Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Good News: Republicans have a chance in two years

Most Americans said they did not expect real progress in improving the economy, reforming the health care system or ending the war in Iraq — three of the central promises of Mr. Obama’s campaign — for at least two years. [Emphasis added.]

There is no way that we are going to be out of this mess in two years. I am beginning to get a better idea about the way things will shape up politically. I know the economic mess is going to continue for another couple of years with unemployment rising at least until the end of this year likely north of 9%. At some point Obama owns this problem I expect patience will be wearing thin around the 2010 election. It won't be a lay up for the Republicans but it will be better than 2008 when just about everything, including a candidate that was despised by conservatives, went wrong.

Remember, when the Republicans took the House in 1994 they immediately started looking to cut spending. That was one of the reasons why we had a surplus at the end of the decade and it was highly contractionary. If the Republicans can win the House or at least enough votes in the Senate to obstruct they might have the same effect on BHO's economy except this time the Fed won't be able to bail them out with easy money.

Not all that nice of a way to treat our economy in order to get rid of BHO but I certainly don't remember the Democrats being very helpful to Republican efforts to stop Fannie and Freddie or to extending tax cuts. Besides, the Democrats will do most of the damage over the next two years when the internal conflicts over intelligently using the stimulus package and enriching traditional constiuencies comes to a head. Nothing is worse for a wobbly economy than confusion and the Democrats will give us plenty of that.

Diego: I'm not sure that the point will come where Obama owns any problems. The Republicans were mostly silent while the Democrats blamed the economic situation on them last year. I don't see this changing any time soon. The Democrats will not pay any price for economic troubles and Obama will be elected for another term unless the Republicans seriously get their act together. FDR didn't have much trouble getting re-elected. The infrastructure is in place for dominance by the Democrats and it is only going to get stronger.

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