"We were ahead until the financial crisis began....We have the handicap of wearing the 'R' label this year.... " — Steve Schmidt, NPRI love the way the some commentators on the right are beginning to talk of the financial crisis as if it were some natural disaster, or an act of God — some completely random event that interfered with an otherwise perfectly fair election. Its true that some things are beyond the control of government. Revolutions abroad. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. But a financial crisis precipitated by a mortgage meltdown? It would be rough justice to punish Gordon Brown, or Silvio Berlusconi for their handling of the American economy. But a two-term president who has been in power 8 years seems fair game to me. Ditto those who want to pursue the same agenda.
History suggests this isn't an irrational instinct on voters parts.
In the United States, voters replaced Republicans with Democrats in 1932 and the economy improved. In Britain and Australia, voters replaced Labor governments with conservatives and the economy improved. In Sweden, voters replaced Conservatives with Liberals, then with Social Democrats, and the economy improved. In the Canadian agricultural province of Saskatchewan, voters replaced Conservatives with Socialists and the economy improved.