Only August, and the red state tribalists are already beginning to despair their fate, at least if the stories/ narratives/ fairy tales they’re telling each other are any indication. Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly snarks, “Will Clinton Attack Obama At Convention With a Claw Hammer?”:
… I just read an op-ed column from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review by someone named Salena Zito that is just an endless web of invention and assertion that is remarkably unspoiled by a speck of empirical data. Its thesis is that “Clinton Democrats” (which in an astonishing burst of ignorance she identifies with “Reagan Democrats”) despise Barack Obama and hate the godless socialist direction the Democratic Party has taken under his leadership, and even though they held their noses and voted for him in 2008, they are ready to revolt en masse…
The day Zito’s sage column appeared, the weekly Gallup tracking poll showed Obama’s job approval among Democrats standing at 86%, precisely the same level as Clinton’s job approval among Democrats at the same juncture of his presidency. Obama’s job approval among self-identified moderate Democrats was at 81%. Now today a new weekly summary came out showing Obama’s job approval rating among Democrats had plunged all the way down to 83% (and to a shocking, hardly-anyone-left 76% among the moderates). I don’t think Zito was engaging in prophecy, but in the most bold-faced variety of spin. The easiest (if also the most hammer-headed) way to distract attention from the GOP’s loud-and-proud conservative ideological revolution of the last few years is to claim Democrats have moved equally (or much farther!) to the left, leaving good, patriotic, centrist Democrats stranded and torn between sitting at home angrily stewing on Election Day or joining the Good Ship Mitt. Zito’s only innovation in this dumb interpretation is to claim (again, with no evidence) that “Clinton Democrats” were all wise to Obama’s game from the very beginning, recognizing him as the clear successor to Howard Dean (and presumably George McGovern and Henry Wallace and Upton Sinclair). Unaccountably they voted for him anyway in 2008. But now they will wreak vengeance!…
And Greg Sargent at the Washington Post highlights an even unlikelier delusion:
With Obama maintaining a small but persistent lead in national polls — and a seemingly larger one in key swing states — the Romney campaign has taken to comparing this race to the 1980 campaign, in which Jimmy Carter held a lead until voters swung sharply to Ronald Reagan in the final stretch. “Romney aides believe strongly that this race will play out like the 1980 campaign,” Byron York wrote recently.
This race will all but certainly tighten this fall, and it remains a toss up. But the comparison to 1980 struck me as flawed. I checked in with former Reagan adviser Ed Rollins, who worked communications on that campaign, and he agrees — there are very significant differences that make a last minute swing far less likely.
Reason one: Obama is a better and more likable politician than Jimmy Carter was, and Romney has not proven himself to be Ronald Reagan….
It’s early yet, but I think that line may be in contention for the understatement of the year.
What’s on the agenda for the day?