Still Incoherent After All These YearsOkay...try and make some sense out of this Richard Cohen column:
There are two ways to predict the winner of the 2008 presidential race: Check the polls or read some history....The history I have in mind is 1972....Just as it is hard to understand how the British ousted Winston Churchill after he had led them to victory in Europe in World War II, so it may be hard now to appreciate how Nixon won such a landslide while presiding over such a dismal war. In the first place, he was the incumbent, with all its advantages and with enormous amounts of money at his disposal. In the second place, back then the Vietnam War was not as unpopular as you might think -- or, for that matter, as the Iraq war is now. In 1972, almost 60 percent of Americans approved of the way Nixon was handling the war.Wh-huh? So 2008 is exactly like 1972, except for...y'know...every single detail being different?
On the other hand, it's not like the difference between 60% approval and 67% disapproval is significant enough to affect an election.
Cohen does go on to explain why the Republicans are going to win (and, implicitly, why 1972); it's all about the dirty fucking hippies:
Maybe more to the point, most Americans did not endorse the way the Democrats would handle the war -- nor the way the antiwar movement was behaving.Shorter Richard Cohen: the Democrats can't possibly win if they adopt the majority position on Iraq instead of the consensus position among centrist Beltway columnists.
Look, I'm no Democratic triumphalist. There are about a dozen ways the Republicans could win in 2008--and if you want to understand them, forget Richard Cohen and read what Steve M has to say.