Friday, January 28, 2011

Charles Krauthammer's Wacky Small Government Delusions

The Hammer sums up the prevailing-but-utterly-false conventional wisdom of the Right:
The November election sent a clear message to Washington: less government, less debt, less spending.
A tip of the hat to Steve Benen, who provided this reality-check with a bit of help from the folks at Gallup:
Last week, Gallup asked respondents to say whether they "favor or oppose cutting government spending" in a variety of areas. A majority opposed cuts to everything -- literally, everything -- except foreign aid. A 52% majority even opposed cuts to funding for the arts. A whopping 67% opposes cuts to education -- which happens to be one of the main targets for congressional Republicans.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, 58 percent of eligible voters simply sat out the mid-terms entirely. So "the message" most voters sent is that they didn't trust the two major parties to solve any of the problems facing the nation, which is quite perceptive of them.

And that "mandate" that Krauthammer and his brethren take as a given is based on the votes of 21.6 percent of the eligible population who went for the GOP in 2010. Contrast that with 18.6 percent of those eligible to vote who "sent a message to Washington" favoring the Dems.

So, among the 41.6 percent who got off their butts and went to the polls, the GOP's spread was 3 percentage points: 21.6 to 18.6 percent.

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