Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Politics -- Democrats believe their own spin

Ever since last week when I decided to start a blog, I have been thinking about my first post and wanting it to be a good, solid effort. I thought I would tackle the current debate in liberal circles about what the latest election really means. And after all the time I spent trying to polish up my thoughts, James Taranto with Best of the Web at Opinion Journal today (1/11/05) made one of my points. (Btw -- I'll be happy to link to it when I learn how.)

Among the points I wanted to make was that Democrats, as a party, have lost touch with reality. The various ways this is true are many, but one of them is the one Taranto pointed out -- they end up believing their own spin. They decide on their talking points, the news media cranks out story after story in support of the party line, the party faithful swallow it as truth, and they feed it back to the politicians and their pollsters. Apparently, when they read their own spin coming back to them in the polls, they perceive it as truth. In the most recent election, we saw this on the economy, Iraq, the Swift vets' claims, etc.

Take the economy as an example. Ray Fair, an economics professor at Yale and a self-described liberal Democrat, has used econometric methods to predict election outcomes. His research shows that the state of the economy is the determining factor in presidential elections. The various economic statistical measures were so strong in 2004 that his model projected Bush would win in a landslide with about 58% of the vote. Now we know that Bush only got 51%, but the actual strength of the economy is not debatable. Perhaps Fair will have to tweak his projection model to account for situations where large segments of the voting public have been misled into believing the economy is in bad shape. For them, perception became reality.

In various post-mortems of the election, a number of liberals have expressed dismay that they failed to win the election when the economy was so bad. Kerry seems to be among them. It isn't surprising that his campaign tried to put out as much spin as possible to mislead people on the true state of the economy. What is hard to believe, however, is that he should end up being misled by his own misinformation. The steady drumbeat of media stories parroting his party line (worst economic performance by a president since Hoover ad nauseum) seems to have fooled not only the party faithful, but the party leaders as well.

Tomorrow I'll start with my take on why a realignment has occurred and how the mainstream media has been breathing just enough life into the Donkey's corpse to allow it to die slowly over decades. Instead of facing reality and make necessary changes, the Democrats will continue to decay until the stench is overwhelming.

Update -- obviously, I haven't followed this one up yet. It's in the works.


Blogger SGT Ted said...

Hey am I getting in the first comment on your blog? weee! Nice blog. Good posts.

Anyway to make a link: Look on your add a post page upper right. Theres an Edit HTML tab. Select that. Then, when you have a link you wish to add, highlight the word or phrase you wish to make a link and then click on the chain link/globe icon; third from the left. It opens a link box. Copy/paste the link you want into the box and then click OK. This will add the HTML text around your highlighted word/phrase. Do a preview to double check that your link is correct and make any necessary changes.
PS my blog is tho I doubt I will get linked to Powerline any time soon, I enjoy it. Good luck!


12:03 PM, January 20, 2005  

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