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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

McConnell Vs. Krauthammer

Dec 22nd 2010

by F. Grey Parker
Hat tip to Connie Prince for research assistance.

Last week, Charles Krauthammer wrote a pretty remarkable piece for someone who has been utterly determined to injure President Obama. To be sure, he has no new love for the President. But, when something is this clear, to deny it is silly. 

Analyzing Obama's re-election odds in The WaPo, Mr. Krauthammer wrote that they are "now more likely than not" following the passage of the controversial tax code extension.

"Obama had a bad November. Self-confessedly shellacked in the midterm election, he fled the scene to Asia and various unsuccessful meetings, only to return to a sad-sack lame-duck Congress with ghostly dozens of defeated Democrats wandering the halls. Now, with his stunning tax deal, Obama is back. Holding no high cards, he nonetheless managed to resurface suddenly not just as a player but as orchestrator, dealmaker and central actor in a high $1 trillion drama," Krauthammer wrote.

Not so fast, comes the response from Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “Let me give you another point of view. I think Charles Krauthammer’s very smart, but on this, he’s totally wrong,” he huffed on CNN’s State of the Union program Sunday morning.

Mr. McConnell is playing a very dangerous game. In fact, most of the elder Republicans are. It's one thing to lie to everyone else. We rather expect that in a politician. But I think McConnell is lying to himself. 

First, mid-term elections are historically a set back for the majority and often the party of the President. Second, there was a genuine disaffection for The President on the part of millions of younger liberal voters who selfishly dismissed the stakes. Third, turnout was even lower than usual for these sorts of races as the Republican's negative pandering appealed to the most questionable portion of their base. The real problem here is that they are still pandering to that base.

Insulated from many of the realities of majority America (some of them being insulated from reality altogether) Republicans have begun to believe their own clippings, to put it politely. The use of the word "mandate" in describing the outcomes of the 2010 election is becoming absurdly common. 

Roughly 40% to 41% of the eligible electorate participated in the recent election. This means that the "mandate" which the Republicans are trying to convince themselves of was comprised of approximately 22% to 23% of possible voters in the U.S. 

As 20% of Americans actually believe the Sun revolves around the Earth and about 6% are convinced that the moon landings never happened, I would humbly suggest to McConnell and other Republicans basking in their "mandate" that they cool it. 

Sources herehereherehere and here

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