] Dick Morris: 2014: The sixth-year curse

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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

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Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 16, 2013/ 5 Shevat, 5773

2014: The sixth-year curse

By Dick Morris




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Republicans and conservatives might not have to wait until 2016 to get out from under the ravages of an ultra-liberal Obama administration. History suggests that almost every two-term incumbent faces a sixth-year curse in which his party fares terribly in the midterm elections.

In nine of the 10 sixth-year congressional elections since 1910, the president's party has lost seats in the Senate and in the House. The average loss in the Senate has been 8.6 seats; in the House it was 30 seats. Only in the congressional elections of 1998 did Clinton's Democrats lose no seats in the Senate and gain five in the House. (This election was a response to the Republican overreach in trying to impeach the president.) Here's the scorecard:


  • 1918, Democratic president

  • Senate: Democrats lost six seats

  • House: Democrats lost 25 seats

    1926, Republican president

  • Senate: Republicans lost six

  • House: Republicans lost nine

    1938, Democratic president

  • Senate: Democrats lost five

  • House: Democrats lost 72

    1950, Democratic president

  • Senate: Democrats lost three

  • House: Democrats lost 28

    1958, Republican president

  • Senate: Republicans lost 10

  • House: Republicans lost 48

    1966, Democratic president

  • Senate: Democrats lost three

  • House: Democrats lost 47

    1974, Republican president

  • Senate: Republicans lost three

  • House: Republicans lost 48

    1986, Republican president

  • Senate: Republicans lost eight

  • House: Republicans lost five

    1998, Democratic president

  • Senate: No net change

  • House: Democrats gained five seats

    2006, Republican president

  • Senate: Republicans lost six seats

  • House: Republicans lost 30 seats

The reasons for the six-year curse are quite various, but repetitive: wars gone bad, obsession, staleness, corruption and broken promises.

Wilson lost because, after being very narrowly reelected on the slogan "He kept us out of war," he promptly led us into World War I. By 1926, the Harding scandals finally caught up with the Republican Party. By 1950, reversals in the Korean War and Truman administration corruption took their toll. In 1958, the recession laid the Republicans low. Vietnam brought down Democrats in 1966, Watergate caused the Republican crash of 1974 and Reagan fatigue led to the 1986 defeat. Iraq cost George W. Bush his Senate majority in 2006.

Whatever the immediate cause of these defeats, the deeper one is hubris and presidential overreaching. Reelection is heady vindication, and presidents fall victim to their own success. As the Greeks said, "Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power."

But it was the experience of FDR losing five Senate and 72 House seats that might carry the most relevant portents for Obama in 2014.

Obama followed closely to the FDR model in his pursuit of a second term. As Amity Shlaes explains in her book The Forgotten Man, Roosevelt despaired of dragging the economy out of depression as he faced reelection in 1936. Despite all his public works and deficit spending, joblessness remained at a stubborn 13 percent.

So FDR invoked class warfare against "economic royalists" to win reelection, saying, during the campaign, "I should like to have it said of my first administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for economic power met their match I should like to have it said of my second administration that these forces met their master."

Roosevelt no longer focused on the overall economy but carved out special interests catering separately to farmers, the elderly, blacks, labor and Jews.

In both his invocations of class envy and his special-interest appeals to women, Latinos, blacks, gays and students, Obama followed the model closely.

Will he now follow the rest of the FDR model? Right after he took office for a second term, Roosevelt tried to pack the Supreme Court and "purge" conservatives in his own party.

Will Obama's hubris — obvious to all — lead him to overreach, setting a second-term agenda that breaks the speed limits and runs the stop signs? Will his arrogance lead him to a sixth-year disaster?

Dick Morris Archives


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© 2013, Dick Morris

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