One of the things that is a source of constant amusement and/or irritation, depending on the stridency level, is the left's penchant for over-dramatization. One can see this quite clearly in yesterday's hysterical, hyperbolic hyperventilation by Lyn Davis Lear (and her quote from Gore Vidal) over at HuffnPuff. To the barricades! I get comments here that go something like, "Soon the nightmare will be over" or words to that effect. Things like, "worst/most/biggest (fill in subject) in history" are always being bandied about. And so it is with the Greatest Electoral Defeat In Recorded History Ever™ yammering going on in the cheerleading media. Which is what Tom Bevan tries to point out today at Real Clear Politics.
On the other hand, talk of a huge Democratic "wave" election remains premature, if not a bit overblown. Some are suggesting this year is shaping up to be a Democratic blowout similar to the one Republicans enjoyed in 1994 when they picked up fifty-two seats and captured control of the House. So far, despite the fact that Republicans are actively defending a larger set of seats than they were a few weeks ago, the evidence available at the moment simply doesn't bear out talk of a forty or fifty-seat swing to the Democrats.
That being said, there are still two and half weeks left until Election Day, so things may indeed get worse for Republicans. Or they might get better. One thing to remember is that eighteen days is an eternity in politics. If you don't believe me, consider that just twenty-one days ago most Americans had never heard the name Mark Foley. And just nine days ago Kim Jong Il and North Korea grabbed the world's attention by testing a nuke. The point is that things can, and almost always do change quickly in politics – especially in today's 24/7 new media environment.
The other thing to remember is that for many people around the country who do not follow politics very closely, the election has only recently gotten underway. Both Republicans and Democrats will be blanketing the airwaves with ads and pouring every last dollar into mobilizing their supporters in the final two weeks.
The heart of the question is whether Republican voters are really as depressed and fractured as the media has portrayed them to be over the last few weeks. If they are, and they decide to sit on their hands this election, then November 7 could indeed turn to out to be a very bad night for the GOP.
But if Republican voters aren't that depressed or, perhaps more likely, if they are disgruntled at the moment for one reason or another but decide in the final days that the alternative to not voting (i.e. having Speaker Nancy Pelosi two heart beats away from the Presidency) is worse, then GOP losses this cycle might not be so severe. (Emphasis added).
By all means read the whole thing. For some reason, last weekend seemed to be a low point for many in the right-leaning part of the blogosphere. I'm not sure why exactly. One really needs to remember that timing is everything in politics. And two weeks can make all the difference. So it's probably not a good idea for the left-leaning folks who are sure that the age of Aquarius is about to be ushered in on the wings of the Greatest Electoral Defeat In Recorded History Ever™ not to pick out the pony just yet. Yes, I know they promised you one, but you'll have to actually win the election first. That's how these things work, you know.