The Republicans' edge in November - Macleans.ca
 

The Republicans’ edge in November


 

With the American economy showing definite signs of recovery despite slow job growth—unemployment remains at 9.5 per cent—the Obama Administration and the Democrats will clearly be on the defensive come the fall campaign. While Democrats can justifiably argue in favour of an achievement-oriented Congress, the jobs picture is what really hits home. Neither the rebound on Wall Street, the success of the bailouts, nor the resurgence of the U.S. auto industry is enough to counter a sense of pessimism among voters in the short term.

The rise in the deficit and the impact on the debt also adds to the Republican narrative that the Obama Administration has mortgaged future generations for ideologically driven projects like healthcare reform. The public’s growing discontent with the war in Afghanistan only adds to the gloom and doom picture drawn by the GOP leadership and Tea Party advocates. Never mind that the Republicans wish to continue the involvement in Afghanistan, it is now Obama’s war.

The Democrats can counter that over 500,000 jobs have been created since the end of the Great Recession, the best post-recession performance in 25 years. Economists of all parties generally concede that the stimulus package did save million of jobs. This argument, while very theoretical, will be part of the Democratic narrative. Add to that the real achievements such as healthcare reform, financial regulation reform, ending pay discrimination for women, some foreign policy successes (sanctions against Iran, START treaty with Russia), and the Democrats will not be without arguments. Drawing a clear distinction between current policy overtures with the Republicans will also be a necessary part of the Democratic strategy.

But mid terms are a lot about local concerns such as jobs, mortgage foreclosures, and the enthusiasm factor appears at this juncture to favour the GOP campaign and gives it the edge come November.


 

The Republicans’ edge in November

  1. "Economists of all parties generally concede that the stimulus package did save million of jobs. This argument, while very theoretical…"

    I'm not convinced of the veracity of that first sentence, but the second one is the understatement of the year. "See voters? Granted, unemployment didn't improve much after we spent the stimulus, but just think how much worse it would have been if we hadn't!!" Gosh, you could use that argument to justify an awful lot. That war in Iraq? Sure, big problems. But just think how many terrorist attacks we'd have had without it! Think how many lives it's saved!

    Unfortunately for the Obama administration and stimulus supporters, there is this graph that they publicized (minus the actual unemployment numbers added in red, of course) to make the case for the stimulus in the first place.

    • This article completely debunks Parisella's statements that you've highlighted. http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/did-stimul
      And that particular article is written by someone who still believes that stimulus works, and that it was, in this case simply not done correctly!

    • Damn, you stole every aspect of what I was about to post, same damn graph too.

      So as an alternative I'm going to go with: "…resurgence of the U.S. auto industry…" – ROFL!

      • Reminds me of the GM commercial in which the CEO says the money was paid back (but fails to mention he's talking about a loan that is minuscule in comparison to the total bailout GM received).

    • "That war in Iraq? Sure, big problems. But just think how many terrorist attacks we'd have had without it! Think how many lives it's saved!" wasn't that pretty much the core of GWB's re-election campaign in ought-4? I think Cheney is still parroting versions of it in his apologia for Iraq, extraordinary rendition, 'coercive interrogation,' and the USAPATRIOT Act's most egregious anti-constitutionalisms. In any event, I agree that this kind of counterfactual argument ought to be offensive to sympathetic and hostile audiences alike.

  2. What Parisella describes as an edge looks more like a deluge.
    From RealClearPolitics:
    Obama Job approval Approve: 44.7 Disapprove: 50.1
    Generic Congressonial Vote: Republicans 46.7 Dems 40.7
    When one considers that Republican poll numbers are typically below Dem numbers even when they win elections (because they turn out the vote better), this looks very bad for the Dems. The Dems will certainly lose the House, and the Senate is at risk.

  3. The Democrats can counter that over 500,000 jobs have been created since the end of the Great Recession, the best post-recession performance in 25 years

    If the Dems trot out lies like that one, you can be sure they will lose big-time.

