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S. Baker

Yeah and if people think that democrats are going to be perfect, wait and see. For all those that export to america, you will be in for a big surprise. 70% of latinos voted for dumbocrats, no wonder they want to give illegals citizenship!

Barry Macleod-Cullinane

This Economist article (and the CH posting) fails to properly define what is meant by a "move leftward".

If it is a move of public support to the Democrats - then this article confirms last November's polls, when the Democrats took back control of Congress.

If, on the other hand, it is a suggestion that policy is shifting leftward, then we need to define what this means... and that is something that both the Economist and the CH posting do not.

I would define "leftward" in this context, as a support for greater state action, especially in welfare, higher regulation, growing public debt, higher present and future taxes, and less individual freedom.

Under Bush, there has already been a massive leftward lurch - a lurch away from Conservative principles of small government, low taxes and reductions in regulations. For instance, Bush’s presidency has added over 7,000 pages of new federal regulations which have added around costs of $1.1 trillion to the economy. These are massive costs and a complete betrayal of Conservative principles.

Far from cutting back state expenditures that crowd out private initiative, Bush has increased domestic spending by around 27% in the first years of his presidency. Indeed, George W. Bush was the first Republican since Eisenhower to run for president without calling for cutting or abolishing a single government program

Bush has also presided over the largest expansion of the federal government since LBJ's Great Society expansion of the 1960s: the unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit could add as much as $11.2 trillion to America's unfunded liabilities - at a time when Social Security (pensions) are looking increasingly likely they'll go bust.

Under Bush, America has already moved far to the left through the massive expansion of state action, particularly in welfare, under the slogan "compassionate conservatism". But far from being compassionate, the so-called "Conservatism" of the Bush White House - with its expansion of welfare entitlements, regulations and debt - is stifling the very economic growth that will reduce that wealth necessary to reduce poverty and alleviate hardship both within America's borders and across the world.

I would urge that interested readers look at Michael Tanner's recent book, Leviathan on the right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought down the Republican Revolution, for a powerful corrective to the Economist’s (and CH’s) analysis.

Simon Newman

In most countries the party of a government that had launched a foreign war on false pretexts, lost thousands of its citizens lives (+ tens of thousands wounded), would not even be in contention.

The fact is, the Republicans are in an extremely strong position in the USA, and this will not change any time soon. The Hispanic population is huge and growing fast, but the Hispanic *vote*, while heavily Democrat, is small and growing slowly. Conversely, the non-Hispanic white vote leans ever more Republican.

Get out of Iraq and listen to the voters (not The Economist!) on immigration reform, and the Republican Party would struggle to lose any election.

See this article:
http://isteve.blogspot.com/2007/08/in-2006-long-predicted-tidal-wave-of.html

Simon Newman

On the specific points:

1. Rudy Giuliani - yup, he's a strong candidate. His private life does not endear him to social conservatives, but most are willing to bite the bullet.

2. Iraq - "Democrat campaign for early withdrawal will backfire."

I'd say that the 2006 Democrat-controlled Congress's failure to do what they were elected to do, and end the war, has already backfired. They've demoralised their base and re-energised the Republicans. The Dems have accepted the Republican "withdrawal would be a disaster" narrative, leaving them nowhere to go. Iraq is still a big negative for Republicans but not the kiss of death you'd expect.

3. "Growing tensions between Clinton and Obama present the possibility that the Democrats may not go into 2008 united. The powerful netroots of the party may also find it difficult to unite behind any one candidate."

I wouldn't make too much of this, but it's true that Clinton's relentless search for the centre ground may demoralise her base. Echoes of home...

4. "The underlying attitudes to government... ...provide US Republicans with a lot to work with."

As pointed out above, Bush has been very much a Big Government Republican. Still, most white Americans simply don't trust any but the most blue-dog of Democrats to run the country. The Republicans have a huge in-built advantage that looks likely to grow with time. Ironically, Bush's support for mass Hispanic immigration may be making white Americans more homogenous and more hostile to the Democratic party. The Dems lost Southern WASPs a long time ago, increasingly the Dems are losing the white blue-collar and Catholic vote too. Giuliani is likely to accelerate that drift, returning the north-east back into contention for the GOP, with California's Schwarzenegger Republicans (typically white middle-income public-sector workers) threatening the Dems' western flank.

All is not necessarily rosy for the GOP long term; if blue-dog Jacksonian Dems like Virginia's Jim Webb start to take leadership positions and come into contention as Presidential candidates the Republicans' lock on the white blue-collar and lower-middle class voters could be broken again, but there seems no chance of that with Clinton or Obama as the Dem candidate.

Tony Makara

I don't think its so much a case of America turning left but rather that the democratic world has gravitated to the centre. People are sick and tired of the ideological politics which have brought so much misery to the world. The 'big idea' has been replaced with a desire for a more pragmatic politics. That need not mean the end of political leaders with vision, but such vision has to be realistic and apply to the 21st century.

Steevo

I think America has been moving to the left since the 60s. Some will even say since Roosevelt. It does depend on what you mean. I define it with big controlling government, and moral relativism: rejection of Judeo-Christian ethic and the acceptance of secular humanism.

