Friday, January 13, 2006

Dick Morris: American Shifting To The Left

Dick Morris believes the country is moving towards the left:

It is always dangerous to generalize about ideological trends among the American electorate, since it will always lean right on certain issues (like defense, terrorism and taxes) and hew to the left on others (like healthcare, education, poverty and the environment). But the data are becoming overwhelming that the nation is moving left and is likely to stay that way through at least the 2006 election — and, if President Bush doesn’t adjust, for a lot longer.

The evidence is clear: The generic party ballot for Congress, for example, has now swollen to a 13-point Democratic edge while Bush’s job approval hangs in the 40s and his advisers are relieved that it is no longer a lot lower.

To a certain degree Morris is correct. The one factor he overlooks is that the country was never as far right as the conservative pundits claimed. The Republicans would not have won the White House in 2000 if there was a fair count in Florida. They would not have held the White House if not for the advantages of incumbency, pandering to fear (including misuse of terror alerts), voter suppression, and perhaps outright fraud. Even Republican gains in the House were a consequence of a shady redistricting scheme rather than a choice of the voters. Although the Republicans control the Senate, this is largely due to the increased weight given to voters in smaller states, as more people have voted for Democratic than Republican Senators. Even when people have voted for Bush for President, a majority supported Democratic positions in polls. It was unlikely that the Republicans would hold onto their narrow leads indefinitely while pursuing policies opposed by the majority of voters.


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