Friday, February 10, 2006

Mapping the Taint 

We like to bring our readers a "feel-good" item every third month or so, just to keep them coming back for more, and "The Six-Year Itch" (from the March Atlantic) certainly qualifies. Authors Chuck Todd and Marc Ambinder note that "the party controlling the White House in the sixth year of a presidency has almost always suffered electoral losses," and although we are not optimistic enough to disregard the possibility of vote-counting shenanigans, the 2006 edition of the GOP seems to fit the usual pattern quite nicely:
Politics is famously local—especially in a non-presidential-election year. But this year, Republicans at the state level appear beset by infighting and logistical problems that mirror the ones in Washington. By our count, nine state Republican parties have leadership vacuums, five are mired in scandal, nine are in the throes of ideological clashes, and thirteen have fallen victim to Republican fatigue (from base supporters tiring of Bush’s leadership to swing voters questioning the merits of GOP dominance). Several of these newly fragile Republican machines—Ohio’s and Florida’s especially—will bear watching not just this year, but in the run-up to 2008.
(The full online text of the article is, we regret so say, available only to Atlantic print subscribers -- so subscribe already. It's an excellent periodical, even though the editors have made a grave and unconscionable mistake in moving the monthly cryptic puzzle from the magazine to the website.)

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