In the longer term, though, the importance of any wave election isn’t only about the sheer number of seats gained and lost, but also about when the wave hits — or, more specifically, where it falls in the economic cycles of the country. And if you look at it that way, history suggests that the expected big bang of 2010 may well end up reverberating loudly through our politics for a long time to come.
That’s because, in the years ahead, the country might well experience the kind of economic recovery that the White House had hoped would take hold in time for this year’s elections.
Perhaps the New York Times should be given credit for temporarily abandoning the “You’re all too stupid to understand how awesome he is…” meme and going with “Don’t worry, the awesome will be here soon…” nonsense. That’s difficult to do, however, because they only abandoned it for two sentences.
This isn’t a sure thing, by any means; some economists are still predicting a long period of Japanese-style stagnation. But most Washington observers seem to be betting on the kind of upturn that’s more evident to voters.
You see, the stimulus has been a spectacular success, we’re all just too stupid to realize it.
One has to give the Times credit for this: once it goes through the looking glass it commits. It’s not enough to attribute any future GOP success to a whimsical economy, past successes get the spin treatment as well.
Mr. Bush arrived in Austin just in time to catch a historic period of sustained economic growth, fueled by dot-com mania. Like other governors at that time, Mr. Bush was able to cut taxes while proposing increases in education spending and balancing the budget, a bit of magic that, along with his famous name, enabled him to become the first Texas governor to win successive four-year terms and made him the early frontrunner for his party’s presidential nomination in 2000.
In fact, several Republicans who won in 1994, or in the off-year elections of 1993 that were essentially its prelude, went on to build national profiles during the boom years. Rudolph W. Giuliani got credit for making Gotham governable. Christie Whitman of New Jersey, George E. Pataki of New York and Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania all won governorships in reliably Democratic states and rose to stardom inside the party during the Clinton years.
You know who never really gets mentioned in the MSM as having benefitted from “dot-com mania” during “the Clinton years”? Clinton. A quick search of the Times archives provides many recent articles and reader comments touting the surplus of the Clinton era with no allusion to luck whatsoever. (Here is a link to get you started.)
The irony that the people who see themselves as smarter than the rest of us don’t grasp is that this election is very much about the fact that we get it. American conservatives in early 2009 that this administration was bad news and we couldn’t rely on the GOP establishment to help us fight it. The Tea Party movement has continued to grow in numbers and influence because we understand exactly what unchecked spending means for the future.
The New York Times and the rest of the MSM are being slowly strangled by their own arrogance. They are the ones who don’t get it.
The preemptive spinning is predictable, of course, given the fact that the press went all-in for Obama without any critical deliberation at all. Now they’re standing on the tracks, blissful in their ignorance, trying to explain to the oncoming train that it just doesn’t understand that it isn’t supposed to run them over.