Custom Search

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Interesting Reading Today

I have gotten behind in blogging due to a nasty flu that knocked me for a loop, so trying to catch up and have found some interesting reading along the way.

Linkage, some teasers and remember to clickity clickity click the links.

Starting with the question of whether Democrats can overcome the astounding enthusiasm gap polls are continuing to register in favor of the GOP ahead of midterms.

The Hill with "POLL: GOP voters more ‘passionate’ about voting in the midterm election."

Democrats have a serious intensity problem heading into the final month of campaigning, according to a new poll of a dozen key House races.

The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm Election Poll confirms a strong trend this election season of Democrats being less enthusiastic about voting than are Republicans and dissatisfied independents.

Across those districts won by Democrats during President Obama’s wave election two years ago, 83 percent of Republicans said they are “very passionate” about voting this fall, while 68 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of independents say the same.

Real Clear Politics with "Red Herring Politics: Part II," with how Democratic politicians are trying very hard to avoid talking about their voting records and instead are trying to distract the public from that issue.

Some of the longest-serving members of Congress, whose party has overwhelming majorities in both houses, are having far closer election races than they are used to. These include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, not to mention 18-year veteran Senator Barbara Boxer.

Despite their long records, they seem to want to talk about everything except their records. They could tell us why they voted for ObamaCare and huge stimulus bills, without time enough to read them. Instead, they have come up with enough red herrings to stock an aquarium.

Voting records are not the only thing Democrats are trying to avoid talking about, Karl Rove explains at Wall Street Journal with "Democrats and 'Poisoned' Politics," how personal attacks are also trying to distract voters from the issue of the economy.

In March 2004, when Barack Obama was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the Illinois Democratic primary, he excoriated President George W. Bush for creating a "jobless recovery." The month he said that, 334,000 new jobs were created—none of them temporary Census ones—and unemployment was 5.8%.

That was then. Now the unemployment rate is 9.6%, and tomorrow's jobs report is unlikely to be much better.

Many other Democrats piled on Mr. Bush at the time. "Mr. President, where are the jobs?" Rep. Nancy Pelosi asked on CNN in October 2003. "The American people will not settle for—nor should the Republicans celebrate—a jobless recovery." That month saw 203,000 new jobs and 6% unemployment. Her party would kill for such a rate today.

Instead, they will be killed at the polls. This election's top issue is the economy, and the Democrats are being held accountable for its poor performance. After all, the party controls the White House and Congress and passed all the spending and stimulus measures it could dream up.

Last month, the Pew poll found that Americans thought Republicans would be better at improving "the job situation" than the Democrats by a 40% to 35% margin—a 16-point shift since 2006. Historically, Republicans have done well in congressional races when the GOP has closed to within five points on the economy and jobs. Republicans were also more trusted to "reduce [the] budget deficit" than the Democrats, by 44% to 29%.

How did the Democrats get here? By passing bad legislation. How bad? Not a single vulnerable House Democrat is featuring the stimulus bill in campaign ads—except for those Democrats who opposed it. Nor do any extol cap and trade in television spots.

Hot Air has video of Newt Gingrich with "The Gingrich-Pelosi food fight."

That dollar comes at the expense of private-sector opportunities as well. I noted that in my rebuttal to Pelosi in July:

  • “This is one of the biggest stimuluses to our economy” — No, it’s a net drain on the economy, although for understandable purposes. It reroutes capital from production to non-production. We are paying people who aren’t working by using capital that could otherwise go to creating jobs. It’s a policy tradeoff and understandable, although not for 99 weeks, which is what Pelosi is attempting to extend further.
  • “It injects demand into the economy” — Not at the rate in which the capital gets destroyed. Remember, the money for this program gets confiscated from producers and passed through the government bureaucracy to non-producers. What winds up back in the hands of producers is much less than what left their hands in the first place.
  • “It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative” — No, it doesn’t. In fact, it depresses job creation, which is part of the policy tradeoff. If this was right, we’d be at zero unemployment by now. Tax cuts, especially on capital gains, creates jobs by getting capital into the hands of job creators.
  • “It’s impossible to think of a situation where we would have a country without unemployment benefits” — That’s not actually the debate. No one is suggesting that we eliminate all unemployment benefits. The debate is whether we will keep extending them further.

Gingrich has this correct. Pelosi and her caucus want an electorate dependent on government handouts. Republicans want an environment where people get paychecks rather than perpetual welfare and economic vitality rather than stagnation and lost opportunities.

Go watch the video, I like Gingrich's idea "Democrats for food stamps and Republicans for paychecks".

Victor Davis Hanson at NRO with "Anatomy of the Obama Meltdown."

As in all Greek tragedies, we the audience can see what might have happened had Obama avoided hubris and its attendant nemesis: If, from the get-go, he had focused on jobs; avoided talking about tax hikes; postponed health care; controlled spending; worried about rising deficits; avoided the “them vs. us” rhetoric; and stayed Olympian and aloof when polarizing local controversies grabbed the cable TV headlines.

And now? After November, Obama can only hope that he can outsource the messy work of cuts and budget balancing to the congressional Republicans. Chances are he will demagogue them as heartless while taking credit for an economic rebound once investors, businesses, and corporations see an end to Obamism and its gratuitous slurs against the wealthy, and thus start using their stockpiled trillions to rehire and buy equipment in 2011.

In the meantime, an entire generation of Democratic House members and senators are going to pay a heavy price for falling for a clearly inexperienced, untried, and often petulant candidate amid the exuberance of the 2008 hope and change wave.

Happy Reading!!