Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Obama’s Momentum

The NYT/CBS poll released tonight has Obama up 5%. The main reason: 61% say the economy is getting worse, and 62% of them are for Barack. For now, the more the election focus on anxiety about the competence of domestic policy, the better off the Democrat is. I’m not saying this makes sense, but I’m saying tha McCain can’t get away with not aggressively addressing the issues. The economy really might be getting much worse. The study also seems to show that Sarah’s impact at this point has been contained--perhaps by the MSM barrage of allegations--to energizing the base. No doubt they’ll be plenty of analyses and commentary in the morning. But I thought I’d close the evening by saying I still agree with me. The election is still reasonably close to a DEAD HEAT, and the most powerful advantages lie with the Democrats.

Discussions - 7 Comments

I agree Dr. Lawler, watch the Ben Stein vs. Robert Reich piece on CNN. It is interesting. Stein agrees with Robert Reich and finds McCain "frightening" but ends up praising McCain, if you have a general idea about the root cause such passive agressiveness, then I think you have insight into why a lot of folks are worried. You say, "McCain can’t get away with not aggressively addressing the issues."

The problem resides in worrying that he already has latched unto a sort of sociological dynamic potent enough to carry the day.

In other words suppose you are like Ben Stein. Suppose you are never going to vote for Obama because you are pro-life...but suppose you agree with him on certain things...nevertheless the story line is...therefore McCain is "positive adjective on X,Y,Z"...

I don't know if you cover this in Homelessness in America, I haven't read your books...but certainly at least some discomfort with home involves knowledge that it involves a certain blindness to a sinking ship.

Therefore independents are "rootless rats", momentum flees momentum and can therefore be discounted, ergo my pre-convention prediction stands: 277-261 Obama wins.

I am just bullsh*ting, but I do endorse the 270 to win website. It dispenses with figureing out the broader picture and makes ingenious use of statistics to run pretty good simulations.

It lags popular opinion by around 4 days(in my opinion) because of all its calculations are based on state polls.

Currently McCain is winning 55% of all simulations.

electoral college calculator.

It's not Obama surging. It's rather the media surging him. Which is quite different.

This financial situation coincides with an unprecedented attack upon Governor Palin.

All of which combines for a real headache for the McCain/Palin team.

But one thing we've learned watching McCain these last 3 months, ------------- his campaign team is agile, clever, capable of making bold decisions, ------------ and surprising ones too. I anticipate them absorbing this media energy moving towards them, and using it to carom off the ropes where the media desires them to be.

If anything, I find myself very curious to see how they'll handle this one.

McCain needs a very clear and very simple economic message. It is one that must become extremely well-known within about two weeks. At the same time, Obama must be disqualified as a credible candidate by nonstop attacks.
Not an easy balancing act, but it's our only option.

Ben Stein has turned into a flake in this campaign. I understood him to be a flake years ago, however, when I occasionally read his insufferably self-centered pieces in The American Spectator. This drivel endlessly explored Stein's feelings about and interactions with his little son, or sometimes about his elderly parents. The feelings were fine, but they should have been expressed far less often and far more economically. Even more worthless were Stein's navel-gazing about "life" in Hollywood.
I sensed -- to use a favorite concept on NLT -- an utter lack of manliness in Stein's TAS writing and therefore have an indelible prejudice against him both as a writer and as a person. This is further reinforced now. Given some of the crap Stein has been saying about the 2008 election, I'd suggest that the California sun and the company of Hollywood shiksas have further weakened his mind. He joins the ranks of National Review senior editor (still) Jeffrey Hart, constitutional law scholar Doug Kmiec, and other formerly intelligent conservatives in the ranks of the politically lost (in the latter-two cases, pro-Obama). Good riddance to all of these addlebrained clowns. Mark Steyn, si. Ben Stein, no.

I sent this comment in to a similar discussion at Contentions.

It seems to me far more likely the downturn in the polls for McCain is related to the financial meltdown underway and the anxiety it is inducing about Republicanism in general. McCain needs to tackle this much more than he has. The first debate would be the place to do it. He needs to sound the alarm for Republicans as well as everyone else that he intends to reform the party in directions suggested by Douthat’s “Grand New Party.” Palin is a wonderful way to wake up the Reagan Democrat working class. But the team NEEDS to put flesh on these bones. As the irony of capitalist-preferred socialism looms, someone has to champion a new program aimed solely at preserving security and freedom for the rest of us.

Jon B, You are correct, sir.

The irony of the current situation is that it is just waiting for a populist free market oriented conservatism yet no one is there to articulate it. Some of the economic problem is just the occasional financial upheaval that hits capitalist countries. If not coupled with other major policy mistakes (see the Great Depression), the problem blows over (see the 1987 market crash). The more enduring problem is the unholy alliance between Big Business and Big Government symbolized by Fanny and Freddy and the smug assumption by Wall Street financiers that the federal government would bail them out. This creates a situation in which executives buy politicians and politicians bail out corporations, all with the people's tax money. Couple this with stagnating wages and health insurance costs outstripping pay across large parts of the workforce. Populist revolts have come out of much less.

An economic conservatism that offered lower payroll taxes, lower health insurance costs, and took on the poisonous Big Business/Big Government alliance would have huge appeal in these circumstances. By offering the above benefits and promising to end special interest corporate subsidies in exchange for lower corporate tax rates, McCain would be able to present an economic conservatism that is both more growth friendly and more fairness oriented than the one we have.

Obama is quite vulnerable to such a conservatism. His pockets are stuffed with Fannie and Freddie lucre. His idea of public/private partnerships (like the five million green jobs) would just create a new herd of Fannies and Freddies across the economy with the associated corruption and economic damage.

Too bad McCain's approach combines empty moralism, (about how stuff like this won't happen on his watch. Why not?), a reflexive urge to regulate before even knowing which regulations might help, and a tax plan which seems to have been inspired by the idea that the key swing group in this election will be the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board.

Maybe McCain will find the range but he has been consistently disappointing when talking about the economy - aside from the energy issue. He is running out of time to articulate a clear, comprehensible economic program. Even if he came out with it tonight, it would be weeks before the public was able to digest it and measure it against the inevitable Democratic attacks.

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