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Tuesday, November 18, 2003
What America is thinking in 2003

Dick Morris, the American Machiavelli and former Clinton spin doctor, has of late become a very informed and interesting columnist on US politics for the Jewish World Review. With the political situation in the states so polarised, his more detached approach offers a more reliable guide than most commentators can offer to how ordinary voters feel. John Hawkins has collected together a series of quotes from his columns over the last year, and they make very revealing reading. For those not firmly of the left, the story they tell is certainly an encouraging one.

When it comes to next year's Presidential Elections, the two most striking quotes of the bunch relate to the Bush tax cuts, which - rightly or wrongly - are likely to be credited with the sudden upswing in the US economy that Americans are now enjoying.

Passing a tax cut likely draws the active support of 25 to 30 percent of the voters. Canceling one already in place probably gins the number up to the high 40s or low 50s. But opposition to a tax increase, which will be the basis of the Bush campaign, gets your support up into the 70s and 80s.
Any Democrat who squirms on the tax-cut issue in the primaries has no chance - zero - to win the nomination. Each will have to take the "pledge" to oppose the Bush tax cuts. Thus, Bush will have succeeded in creating a situation where anyone who can win the nomination can't win the election. Democrats are not about to nominate anyone who backs the tax cut, and Americans are not going to elect anyone who favors a tax increase.

Do read them all.

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