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W will never “own” the economic downturn the way Hoover owned the Great Depression

Perhaps Democrats can’t help themselves.  They have to blame George W. Bush for our nation’s enduring economic woes because that’s what they were doing during his entire tenure in the White House — even before the economy went south.  Paul Krugman kept predicting recessions that finally, like a stopped clock, he got it right.  Megan McCardle once quipped that he “predicted eight of the last none recessions under the Bush administration.”  So, I guess we could say that angry economist predicted nine of the last one recession under W?

With the president repeatedly reminding us how he inherited the recession from his predecessor, it seems he’s trying to get us all to believe, along with Krugman, that the entire Bush era was one of economic woe, that W was just another Herbert Hoover.

The problem with that narrative is that (Krugman notwithstanding), the economic downturn defined Hoover’s tenure, beginning barely seven months after he took office and lasting until he left the White House — more than three years later.  For Bush, it only began nearly a full year after his party lost Congress — and after he had served well over 80% of his 8-year tenure.

Oh, and, one more thing.  The main reason Hoover didn’t end the depression, as David Boaz reminds us, is that he didn’t follow Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon’s advice:

Hoover didn’t cut federal spending, he doubled it. He established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. He propped up wages and prices. Indeed, he launched the New Deal.

Given that Obama’s adopted policies similar to those of Herbert Hoover, it’s no wonder we’re not seeing a robust recovery.

Is it possible to measure enthusiasm in 2010 elections?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - October 18, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,Conservative Ideas

In his post on how Obamacare is threatening the careers of Democratic politicians, Michael Barone reminds us of a truth about polling which tells us a lot about the dire straits of Democrats this fall, “it’s highly unusual for an incumbent House member to trail a challenger in any poll or to run significantly below 50 percent.

And we have many Democratic incumbents — not just in the House — polling well below 50.  Couple that with the enthusiasm factor.  Doug Powers alerts us to another poll which shows us just how dispirited Democrats are this fall:

Nearly two years after putting Obama in the White House, one-quarter of those who voted for the Democrat are defecting to the GOP or considering voting against the party in power this fall. Just half of them say they definitely will show up Nov. 2, according to an Associated Press-Knowledge Networks poll released two weeks before Obama’s first midterm elections. . . . . McCain voters — to borrow Obama’s campaign rallying cry — are far more “fired up, ready to go.” Two-thirds say they are certain to vote next month.

(Though some McCain voters may be voting Democratic!)

But, how do you measure this enthusiasm gap?  Over at fivethirtyeight, Nate Silver, a master of statistics, has so tinkered with polls, surveys, fundraising totals, etc., etc., that he has this all down to a science, forecasting down to the nearest decimal just how many Republicans and Democrats will win election next month.

And while I admire his effort, you can’t really measure voter enthusiasm with a slide rule or computer algorithm.  And voter enthusiasm may be the key factor in determining who shows up to vote next month–and thus how many seats the GOP picks up.

Back in 2002, I learned last night, the last Field Poll in the California gubernatorial contest showed then-(soon-to-be-recalled) Governor Gray Davis with an 11-point leader over his Republican challenger Bill Simon.  His final margin come Election Day was less than half that–just under 5 points. (more…)

Keeping Pace with Obama’s Signature Accomplishment

Call her Ma’am or Call her Madame?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 pm - October 18, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections,California politics

We’ve seen how upset 28-year Washington veteran Barbara Boxer got one time when a general politely called her Ma’am. (She doesn’t seem to object when others use the term.)

But, after her segment with Wolf Blitzer, I was wondering if she was trying for the Endora look. Jesse, one of our readers disagreed, saying she looked more like Madame:
So, what do you think? Do we call her Ma’am or do we call her Madame?

Who Can Better Fight for California in Washington:
A Confident Carly Fiorina or a Babbling Barbara Boxer?

Just by watching this short video of a segment from CNN last Thursday, you can see which of the two women vying to represent California in the United States Senate could be a more effective advocate for the Golden State in Washington.  One woman is confident and poised.  The other is babbling, almost incoherent, making things up.

I mean, the 28-year-Washington veteran needs Wolf Blitzer to send her a lifeline:

Where do you begin with this?  Boxer has to go back to the Clinton era — when Republicans were a majority in Congress — to talk about balanced budgets she supported.  If Blitzer hadn’t stepped in, the three term Senator may have gone on making up facts.  And on. And on.

Noting how “confused” the career politician gets in this segment, the San Francisco Chroncle‘s Carolyn Lochhead finds “Blitzer straightening out her arithmetic.”  28 years in Washington and she needs a cable news anchor to straighten out her math.  Maybe it’s spending over a quarter-century in the nation’s capital that has given her such trouble with numbers.

Boxer, as Allahpundit quips, has “zero idea what she’s talking about.”  She rambles, is confused, doesn’t seem prepared for the interview, as if she just takes such things for granted.  At a time of great crisis for California, how can such a woman advocate for the Golden State in Washington?

And this isn’t the first time she’s come unprepared to an interview with a journalist.  If she’s so unprepared when the cameras are rolling, how much less focused would she be when no one’s paying attention?

Well, Carly is ready to roll up her sleeves and help tackle California’s problems.  And you can help he out by supporting her energetic, ballsy campaign.

Does Ken Buck Really Believe Being Gay is a Choice?

When yesterday, in the “Meet the Press” debate between the two major party candidates vying to represent Colorado in the United States Senate, Republican candidate Ken Buck was asked “by host David Gregory to elaborate on a statement he made in an earlier debate about gays in the military,” he should not have entered the fray on whether or not being gay in a choice.

But, he did and he put his foot into it.  He said it was a choice, adding

“I think that birth has an influence…like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically, you have a choice.”

Speaking to reporters after the debate, Buck sought to clarify his comments.

“I am not a biologist and I haven’t studied the issue, but that’s my opinion,” Buck said. “I wasn’t talking about being gay as a disease. I don’t think that at all and I hope that no one would be that insensitive to try to draw that…I certainly didn’t mean it that way.”

Well, we do have a choice in determining how we act on our emotional and sexual attraction to members of our own sex, but we don’t have a choice in feeling that attraction.

In answering the question, he should have said simply said such issue should not be a matter of federal concern.  But, alas he did not.

It it too soon to tell whether or not this comment will hurt him, but it certainly won’t help him win the votes of fiscally conservative/socially liberal voters in the Denver suburbs — where this race may be decided.  Most such folk believe the state should leave gay people alone.   (more…)