Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Amazing Dean Surge

This Newsday article reports that Howard Dean has surged to a 21 point lead over John Kerry among likely New Hampshire voters. This is a Zogby poll which is about as reliable as polls get.

Couple that with this ’New York Times’ article and it is an amazing surge. Dean will raise $10.3 million this quarter, more than any Democratic except for Presdident Clinton in 1995. Amazing crowds are showing up everywhere Dean goes, 10,000 in Seattle the other night and Dean is going everywhere. The internet has become a global village for the hard-left. What’s going on here?

It seems spooky to think that Dean could win the nomination when the country seems to be so closely divided.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Dean will win the nomination if Democrats don’t think they can win the election. After all Dean is the opposite of what the Republicans did in Bob Dole vs. Clinton. If the democrats feel good about winning then they will go more moderate.

I think the democrats are unto something with the whole trend left. Everytime they move left they leave ground for Republicans to move left, but everytime a republican wins over a democrat, the person once served by a single party is served by two. If the democrats succeed in moving left without destroying themselves they make the nation as a whole more left and thus gain more even while loseing. Soon enough Bill Clinton will seem like a fiscal conservative. Of course this causes the democrats to shrink and they have to go more to the left in order to reenergize the base. Going more to the left hurts the democrats (as in the physical numbers of democrats) but helps achieve more policy that is in line with what used to be Democrat ideas/territory and does so more effeciently than if they had stayed in the middle. The democrats can afford to do this because they have a long tradition that they have established, that is more potent than most name brands. No matter how much they move to the left, for purely traditional reasons (if people want a change, Democrats are the only real traditional option) they will eventually win a presidency, no matter how left the policy. Thus because people don’t pay attention to policy as much as they should the democrats can move policy to the left and win when the predominate reasons for the win are not policy.

Another reason for moving left is that it energizes some young people who might otherwise be encouraged to develop the habit of voting for a third party such as the Greens.

P.S. the internet is overrepresented by the young, the libertarians, the greens, and the academics. In general those who post on the internet are more idealistic/ideological. They are also more educated, and more white. Those who are particularily technologically savy were eight? times more likely to vote for Brown, five times more likely to vote for Nader and 1 and a half times more likely to vote for Gore than for Bush (than the general population)

But the funny hitch is, blogs considered politically on the Right are more popular, widely read, and more influential to the youngs than the Leftist ones. And not just conservative blogs. The libertarian blogs (eg Instapundit, Pejmanesque, Samizdata, etc) are pro-the-Iraq-War while traditional libertarianism (as represented by the Cato Institute) isn’t.

I think we are witnessing a phenmenon that those who made the wealth from the internet businesses (and e-commerce) tend to be what Paddy McGuinness of Australia calls bourgeoise Left members (or in American terminology, limousine liberals). Many (if not most) of them hold do-good political beliefs that make, well, the New York Times conservative. However, overall the netizen community leans to the right (and increasing even more so) but most of its members are probably still at schools or universities (colleges). I predict as time moves on, and as blog readers start to enter workforce, we will see a shift to the right in terms of fundraising figures.

Howard Dean is not a liberal. However, because of his temperment and the fact he doesn’t hold federal office, he is not afraid to call George Bush an incompetent liar - which he is, of course. This fires up the entire Democratic base, which sees the current administration as manipulative and irresponsible, at best.

Also, Dean was against the war, unlike any of the other candidates. This was not because he’s "left" or a pacifist - he strongly supported the Afghanistan invasion. He opposed it for the same reason most of us did - it was wrong. Attacking Iraq for 9/11 is like invading Montanta for the Oklahoma City bombing. And now it’s turned into a mess, untold thousands of people are dead, and there is no proof Iraq constituted any threat at all. So, Dean’s gamble on the issue of Iraq paid off, because most Democrats and many independents believe Bush & Co. lied us into that war. The rest of the Democratic field can’t compete on that issue. This will drive the Democratic party and, in the manner Mr. Lewis referred to, will polarize the whole country over the war. If you like Bush, you had better hope that he has a smoking gun of some kind hidden up his sleeve, otherwise you are looking at a very angry, motivated group of people who will get Gov. Dean elected.

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