I agree with Bush and those Republicans staying the course in Iraq according to Petraeus' assessment, I agree with their tax cuts and have been quite satisfied with our economy (tho a sitting President doesn't have as much influence as can be assumed.) Work has been good, actually better than ever. A lot of other issues I'm in agreement and with many in our Republican party. But, as Barry Mcleod enumerated there are serious issues of disagreement and I do question if they have lost their way, too much for recovery.

It should be noted the apparent contradiction going on. There appears to be more support for Democrat control, but their 'revolution' in the Senate and House has contributed to the lowest ever approval ratings. I believe this goes much deeper than public dissatisfaction with involvement in Iraq.

I have no clue as to predict who will win our next election, but if its a Republican I hope all in Hollywood who have threatened in the past to move to Canada, do.

Simon Newman

"if its a Republican I hope all in Hollywood who have threatened in the past to move to Canada, do."

Something we can agree on!

Frogg, USA

We are a "center right" country still. And, in more measures than not......conservatism is stronger than ever.

1. The Very Best News Yet in the Battleground Poll

Not only are conservatives a majority in America today, but never in the history of the Battleground Poll has the percentage of Americans who are conservative been greater.

Sixty-three percent of Americans, as of late July 2007, identified themselves as “very conservative” or “somewhat conservative.” Only thirty-three percent of Americans identify themselves as “very liberal” or “somewhat liberal.” Two percent are those all-important “moderate” voters and two percent “don’t know.”

http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2007/07/30/the-very-best-news-yet-in-the-battleground-poll/

2. In a recent special election a Republican just took the seat away from a 20 year long Democrat hold.

http://www.wten.com/Global/story.asp?S=6868145


3. The Republican National Committee is kicking the Democratic National Committee's … wallet pocket.

Unlike Presidential campaigns which report every quarter, the national committees report every month.

In the month of June, the Republican National Committee raised about $6.4 million. For the month. The DNC raised about $4.1 million. For June.

If you look at fundraising for the cycle, the RNC has out-raised the DNC about $45 million to about $28 million. A fundraising edge for the GOP of $17 million.

How about the ever-popular Cash on Hand number? Howard Dean and his DNC enters the second half of 2007 with CoH of a touch under $5 million. The GOP goes into the second half with Cash on Hand of nearly $16 million.

Last number: The Democratic Committee has a debt of $2 million. The RNC has a debt of … Zero. So, in reality the CoH differential is not 16-5. It is really 16-3 something on the order of a five-fold edge.

If Republican donors are angry, exhausted, anti-Bush, and anti-Iraq, what does that say about Democratic donors?

http://www.mullings.com/


4. A recent PEW poll showed growing conservative numbers in almost ever social issue (abortion, taxes, gay marriage, etc) except for one (civil unions).

Ottavio Marasco

However, is America really turning left, more liberal? Yes, polls do show a decline in the public's embrace of the conservative social and economic values that have been the hallmark of Republican Party politics. Nevertheless, the Democrats did not win the House and the Senate by campaigning for big government, high taxes and new social programs. They won because of the Iraq factor. I tend to side with those analysts that equate electoral oscillations to that of a constantly moving pendulum.

damozel

I can only hope you're mistaken. I'm all for UK/US friendship and cooperation, being married to a Brit myself, but the last thing the country needs is more of what Bush has (and has NOT) provided. Furthermore, the GOP has not really presented a candidate who is satisfactory both to Wall Street and Main Street Republicans.


Why should an "Atlanticist" tilt rightward, I ask myself---as do the Brits who blog at my website. If you're going to comment on the 2008 election, why not maintain a certain neutrality? All Americans love all Brits but are famously (and correctly) oblivious to events outside their/our own backyards.

I believe the UK/US relationship has a better chance of being restored when the GOP is once again out of power.

LC Mamapajamas

Ottavio... in fact, the Democrats who unseated Republicans in 2006 did so because they ran to the RIGHT of the Republican incumbant. Iraq had little to do with it; it was the overspending the Republican majority that did it.

The Democrats in those races ran under the banner of fiscal responsibility.

Kevin Sampson

'All Americans love all Brits'

Like Hell. I wouldn't cross the street to save the lives of George Galloway or Ken Livingston. Or, for that matter, any of the people at the dinner party that was featured on PBS last night.

atheling

America will swing more right in the next generation. Conservatives - primarily conservative Christians - have more babies than Liberals.

damozel

"'All Americans love all Brits'"

That is what is known as "hyperbole," FYI.

"America will swing more right in the next generation. Conservatives - primarily conservative Christians - have more babies than Liberals."

Not so. You're not considering the rapidly expanding minority demographic. Most of them vote for Democrats if they vote at all.

The biggest problem with the Bush Administration was the Republican Congress. Congress did not perform its constitutional duty of protecting its turf or of acting as a check on the expansion of the executive branch's power. John Dean's recent book "Broken Government" discusses this theme.

I'm not a liberal or a conservative; I am a centrist. But I have completely lost faith in the GOP until such time as it reconstitutes itself (if ever) by losing the evangelical and wingnut elements by which it expanded its "base" to win power.

JF

Damozel,

But I have completely lost faith in the GOP until such time as it reconstitutes itself (if ever) by losing the evangelical and wingnut elements by which it expanded its "base" to win power.

If this is true, then considering that you haven't been impressed with the GOP since 1976, it's impossible to believe that you would ever join the GOP. So why would the Republicans dump a reliable (if fiscally liberal) social conservative base to reward your 30 years of voting Democrat?

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