Monday, September 12, 2005

The Carpetbagger Report » Blog Archive » An inside job

The Carpetbagger Report » Blog Archive » An inside job:

The Carpetbagger notices a bunch of "inside the Oval Office, tell-all" stories, which make Bush look really bad:

"It's not unreasonable to wonder — not accept as fact, just wonder — if the wheels have finally come off the Bush machine. If all was well in the West Wing, we wouldn't see anonymous aides telling Time and Newsweek what a schmuck the president is."

I personally think the "coming perfect storm" -- the political storm, which may serve to sweep the Republicans from power -- has only just begun, if it has begun at all.

The fundamental political alignment of coalitions, which underlies the Bush Presidency and the Republican "majority" has not changed. Katrina is a fast moving event; political change requires a sustained or repeated trauma to impress itself on the nation's political psyche. The news media has not been transformed from sycophants to polished professionals overnite.

There's a more or less fixed diversity of political worldviews, and profound political change is associated with their alignment into coalitions.

Some part of the Bush coalition -- many only the ill-informed, non-aligned middle-of-the-roaders, without ideological committments -- has had its confidence shaken by Katrina and its aftermath. That's all that has happened. It is significant, but not for itself. Its only lasting effect will be to make the middle-of-the-roaders easier to reach with a negative narrative about Bush, the next time.

The next time: what will it be? Flu epidemic? Withdrawal from Iraq? Economic recession? Collapse of the dollar? A second hurricane? Terrorist attack? Revelations of corruption.

Personally, I favor "corruption." Reconstruction in New Orleans and environs will occasion lots of corruption, and it will not be invisible for being remote, as it was in Iraq. And, in Louisiana, you have Democrats watching things unfold and not very honest Democrats -- set a thief to catch a thief?

Corruption is the one issue, which has the potential to separate Bush from a significant part of his coalition, because it gives the Democrats opportunities to spin out a narrative, which distinguishes what Democrats want, from what Bush wants, in concrete, financial terms.

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