No Libya Poll Bump? Blame Boehner!

Mickey Kaus Columnist

It’s Boehner’s Fault: New Republic explains why Obama didn’t get a Libya Bounce in the polls: It seems political scientists have determined that a “key variable” when a President takes military action is ” the reaction of politicians and leaders in the party out of power.” When opponents don’t criticize, the President’s numbers rise. When they criticize, they don’t. In this case, Republicans, including Boehner and Gingrich, criticized. Hence, no “poll bump.” Blame an  “increasingly hyper-partisan politics” and “the extreme, anti-all-things-Obama sentiment that’s taken hold of the GOP”! … Obvious elephant-like problem with this convenient theory: Maybe the reaction of opponents to any given military action is a dependent variable. The independent variable would be, you know, the smartness/stupidity of the action itself. If it seems reasonable and necessary, the political opponents keep quiet. If it seems ill-advised, confused and clumsily handled, they criticize.  Hey, it’s a theory! I don’t see how TNR‘s fancy political science correlation  tells us to blame Boehner but not  Obama.  [Maybe TNR was just trying to “put sophisticated ideas into the news cycle” like Matt Yglesias–ed Sort of like fabric softener? This one came out in the rinse!]