My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Believe Or Not, We're Actually Doing Pretty Good

Popping out of a year-end rut, the economy zipped ahead at the fastest pace in 2½ years during the first quarter of 2006 as consumers picked up spending and businesses regained their footing.

Inflation looked tame, too, though the latest figures didn’t include last week’s oil-price spike. . .

Gross domestic product advanced at a 4.8 percent pace in the January-to-March quarter.

It's nearly unfathomable that the economy could be doing this well, and yet the poll numbers for the President are stuck in the 30s. And, of course, this is easily explained by one thing: $3/gallon gas.

So, from a political standpoint, is there any chance of changing the perception that gasoline prices are but one contrary indicator of an otherwise robust economy, and turning around the polls on that account? No. Probably not.

So, from a political standpoint, if you can't change reality OR change perception, what do you have to do?

You have to assign blame.

How about not a single new refinery built in the U.S. in 30 years; how about a refusal to allow drilling in ANWAR and off the continental shelf of California; how about a stubborn refusal to allow the building of nuclear reactors to mitigate our use of oil? And which side of the ledger can these sins be pinned on?

The Democrats, of course.

And which side of the ledger is winning this argument right now because they're the only ones in the game?

The Democrats, of course.

And which side will continue to reap political benefit from the unfathomable unwillingness of this White House to directly engage in confrontational debate about this issue?

The Democrats, of course.

If--and I'm thinking this is increasingly likely--the Democrats get control of Congress in November, it won't be because they've won over public opinion with a compelling platform and well-articulated arguments in support of it. It will be because the Republicans deserve to lose.

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