My frequent e-mail correspondent Ironman picks up on my latest U.S. News column on lessons of the past 25 years in which I wrote that "in December 1980, Jimmy Carter was serving his last full month in office and Ronald Reagan was president-elect ... Experts preached that America's best days were behind it"and expands on it. I'm not sure I agree, but I pass it along as interesting:
"It is a truism of American politics that a generation's political attitudes are shaped by the events they experienced in adolescence and young adulthood. The Jimmy Carter post-Vietnam malaise was the informing experience of "Generation W"... those voters born from 1955 to 1966 or so who were too young for the Vietnam draft and had matured before the end of the Cold War.
"Bush's latest resurgence is because he is using the same Reaganesque rhetoric [that] voters in this age bracket find persuasive, and which he had eschewed for useless beltway talk most of the year.
"It is like Bush spent 2005 in 2004's Debate I and finally, since Veterans Day, has presented the more confrontational and appealing Bush of Debate II and Debate III."