Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Mid-Term Predictions

Depending upon who you read the Democrats are:

a) going to get their lunch, breakfast, and midnight snack handed to them in November; or
b) they are just going to get their lunch back.

There are a lot of weird dynamics going on.
  1. President Obama has been a disappointment. It isn't so much that the Republicans have blocked virtually every new initiative, although they have. It is that the President and Democrats in Congress didn't use their big majorities aggressively early. He hasn't used the bully pulpit. As Democrats go, he is more like Grover Cleveland than FDR.
  2. Democrats gave the initiative to Republicans. For example, 12% of judgeships are empty. While there are 102 empty judicial seats there are only 39 pending nominees. There should have been a flood of judges drowning Republican resistance but Democrats kept seeking bipartisanship when it was neither needed, desired, nor even productive.
  3. Democrats were irresolute on the economy. This problem lay directly at the feet of Tim Geithner and Chris Dodd. Both saw the current depression as a banking problem only. They believed if they just made bankers happy everything would turn out fine. This should have been expected as both Geithner and Dodd will only talk to bankers. President Obama, rather than acting like FDR or even Ronald Reagan and acting boldly and aggressively to change the economic dynamics, chose to act cautiously1 so as to not frighten/anger the bankers. It would not have mattered if Republicans blocked bold action or even if the bold action didn't help much, Americans respect presidents who do something.

  4. On the other hand...
  5. Republicans are fielding the most wacked out candidates in the nation's history. There is Sharron Angle among many Tea Party candidates who want to force children to carry their rapist's babies to term. Rand Paul believes segregation is a right all businesses should have. Ken Buck and pretty much every Tea Party candidate wants to destroy Social Security. In a normal election year these candidates would only draw single digits in a Republican primary instead of winning them. It is difficult to believe that independents and non-insane Republicans will choose these wackos over any generic Democrat.
  6. The polls aren't all bad. And they could easily swing back to the Dems.
The worst thing for Democrats is that if they are returned the promise is more of the same. The best thing is that if Republicans like Angle and Paul are elected things can only get very much worse.

1 - Consider the public works program the President has recently proposed. President-elect Obama proposed an even larger program two years ago and then did absolutely nothing about it.

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