Tuesday, August 10, 2004
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When it rains, it pours. The New Republic Online has a really excellent pair of pieces, by Zachary Roth and Arik Ben-Zvi respectively, exploring historical analogies for the coming US presidential election. Because the pieces may well be behind a subscriber firewall, I urge you to (a) subscribe (it’s worth it) and, failing that, (b) wheedle a copy out of your good-natured, ingenuous, easily-exploited friend (I think that's me ...).
Roth cites John Major’s narrow win over Neil Kinnock in 1992:
Ben-Zvi’s piece is potentially even more dire for the Dems. Ben-Zvi cites Israel’s 1999 election, in which undecideds did break for the challenger, Ehud Barak.
If you replace “social issues” with bread-and-butter economics, the analogy seems to hold (whether we believers in “smaller state, bigger citizens” like it or not). The question is, what happens next? Will Kerry fumble disastrously (due to the intransigence and bad faith of his diplomatic interlocutors, let’s say), and will he unwittingly usher in a period of conservative hegemony, with a figure more aggressive and unresponsive to the entreaties of traditional allies than President Bush at the helm? Not sure that’s what Ben-Zvi’s looking for, but it’s food for thought.posted by Suzanne Nossel on 08.10.04 at 05:19 PM
My guess is that Kerry's secret diplomatic plan involves Russia, China, and India.posted by: praktike on 08.10.04 at 05:19 PM [permalink]
praktike: China and India? Send your jobs to our country China and India? Or We Have Nukes Too China and India?
I actually think that many nations are eager to deal with a Kerry foreign policy apparatus. The prospects of Holbrooke team, who I still do not understand why Drezner likes, are immense for any nation seeking to fleece the United States for all it's worth. Too bad Berger burned himself. China will be disappointed.posted by: Brennan Stout on 08.10.04 at 05:19 PM [permalink]
yeah... kerry wants to be liked and dems don't believe in american power, success or exceptionalism...
china got all sorts of tech thanks to Loral, Mr. Diane Feinstein, and the feckless clintons... (how much of that got transferred to the DPRK???)
a vote for kerry is an attempt at civilisational suicide...
and if they don't like bush, wait for a REAL rightwinger....
it'll make sharon seem like rabin to have a real hawk in charge (RUMMY.. or Wolfowitz.. or Giuliani..)
plus there's always the attempts to reanimate LeMay, Patton and MacArthur.. now thats one hell of an executive...posted by: hey on 08.10.04 at 05:19 PM [permalink]
It's decidedly in China and India's interest that a stable energy situation be developed in the ME. If China and India do not have long-term access to oil & natural gas. their economies die. It's that simple. Geopolitics doesn't haven't to be a zero-sum game anymore.posted by: praktike on 08.10.04 at 05:19 PM [permalink]
The last thing John Kerry needs is to be compared to Ehud Barak. Israel suffered greatly because of his appeasement of the radical Palestinians. Many Israelis have been murdered due to Barak’s naiveté. Why would Americans desire the same sort of incompetent leadership. Barak is a harsh reminder that a brave military commander may be ineffective as a political leader during times of violent conflict.posted by: David Thomson on 08.10.04 at 05:19 PM [permalink]
Roth's piece doesn't make much sense to me- if Major's major advantage was in the personal favorable department, then that isn't a good analogy. At least, at this point, Kerry's favorable/unfavorable ratio is much better than Bush's, rather than vice-versa.
I mean, that could change tomorrow, but it's hardly useful to point out analogies that *could* occur in the right circumstances.
So, yeah, the undecideds *could* break for the incumbent. But they usually don't, and absent a reason to think that they will, I don't see why anyone would paint contrafactual scenarios when they might be expected to.
Wuposted by: Carleton Wu on 08.10.04 at 05:19 PM [permalink]
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