might well be made...

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