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Out of gas?

After we re-elected George W. Bush in 2004, I haven't been able to get very optimistic about politics. But the accumulating evidence that the Republicans are out of gas has become so persuasive that I'm allowing myself to hope. I actually think Barack Obama will win the election.

It's not just because the McCain campaign hasn't been very well-run. It's because John McCain, no matter what else he may be, is a Republican in a time when the country is sick of Republicans. Michael A. Cohen's observations seem correct to me:

But in some respects this is not completely Mr. McCain’s fault. He is the leader of a political party that has run out of steam. The Republican Party seems more and more like a spent and rudderless force, devoid of new ideas for how to govern the country, and wedded to its unbending political orthodoxies, of cutting government spending, removing regulation and reducing income taxes.

. . . . There are four weeks until Election Day, but the route for Mr. McCain’s political revival seems to be increasingly out of his hands. Perhaps the capture of Osama bin Laden or even a major terrorist attack could refocus the race on issues favoring Republicans, but barring such an unforeseen event, Mr. McCain will continue to sail against the political winds. Nothing that happened Tuesday night changed the fundamental trajectory of a race that now overwhelmingly favors Mr. Obama; indeed the policy divide between the two candidates offers compelling and unmistakable evidence as to why that is the case.

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