The Corner

How Do You Spell Incumbent? D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T

Jay Cost on the desperate effort to make this election year all about anti-incumbency:

Ok. So, the idea is that the public mood is anti-incumbent in general, which means we should expect lots of “hand-to-hand” combat between Democrat and Republican candidates as they try to position themselves as being the most anti-Washington.

No. This is totally wrong.

It is a false equivalency being pushed because Arlen Specter is probably going to lose today. If that happens, Snarlin’ Arlen will make the fourth high-profile pol that Barack Obama embraced in friendship who was later rebuked by the voters of a blue or purple state. Deeds, Corzine, Coakley, Specter. The White

House doesn’t want this “narrative” to get out – so they’re pushing this alternative instead.

This isn’t about dissatisfaction with the performance of the 44th President. Oh no. This is about demanding change in Washington – the very same change, by gum, that Barack Obama has been working so hard to bring about!

“Change that you can believe in” has gone from an over-worked campaign slogan to an unfalsifiable hypothesis. Vote for a Dem, you support the President’s agenda for change. Vote for a GOPer, you support the President’s agenda for change.

But how many Republican incumbents are in severe jeopardy of losing their seat in Congress to a Democratic challenger?

I count one: Joseph Cao of New Orleans.

Meanwhile, I count more than 20 Democrats in the House and Senate who are in severe jeopardy. Lower the threshold from “severe” to “serious” jeopardy, and I count maybe four Republicans and more than 50 Democrats.

The White House is absolutely, positively correct that there is a divide between America and Washington – but what they fail to appreciate (or, more likely, they appreciate it but want to fake-out the press) is that Washington, D.C. now belongs to Barack Obama.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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