In the Arena

The Election

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I didn’t spend much time reporting, and none writing, about this year’s elections. As is often the case these days, they are being overplayed because they offer easily quantifiable results that can be wildly extrapolated. Republicans are crowing a bit too much, but Democrats have been known to do the same in similar circumstances. Here are a few additional thoughts.

1. The New Jersey and Virginia races have mostly local import, and were determined by lousy Democratic candidates running against Republicans who emphasized governance issues. But they do have a message for the national Democratic party: people are still scared about the economy and they are worried by (a) the lack of focus of the Obama Administration and (b)their continuing uncertainty about what the President is actually proposing for health care. (And, as always, they want more services–job creation now–and lower taxes and lower deficits.)

2. The NY-23 race should send a message to Republican wingnuts, but it probably won’t. It is a cause for optimism for Democrats–but I’m not sure Democrats should be all that optimistic: this is a commentary on the inept extremism of the Republicans rather than any public love for what the Dems are offering.

3. According to this Washington Post story, moderate Democrats are wary of grand ideas…but they want to see more job creation. Does that mean they’ll favor another stimulus package? Greater budget deficits? What?