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June 19, 2006

When Pundits (Dis)Agree

This is a bizarre assertion from Matthew Continetti in this morning's LA Times:

Five months out, it is difficult to locate a single pundit who disagrees with the conventional wisdom that Republicans will lose control of their gerrymandered House, and possibly even the Senate, which they hold by a margin of 10 seats.

Talk about raising expectations. Aside from Matt's boss, Bill Kristol, I can't think of a single pundit who does believe that Republicans will lose the House. The normal prognosticators, Charlie Cook and Chuck Todd, don't think that. Nobody at my office thinks that. The New Republic hasn't said it, nor has the Democracy Corps, or even the reliably optimistic blog pundits at DailyKos. Indeed, while just about everyone acknowledges that there's a possibility that Democrats will lose, most folks I know are erring far on the side of caution -- hell, I'll be surprised if we pick up five seats.

Of course, there's a damn good reason rightwing pundits are trying to entrench these expectations: tangible fear of Democratic ascendance will turn out the dispirited conservative base, while high expectations will make anything but a 20-seat win further proof that Democrats are out-of-touch and electorally incapable. On the other hand, the buzz is making the corporate world anxious, and they're donating more money to Democrats. And while that may be an electoral good, it's long-term effects are a bit more problematic.

June 19, 2006 | Permalink

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Comments


Actually, Continetti lied outright a couple of months ago on NPR as well. He was bemoaning the drifting Republican majority in Washington, which has supposedly betrayed conservative principles (a paradox, obviously) by signing government over to campaign contributors and friendly corporations. He said that while lobbying money used to go overwhelming to Democrats, now it's evenly split.

In reality, though, lobbying cash used to favor Republicans slightly; now it favors them overwhelmingly. Talk about moving the goalposts, spinning the evidence, or what have you.

(cross-posted at Washington Monthly)

Posted by: Marshall | Jun 19, 2006 1:32:39 PM

"...bemoaning the drifting Republican majority in Washington, which has supposedly betrayed conservative principles (a paradox, obviously)"

Well, not really. Republicans is no more synonymous with conservative than Democrat is synonymous with liberal. Conservatives can, rightly, point out that a government which runs up gigantic deficits and approves programs without any concept of how to pay for them is not adhering to conservtive principles.

Now if only these conservatives would work on getting these free-spenders out of office, rather than voting for them again and again, they'd have my respect.

Posted by: Kylroy | Jun 19, 2006 1:52:22 PM

"hell, I'll be surprised if we pick up five seats."

Considering the massive failure of this administration, and an inability to sucessfully navigate through any of their positions, and while I agree with this statement, I find it pathetic.

It's pathetic that Democrats can't defeat Republicans on the heals of one of the biggest failures in presidential history.

But hey, that's just my take.

Posted by: Tony | Jun 19, 2006 8:44:30 PM

"Indeed, while just about everyone acknowledges that there's a possibility that Democrats will lose...."

I'm thinkng that you meant "win," or otherwise you just said it.

Tony: "Considering the massive failure of this administration, and an inability to sucessfully navigate through any of their positions, and while I agree with this statement, I find it pathetic."

Then you haven't been paying attention to gerrymandering, which is 98% of the problem.

Posted by: Gary Farber | Jun 21, 2006 8:46:05 AM

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