1. You don’t have be a big-time social scientist to know that, as long as the stock market bleeding continues, McCain’s will too.
2. The election today would be a landslide. And a lot of the election IS today (and yesterday); a huge amount of early voting is going on.
3. It’s very possible--almost likely--that the early voting will carry Obama to victory in Georgia. He’s within the margin of error in the most recent poll. Senator Chambliss, the most recent studies show, has even less chance of holding on.
4. The Republican blame game today is mainly on how McCain isn’t a true conservative. That’s true, of course, in this sense: He doesn’t really "get" the characteristic conservative take on domestic issues. Mac didn’t make a secret of that, and he won the nomination as a "warrior" opposed to the waffling Romney who could do nothing more than articulate our "interests."
5. But, truth to tell, Mac’s hyper-patriotic convention speech doesn’t speak at all to the anxious concerns ordinary Americans have today. WELL, maybe it could in this way: I want to a lead Americans in the direction of honorable self-discipline. I’m phasing out Fannie Mae etc. I want us to return to the time of 20% down on home mortages, based on an honest appraisal. I’m not against the "rescue" etc. to ease the pain in the short-term, but over the long-term we don’t want overly politicized and insufficiently risk-averse institutions such as Fannie Mae to keep tempting Amreicans to lose all sense of prudence in their personal finances.
6. The average American is complaining that he didn’t really know how risky investing in stocks is. He knew that the market would have its ups and downs. But not like this. The whole 401(k) retirement strategy seems discredited, and people really do want government to do something to make retirement planning less risky.
7. There are lots of articles, including one by a professor in the local paper, that say that the era of neo-liberalism is over. That means that the rough consensus on behalf of market-based globalization that included Clinton, Bushes, Thatcher, and Blair is collapsing. That consensus, of course, is one reason I always preferred Hillary to Obama. But it’s not so clear how Obama stands on "neo-liberalism." Rubin, who really and truly does excel at "trickle-down economics," is an Obama advisor. The leaders in the Democratic Congress are another mattter.
8. The likely result of this election is an extension of 2006. The landslide two years ago was based on the perception of incompetence, cluelessness, and corruption among the Republicans. Well, that perception is back. McCain and our Sarah have responded to the crisis in a way that’s spun by the MSM and actuallly seems, I’m sad to say, clueless, and they’re not exuding competence. The corruption should point to Fannie and Democratic Congressional leders, but the Wall-Street (allegedly Republican) greed "narrative" is carrying the day, because nobody very visible is opposing it effectivley.
9. I was on a great panel discussion on Saturday morning at Georgetown with Gil Meilaender and William Saletan. Saletan really knows his stuff and is a pleasure to hang out with. His take on the election: Don’t worry, Obama is boring. Saletan really is a maverick when it comes to his unusual--yet quite defensible--combination of opinions and insights, which I’ll talk about later. (Nobody inside the Beltway thinks McCain has a chance, and everyone agree that this Ayers stuff ain’t working.) Gil, of course, is great too, although not so obviously political. The event was sponsored by our Dr. Pat Deneen, who will admit over lunch that some of our present woes might have their source in evildoers in the Democratic Congress