November 1, 2002
FIGHTING THE TIDE OF HISTORY:
In the Statehouses, Changing Times
: Redistricting, Term Limits Could Help Produce Unusually High Turnover (Christopher Lee, October 30, 2002, Washington Post)
Many voters, unaware of who their state legislator is, instead vote for the party. The president's party has lost state legislative seats in every midterm election since 1940, Storey said.
Go back for a second and look at that remarkable factoid again. There is something inexplicable, but wonderful, deep in the American soul that causes us to apply the brakes to anyone we elect to power
, a distrust of power that is unique in the world's democracies. Therefore, as day follows night, we go to the polls two years after selecting a President and vote against his party. That's why one has to be dubious about current Republican euphoria heading into Tuesday.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 1, 2002 4:43 PM
Now if we could be assured that the average American actually knew both who the President was along with what his party was, then we'd have something to talk about.
That's the amazing thing. It must be genetic.
I just came across an interesting factoid in NRO concerning the average number of -- I think it was -- elected seats that the President's party has lost, nationwide, in mid-term elections since 1940: 340. (I imagine this includes federal and state legislatures, but probably not governorships.) The author feels Bush will do much better than that. Which should be quoted often, when Terry the Crook goes on TV on Wednesday to talk about gains, etc...
One of the other great numbers in the story is that just via term limits and primaries there's already been as much turnover as in the average election.
Well, they used to drum the seperation of powers under the three branches of government into our ignorant heads. I can't recall who it was but I remember a writer saying he liked gridlock and partisanship because he wanted his guy to go to Washington and fight, not roll over and be a patsy for the other guy. This makes sense to a lot of Americans. Make it hard to agree and what is agreed upon may turn out to be right. Or at least a lot of chaff can get tied up in committee this way.
Yes, but if you asked a hundred Americans would they articulate that view? Or is it in the air we breath?