    In fact, just a simple graph comparing the current recession to the last one shows the reality: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/06/

  4. Even the most willfully blind and stubborn amongst us can eventually reach inescapable conclusions, it appears.

  5. Having analyzed Obama's personal history and career path, I knew that he had a deeply ideological character. I clearly foresaw that he would be steering the Democrats into trouble come the mid-terms. I also predicted he would be a one-term president. (Anyone who cares to verify my predictions can do so by searching this blog.)

    What has surprised me somewhat, although I beleive I foresaw this to an extent as well, and what has surprised many political observers is the Incompetence of the Obama administration. Having next to no previous executive experience at anything, we shouldn't be that surprised.

    Here's Peter Wehner writing this week in Commentary on-line:

    "What we are seeing, I think, is a group of supremely arrogant people humbled by events. They are turning out to be a good deal more incompetent than they (and many Americans) ever imagined. They see impending political doom in the form of the midterm elections. Yet this is not leading them toward any apparent serious self-reflection; rather, they are engaging in an extraordinary degree of whining, finger-pointing, and self-indulgence."

  6. Oh, and one more thing, this is shaping up to be a blow out unless Obama tacks right and decides to move to the political centre-right. A bit like Clinton's triangulation.

    But Clinton was competent, Obama not so much. And Clinton was no ideologue, Obama is an ideologue in spades.

    All this to say that if you're a dem, this doesn't augur well…

    • care to reconsider your word choice in sentence-3? (I think it's the second time you've done that in recent posts on President Obama)

    • Jarrid has a problem and his use of word 'spades' speaks volumes about why he attacks Obama so much .

  7. I agree with melody. I even believe that Parisella is too balanced and fair on this one. The Dems will surprise. Come November.

    • "The Dems will surprise"

      You overestimate Americans. The Dems are going to get turfed.

    • The Dems will lose, unquestionably. It's just a matter of how much. The Dems had a supermajority in the Senate the last two years. The worst that can happen is they end up with a slight minority. To me there is no question they've lost the House though. The good news for the Dems is that Obama has the veto so the repubs cannot undo the damage for at least another 2 years.

      • You guys are hoper- groping. I can't imagine a heartess bunch like the republicans be seen around. For quite some time. I don't examine the entrails like you guys do but I think Obama has more going for him among the common peope than pols and press realize at this point. He might get a slap at the midterms but surely the American people are absolutely fed up with wing nuts like the Bush crowd. And Palin? Don't make me laugh.

  8. "The rise in the deficit and the impact on the debt also adds to the Republican narrative that the Obama Administration has mortgaged future generations for ideologically driven projects"

    The sun rising in the east adds to the Republican "narrative", if one is as partisan-paranoid as the author. Obama did in fact harm America by borrowing at an unprecedented rate and that is in fact a human rights violation as it burdens the next generation – notably, of a vastly different ethnic makeup than the current electorate – with debt slavery.

    • But who put him in that fix? I seem to recall the Bujsh crowd were there when the tubes got full of people's money disappearing and their homes with the stupid mortgages went under.

    • Are u blind or just have amnesia?Bush started two wars and never paid for them , gave tax cuts favoring the rich and never made cuts to pay for them ,started drug program without money to pay for it . lied about Iraq !In 2008, the econmy was on verge of a depression and Obama had to what he did . Do u know the Presidents who left with the highest deficits ever when they left office ? Reagan and W. Obama will have built a smaler deficit and if it is nominally higher , it is because of Reagan and W policies !

  9. "But mid terms are a lot about local concerns such as jobs, mortgage foreclosures, and the enthusiasm factor appears at this juncture to favour the GOP campaign and gives it the edge come November."

    Absolutely right. The irony, though, is that Americans are in this mess BECAUSE of the previous GOP administration.

    • Certainly that's been Obama's line pretty well since day 1.

      Only, as we're fast approaching the mid-point in his mandate, it's becoming a lame excuse. People want their leaders to lead and attempt to solve issues, Obama's radical politics makes him an effective criticizer but being a good critic isn't a very valuable asset when you're actual in charge and responsible for things.

    • The irony, though, is that Americans are in this mess BECAUSE of the previous GOP administration.

      That line is already way too old. It's not helping.

      • That kind of line is totally valid for twentyy years. Glad Ito be here rathere than there.