Just Isn't True

A few days ago, I responded to a QandO post accusing the Democrats of being all opposition, no ideas. The folks over there have issued their latest missive, amending their argument to admit yes, the Dems have ideas, but they don't have any good ones.

So, sure...you've got ideas. But while you're designing yet another website to detail those ideas, you might ask yourself why, for quite a few elections in a row now, the public has been so uniformly unimpressed with them?

The (very general) answer, I think, lies in the fact that the Republicans have grasped both sides of the coin.

Republicans have come to grips with the reality that the electorate likes Leviathan. They really do. They like subsidies; they like price controls (that benefit them); they like being Paul when Peter is robbed. They like government spending--health care, welfare, defense, arts, education, etc--that aligns itself with their values.

Democrats, on the other hand, have not come to grips with the fact that the electorate also likes limited government. They really do. They like lower taxes; they like local control; they like reduced regulation (that benefits them). They like government non-intervention that aligns itself with their values.

This seems a fundamental misread of of the electorate. Republicans aren't winning because of their economic ideas, they're winning because of their foreign policy image. Of the last four presidential elections, they've received a majority (or plurality) of votes in exactly one, not coincidentally the only that focused on foreign policy since the close of the Cold War. But don't believe me, take a look at the exit polling. Democrats overwhelmingly won in the domestic category: voters concentrating on the economy and jobs went for us 80-18%, voters concentrating on health care chose us 77-23%, voters concentrating on education chose us and, finally, the 5% of voters choosing on taxes went for Bush. So the voters who are, to use QandO's word, motivated by domestic ideas went Democrat.