Leftward Ho! — huh?

Dick Morris takes a view almost the exact opposite of ours below. He thinks the country is moving left, in spite of clear and convincing evidence of the opposite over the last decade. Maybe he is right, though we get the feeling with Morris that sometimes his analysis lately seems to be about increasing his value as provocative pundit for TV, books and the lecture circuit.

We think, for example, that Morris’s riff about Americans’ being isolationist — based on ten year old polling data in a pre-9/11 world — is more provocative than correct. We have written that the more correct explanation of the Iraq polling data is that a good chunk of Americans would just as soon see us lay waste the country to destroy the enemy and provide a clear warning to the rest of the world, then come home. You can call that a kind of isolationism if you like.

Midterm elections are often and usually about local candidates and local issues, and fatigue with the status quo. 1994 and 2002 were notable exceptions where national issues were paramount. We don’t know what will be the case in 2006, because none of the real-world events of 2006 have happened yet. However, we continue to believe that a main feature of 2006 and 2008 will be the War of the New Media and MSM, now that the battle has been fully and openly joined by both sides.

The New Media has seen its power increase mightily over the last decade, but part of that is because the MSM have not taken the New Media particularly seriously. This has now changed. The MSM still write the elevator music for American society, and it has been a non-stop funeral dirge (see Thomas Lifson) for the last two years, on everything from the war to the economy to, well, everything. We do not think the Gang of 500 underestimate the New Media today in the same way that they did back in 1994, to their surprise and dismay back then. The MSM view everything in America as bad as long as Democrats are not in power, and provide a 24/7 bombardment of this propaganda as the background music of our daily lives; we are going to find out to what extent this relentless negativity can still influence the votes of the American people.

One Response to “Leftward Ho! — huh?”

  1. Steven M. Warshawsky Says:

    Hi Dinocrat,

    Lots of insightful analysis from your blog recently, as always. Re your debate with Morris as to whether the country is moving left or right, I would love your explanation for the pattern, as I see it, of shrinking Republican margins of victory in presidential elections.

    Specifically, Nixon crushed McGovern in 1972. Reagan crushed Carter and Mondale in 1980 and 1984. Bush I soundly defeated Dukakis in 1988. But Bush II lost the popular vote in 2000 and won a narrow victory in 2004. (However jubilant Republicans were with Bush’s win in 2004, it pales in comparison to Nixon’s in 1972 or Reagan’s in 1980 and 1984.)

    It appears that the clear superiority of a conservative Republican candidate over a liberal Democratic candidate is gone. Hence, while I predict the Republicans will beat Hillary in 2008, I think it too will be fairly close. Yet this doesn’t really make sense, unless the country is more “liberal” than it used to be.

    What is the explanation for this pattern at the presidential level, when at the same time the MSM is losing its dominant position? I think this would be an interesting entry for your blog. I might try writing about the issue myself, and I would love to know your thoughts.

    Keep up the great work!

    Steven M. Warshawsky
    NYC

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