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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Taking that long downhill slide.

What's sliding? It's the right-wing political and social agenda in the US.

That's according to economist and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman, who says that the right's agenda has been heading downhill since the 2004 election. That election, and Dubya's temporarily high standings in the polls then and at the beginning of the Iraq wars are 'aberrations' that masked the essential unpopularity of the prez's right-wing policies, he says. Once Dubya started implementing them in earnest after his re-election, the public has made its displeasure with those policies abundantly clear.

So what's left of the conservative agenda? Not much.

That's not a prediction for the midterm elections. The Democrats will almost surely make gains, but the electoral system is rigged against them. The fewer than eight million residents of what's left of Red America are represented by eight U.S. senators; the more than eight million residents of New York City have to share two senators with the rest of New York State.

Meanwhile, a combination of accident and design has left likely Democratic voters bunched together — I'm tempted to say ghettoized — in a minority of Congressional districts, while likely Republican voters are more widely spread out. As a result, Democrats would need a landslide in the popular vote — something like an advantage of 8 to 10 percentage points over Republicans - to take control of the House of Representatives. That's a real possibility, given the current polls, but by no means a certainty.

And there is also, of course, the real prospect that Mr. Bush will change the subject by bombing Iran.

Still, in the long run it may not matter that much. If the Democrats do gain control of either house of Congress, and with it the ability to issue subpoenas, a succession of scandals will be revealed in the final years of the Bush administration. But even if the Republicans hang on to their ability to stonewall, it's hard to see how they can resurrect their agenda.


If you're a NY Times subscriber, you can read the rest of the column here. If not, you might find this link worth checking out.

| | Posted by Magpie at 12:52 AM | Get permalink




Liar, liar, pants on fire!


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