Friday, April 15, 2011

Did the Political Right in the US Step Off a Cliff?

That is the question that Paul Krugman is asking in his NY Times blog:
Now that Republicans have voted for the Ryan plan, big tax cuts for the rich, ending Medicare as we know it, and all, we may have a chance to test a major proposition in political science.

What I hear from my colleagues in the next building is basically that issues matter very little; election results are determined by whether the economy is worsening or improving in the year, or maybe even the six months, before the election.

But now we have a major party endorsing policies that are pretty much the opposite of what polls say, overwhelmingly, the American public wants. People love Medicare; they want to see the rich pay higher, not lower taxes.

No doubt there will be a strong effort to fudge what’s going on: already we’re seeing an attempt to bully the press into not calling vouchers vouchers and privatization privatization. And there will be an attempt to use double-talk to blur the nature of the tax cuts. Still, the Democrats now have a big fat target.

I guess we’ll see next year whether publicly committing your party to deeply unpopular policies makes any electoral difference.
What 2012 will demonstrate is whether the electorate can be manipulated by big money and the fact that the media is owned by right wingers who will "shape" the news any way they can to try and get public opinion to swallow the right wing version of "the Truth".

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