Thoughts On An Election

2010 July 7
by Dave

Up until recently I thought that the much hyped GOP house and Senate tsunamis in November would be undone by their tea party fringe. I must admit that I am ashamed that their strategy eluded me this long, but now that I see it, I think that their chances are better than fifty fifty of pulling it off. Unfortunately it is going to cost all of us a lot.

The Republicans are not the party of No. They are the party of unemployment. The calculation on the right is that if unemployment can be held high enough going into the fall election, then it will be trivial to take down a slew of Democrats in both houses.

Health care reform? The Republicans won that battle. They tied down the Democratic legislative agenda long enough that a key window for added stimulus closed and the recovery lost momentum. Had the Democratic Majorities in the House and Senate been free to pass added stimulus in January, we would be feeling the goose now and it would be giving the recovery a tail wind into the election. Instead, the legislative agenda was dominated by health care and no one was willing or able to spend political capital on stimulus.

The only stimulus able to be enacted now that would have any effect before November would be an extension of the long term unemployment benefits. The tea partiers have given the GOP enough cover on the deficit concern front that they can claim that an extension is not what their constituents want.

If the Republicans do manage to ride this strategy to gain a majority in either house of Congress, will they try to ride an economic recovery to the White House in 2012, or paint a continued slump as an Obama failure?

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