February 24, 2007


Orrin writes, concerning Tom Vilsack's withdrawing from the race...

It's at least notable that while Mr. Vilsack's bid was always dubious there's only one thing that changed this week: he participated in the first debate and there proposed a rational reform measure for Social Security and the Left declared him beyond the Pale of their party's ideology. There is no Third Way any longer for the Democrats. It's back to the 70s.

This is very interesting if you view all this through the lens of the 70-Year Cycle. In the 1940 election, the equivalent point in the cycle to 2008, the Republicans nominated Wendell Wilkie, who had until recently been a Democrat, and a New Deal supporter! There's certainly no sign of Democrats doing something like that.

On the other hand, Wilkie was also widely (and incorrectly) perceived to be an isolationist, which matched the mood of many Republicans at that time, and many Democrats today. That fits. Wilkie was also something of a Rorschach candidate, like Obama. People could see him as whatever they were hoping for.

Wilkie and Roosevelt split over the Tennessee Valley Authority, which was one of the most fascinating projects of the US in that period. But that's a whole other topic.

Posted by John Weidner at February 24, 2007 8:25 AM
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