Conservatives continue to outnumber moderates and liberals in the American populace in 2009, confirming a finding that Gallup first noted in June. Forty percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 20% as liberal. This marks a shift from 2005 through 2008, when moderates were tied with conservatives as the most prevalent group.Compare that to Newsweek editor Jon Meacham's discussion of current partisan trends, "The Great American Ideological Crackup" (via Memeorandum):
Shortly after the 2004 presidential election, I was chatting with a senior figure in the Democratic Party when, inevitably, the talk turned to why John Kerry had lost. My interlocutor's theory of the case: the voters did not know the truth about George W. Bush. Why didn't they know the truth? I asked. The reply: because of Roger Ailes.It's mindboggling, really, this elite media-bubble that envelops folks like Jon Meacham.
On hearing that a particularly dopey man we both knew had gone to rehab for drinking, a friend of mine once sent me an e-mail that said: "You know, that's an awful lot to blame on alcohol." To adapt the image, the 2004 victory is an awful lot to credit Ailes with. The head of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel, Ailes (whom I know) is a talented and influential man. He rose from The Mike Douglas Show to become a maker of presidents, from Nixon to Bush 41, and his channel is a big player in our politics. But if he and Fox News were as omnipotent as Democrats fear, John McCain and Sarah Palin would be in the White House.
Still, to many liberals, Murdoch and Ailes are the scary Wild Things of the last decade or so in American politics, the men on whom many of the evils of the world can be blamed ....
The whole thing feels like the last war, or a song that has not worn well, or a guest who has overstayed his welcome. The White House–vs.–Fox News mini-saga belongs to an era that effectively ended last fall, when President Bush radically enlarged the role of the federal government in the economy and Obama won the presidency. It was clear then, and is even clearer now, that the issues which long defined the right-left divide (hawkishness abroad, a limited role for government at home) are in spectacular disarray.
Forty percent of Americans identify with conservatism, we've had nearly a year of grassroots conservative and libertarian protests against the excessive government of both parties, and the most dynamic political movement in the country right now is the conservative's grassroots election campaign in New York's 23 congressional district.
That's what should be on the cover of this week's Newsweek, not Anna Quindlen's lame paean to President Obama's first year in office, "Hope Springs Eternal."
I'm doubling-down on my prediction that Obama's a one-term president. The left just doesn't get it: Democrats won no mandate to reengineer society in 2008. Folks want competence and good goverment, and instead they've been hoodwinked by a dopey-changey ideological Pied Piper of socialist nihilism.
It's almost unbelievable, but a real ideological crackup's coming ... conservatives just need to keep the pressure on.