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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 19, 2006 / 26 Elul, 5766

The GOP will hang on

By Niall Ferguson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | WILL IT ONLY be the leaves that descend this fall? Or could some Republican legislators also end up being swept into piles and incinerated?


At first sight, the omens are good for the Dems in November's midterm elections. Gallup's national poll of voting intentions has given them a 10-point lead over the Republicans for most of the last year. The obvious explanation is gloom about Iraq, which remains the No. 1 issue in voters' minds. President Bush defended his policy trenchantly in the run-up to the fifth anniversary of 9/11, but his approval rating has improved only slightly as a result.


Then there's the economy. If that proves to be the key issue of this campaign, the Democrats look unstoppable. Voters give them a 12-point advantage when it comes to handling the economy, and twice as big a lead on Social Security. Small wonder so many of my liberal colleagues have a spring in their step.


Asked if they feel more enthusiastic than usual about voting, 56% of Democrats say they do, compared with just 43% of Republicans. For three good reasons, however, I expect the Dems to be disappointed — just as they were two years ago.


First, on closer inspection, Iraq is still far from being a vote winner for Democrats. Many Americans still believe that invading Iraq was a rational response to 9/11, even if evidence to link Saddam Hussein to the perpetrators is conspicuous by its absence. So they buy Bush's notion of Iraq as the "central front" in the war on terror. Moreover, when asked which party they trust to wage that war, they prefer the Republicans to the Democrats by a margin of 14%.


Crucially, if asked to choose between a Republican who wants to maintain troop levels in Iraq and a Democrat seeking "immediate and orderly withdrawal," 48% of voters plump for the Republican and just 41% for the Democrat. Americans may want troop reductions; they are not ready to cut and run. If the Republicans can portray their opponents as favoring withdrawal, they win the Iraq argument.


Second, despite widespread fears over the summer, the U.S. economy looks to be landing softly. Growth has slowed, not stopped. Consumption is still growing, as are earnings. Sure, inflation is up, but unemployment is down (4.7% compared with 4.9% a year ago), and crude oil prices have dropped sharply since August, easing the pain Americans feel when they fill up their cars. The stock market has bounced back since the dog days of July. The threatened real estate crash has failed to materialize, though house prices have certainly cooled.


And to appease those Americans who blame their economic difficulties on immigration, squabbling Republicans in Congress have sidelined the president's plan for a partial amnesty for illegal immigrants.


In most democratic systems, of course, that kind of internal dissension causes parties to lose credibility. But thanks to the constitutional separation of powers, party unity matters less here. Indeed, under Karl Rove's direction, the Republican Party is adopting its own strategy of separation, allowing legislators to do whatever it takes — including, if necessary, criticizing their own president — to ensure their own political survival. This is the third and most important reason to expect a non-event in November.


IT'S AN OLD ADAGE that in the United States all politics are local. That's even more true today than it was a generation ago. Gerrymandering has tended to increase the political homogeneity of most electoral districts. This in turn increases the chances that incumbents will be reelected. Once a district has a critical mass of either Republicans or Democrats, the key to victory is to mobilize the "base" of active voters. There's much less need to woo floating voters from the center, who may in any case fail to turn out on election day. This trend explains why there's less bipartisan cooperation in Congress than there used to be. It also explains why legislators don't hesitate to badmouth the president if they feel he's out of tune with local sentiment.


In one of last week's primary contests, Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island comfortably saw off a conservative challenger in a primary. Chafee, deemed more palatable to general election voters in November, was backed by the national party despite being one of the party's inveterate Bush bashers.


The big question is whether or not the strategy of separation can work in two years' time, when voters have to elect a new president. It's a challenge. Separation is one thing; a split personality is another.


For the Republican candidate in '08, it might actually be better if the Democrats did well in the midterms, because a brief return to power on the Hill would expose their chronic incoherence, making the case for a Republican comeback two years down the line. That scenario, however, is not on the cards. The leaves may be falling in George Bush's America, but the Republicans look like they're hanging on.

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Niall Ferguson is a professor of history at Harvard University. He is the author of "Empire" (Basic Books, 2003) and "Colossus" (Penguin, 2004). Comment by clicking here.


09/13/06: Long Live Royal Bloodlines!
09/05/06: Red-state Republicans and blue-faced liberals are starting to agree: Green is the way
08/29/06: What if the London Bombers Succeeded?
08/15/06: Testing the Limits of the U.N.: Who seriously expects Kofi Annan to stop Al Qaeda terror attacks?
08/08/06: The coming tsunami of trash
07/18/06: Forget the '60s and ‘Make Love, Not War.’ Today's world is facing a Summer of Rage
07/11/06: When will China pull the plug on North Korea?
06/20/06: Hedge funds vs. central bankers: Will inflation, deflation or recession win in the coming months?
06/13/06: Britain's economy is just like America's — minus the entrepreneurs and growth
06/06/06: The X-Men have taken over Washington
05/30/06: Quit protesting, profs!
05/23/06: World markets' wild ride: Economic volatility is back with a vengeance
05/16/06: The Cold Wars are coming
05/09/06: Many commentators are missing dangerous political shift
05/02/06: Put some sugar in your tank
04/25/06: Hu and the dog that didn't bark
04/18/06: Should Americans be less optimistic?
04/11/06: Globalization's second death?
04/04/06: So many ‘special’ friends
03/28/06: Let's get it right about what has gone wrong
03/21/06: Congress is trying to give the world a globotomy
03/14/06: Lame ducks can still bite back
03/07/06: A 19th Century critique of a 21st Century president
02/28/06: The crash of civilizations
02/21/06: Not the president, but close
02/14/06: Want historic trouble? Look south
02/07/06: Greenspan advising Britain? It's housing bubbles, deficits and potential meltdowns all over again
01/31/06: Missing the Cold War
01/24/06: It's a sick, Thick World
01/17/06: Tomorrow's world war today
01/03/06: Scotland, it's over, but keep the accents
12/20/05: History, democracy and Iraq
12/20/05: History, democracy and Iraq
11/22/05: Ghost of Napoleon haunts Tony Blair
11/22/05: Can it happen in Britain too?
11/15/05: Red plus blue equals purple
11/10/05: The fires of disintegration
11/01/05: Triumph of an über-wonk

© 2006, Los Angeles Times Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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