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Posted by on Nov 6, 2009 in Politics | 15 comments

Brooks: Independents are Meandering Cats

The money line from Mr. Brooks’ column today:

Independents are herds of cats who find out what they think through a meandering process of discovery.

While that’s probably not fair to say about all independent voters, it’s a shockingly accurate description of the independent voter writing this post.

Of course, despite my decision to headline the “meandering cats” part of Brooks’ column, his primary argument is not about meandering. It’s about how independents have started trending more conservative over the last year or so; not more GOP, but more conservative — and Democrats are losing their recent grip on these swing voters.

Brooks supports his argument quite well, with multiple data points, and then concludes with a suggested, conservative-leaning argument for conservative candidates to consider, if they want to continue wooing independents.

Fair enough. I shouldn’t tell Brooks how to write his column. Hell, he’s paid to write it, and I’m writing for nothing. Still … in floating test arguments for conservatives, Brooks’ seems to forget his meandering-cats metaphor and the import of that metaphor, namely: If in 12- to 18-months’ time, the cats can skew conservative, it’s entirely possible they’ll skew liberal in another 12- to 18-months, especially if the economy continues to heal and the masses get accustomed to new, more egalitarian health care rules.

See, that’s the problem with cats and independents, including this one. We’re sometimes forgetful, and very easily distracted.