In pressing for partial Social Security privatization and overhauling the tax system, Bush is taking a major risk. These are controversial matters that might drive some Republicans to become Democrats.
Such brilliance. It's like saying Republicans should forfeit their agenda now or else they might have to in the future. They should give up a bird in the hand for none in the bush. Either way, no conservative agenda. How convenient for liberals.
For a while I thought some liberals were beginning to grasp that for now, at least, they are the ones who are out of step with the American people; they are the ones who ought to be engaging in self-evaluation rather than projecting their losses onto Republicans.
But they still don't get it. They can't get past the political gamesmanship of it all -- an indelible stain on their psyche from the Clinton years. In their mind's eye the election results were all about political strategy and packaging rather than the merits of the issues -- about form over substance.
Outgoing Senator John Breaux, for example, attributed the Republicans' victories to their superior strategy:
If you're on the wrong side of guns, gays and God, then you're not in the center.
Isn't it a rank form of patronizing to treat the voters as the programmed robots of Karl Rove rather than mostly intelligent creatures with independent views who presently align more closely with the Republican message?
But this concept doesn't compute with the liberal elites whose conceit prevents them from considering the possibility that voters, if exposed to their naked ideas, will flat out reject them.
Happily, the liberals' failure to come to terms with their own predicament is leading them to put all their future hopes on Republicans imploding rather than making the necessary adjustments to make their own message more palatable, in substance not just appearance, to the voters.
I'm not one who believes the election is definitive proof of a major voter realignment, but if liberals continue to delude themselves by diagnosing Republicans as the ones who are arrogant rather than themselves, who knows what the future holds?