Getting Worried

Charlie Cook can hardly believe what he’s seeing:

[T]alking with Republican pollsters, strategists and veteran campaign professionals recently, I now hear sounds of concern that haven’t been heard in almost two years.

Among the worries the party now has is that a government shutdown could get blamed on the GOP. Additionally, these party insiders believe that taking on entitlements, specifically Medicare, could jeopardize the party’s hold on the House, its strong chances of taking the Senate and the stronghold that the party has been established with older white voters—not coincidentally, Medicare recipients.


Yes, this is a big problem. In fact, you have to wonder if they’ve just lost their marbles.

He goes on to assure us that the Republicans leadership is “intelligent and reasonable” and are only doing all this because their voters are cretins who insist that they voted for certain things and they want them done.

But the problem isn’t just the hooligans. It seems that the vaunted “independent” voters who allegedly believed that Obama had gone way too far by passing health care and the stimulus and so voted out the Democrats are unhappy with the Republicans now — also for going too far.

Keep in mind the volatility we have seen in the three previous elections. Independent voters swung heavily in favor of Democrats in 2006 and 2008. In 2010, those same independent voters went in the opposite direction to push Republicans forward. If something happens in three consecutive elections, who wants to say that a fourth time is inconceivable?

It isn’t. There’s an epic political battle going on in this country and these independents don’t seem to get that it won’t be solved by “punishing” the party that’s in office every two years when it does what it promised it was going to do.

If people really feel that the stimulus and health care plans are as radical and destructive as shutting down the government and destroying the safety net, then there’s no getting through to them until we have a depression or worse. Until they actively engage and figure out what’s what instead of mindlessly swinging back and forth like a pendulum, this will probably continue for some time.

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