Jim Geraghty writes:
I think in a normal year, the ethical troubles of Charlie Rangel — coupled with the reports of the Sestak and Romanoff job offers and the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, and other lingering scandals — could be a potent political message, on par with Democrats’ 2006 “culture of corruption.”
But this isn’t a normal year, and I figure that while voters will not approve of Rangel and the rest, the impact on most races outside the political figures caught directly in scandals will be minimal. The economy and jobs loom too largely in the public’s mind; they’re worried about how they’re going to pay the rent or mortgage and whether their job will be around next year. They may not like Charlie Rangel ignoring the rules everyone else has to follow, but his misdeeds will seem far away compared to those pressing worries, other than the fact that it’s further evidence that members of Congress are more interested in helping themselves than helping a troubled country.
What’s rather fascinating about 2006 in retrospect was how the Democrats persuaded the country that a dramatic change was necessary, even as U.S. economy performed pretty well:
To paraphrase a blogger I quoted back then Americans hated their fabulous economy — and they definitely changed it for the worse starting that November. In addition to the numbers in my headline above, check out the statistics Jim collated to see how robust the American economy was before it transmogrified into what Tom Blumer likes to call the “POR” economy. To which I’ll add one more: at the end of October 2006, The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over 1600 points higher than it is today.
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