Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Chicago Writ Large

David Goldman (ie, "Spengler") has a new post up wherein he argues that a GOP revival based on Obama's overreach is mostly wishful thinking. His thesis is distressingly plausible but IMO ultimately wrong. In Chicago, people who vote Democrat fall into two groups. The first are those who want to make the clout-based spoils system work for them. The other are those who want to associate themselves culturally with blue-state America.

For the purposes of extrapolation, it's this latter group which is important. For liberal urban professionals, the machine politics of the Daleys are a just a tax, not one that they're particularly happy with but a tolerable one. More than that, it's one that they can't do anything about. Even if they were willing to vote Republican, the party here runs at such a huge organizational deficit that disillusionment with the Democrats is more likely to turn to apathy than anger.

For America at large, the opposite is true. The financial burdens of welfare-state America are onerous, and getting worse under Obama. And the American people are for now still sovereign, and the expression of their sovereignty is the ability to veto the apparatchiks of government by voting Republican. Furthermore, even though it's not necessarily being expressed this way, the feeling of sovereignty being lost is growing among the voters. It's a close-run thing but I wouldn't be writing the GOP's obituary quite yet.

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