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September 29, 2010


Chait in effect describes the Dems as the party of fear, rather than hope. He says

The Democratic base tends to lose interest in the threat of right-wing politics when their party holds power.

Chait didn't address all the good things the Dems will do. He sees their appeal as primarily negative, and I agree.

Our age's most skilled politician, Bill Clinton, said something like, "Democrats like to fall in love; Republicans like to fall in line."

The key to understanding voters' behavior is not to fall for Jon Chait's self-serving smears, but to recognize the following overbroad, not nearly universal, but still explanatorily usefully tendencies:

Democrats fell in love with Barack Obama in 2008 because the tabula rasa of 2008 Obama allowed them to project their personal narcissistic fantasies onto him. This was Obama's and David Plouffe's brilliant but, as we now see, ultimately self-defeating campaign strategy.

Our media's perpetuating Obama's narcissism spell by, among other corruptions, ridiculing or shunning anyone who pointed out Jeremiah Wright's racist hatemongering helped the Obama/Plouffe plan to succeed. McCain's incompetence didn't hurt either.

When the spell was broken by the emergence of flesh-and-blood Obama, Dem. voters' fantasy disappeared and, along with it, their enthusiasm for Obama. By one year after his inaugeration, the fire had been drenched. It cannot be rekindled because the Obama fantasy is now untenable.

On the other hand, after Republicans fell in line behind Bush the younger, who seemed in 2000 a solid, mainstream Republican guy, it took them six years to get enough of him -- although September 11th probably extended his popular period by a year or two.

The weight of Bush's careless spending, his growing the nanny state, his failure to address our trade imbalance, relentless, wildly negative press coverage by the Jon Chait's of the media and, especially, two over-reaching and poorly explained wars finally convinced many conservatives to stop supporting Bush. In 2006 and 2008 these voters, well, didn't vote.

Mystery solved.

The following excerpts are from the first paragraph of Jon Chait's The New Republic column from Sept. 29, 2003:


"I hate President George W. Bush.... He reminds me of a certain type I knew in high school... I hate the way he walks--shoulders flexed, elbows splayed out from his sides like a teenage boy feigning machismo. I hate the way he talks --blustery self-assurance masked by a pseudopopulist twang... I hate his lame nickname-bestowing -- a way to establish one's social superiority beneath a veneer of chumminess (does anybody give their boss a nickname without his consent?)... I suspect that, if I got to know him personally, I would hate him even more."

Chait's analysis of Republican psychological traits will absolutely fair-minded.

Nice source choice, Brendan.

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