Here’s what I think. This is in response to David’s sigh in the thread below about the Bob Dole year to come.
1. I’m down on Pawlenty, but I think he would be a better general election candidate than Dole (who was just terrible at explaining himself to the average voter and disdained the techniques for doing so.)
2. The demography of 2012 favors the Democrats in ways that the demography of 1996 didn’t. The Republicans would have to win wider margins among white voters in order to win in 2012 vs. 1996.
3. One of the biggest differences is that Obamacare passed (Hillarycare didn’t) and it is doubful that a right-leaning reform similar to Welfare Reform will become law during this Congress. Analogies break down, but an Obama reelection, even with a Republican Congress (which I wouldn’t bet on), is more like a liberal 1984 than 1996 in that it goes a long way towards institutionalizing Obamacare. And who wants to bet that all five of the non-left Supreme Court Justices stay on until Janaury 2017 (at the earliest?)
Good points as usual. Will Republicans be able to sell no. 3? That’s mainly what I doubt. I would bet on the Republicans keeping Congress, but I wouldn’t give odds. One reason is that I can’t prove the nominee won’t be Palin or Bachmann. And I’m less high on Pawlenty of nothing than you are.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m down on Pawlenty too, but I think he willing to enthusiastically do whatever he needs to get votes in a presidential election contest. I think he’ll be a better candiddate than Dole but that is the soft bigotry of low expectations at work.
I’d like to read this, but the link doesn’t work.
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