Monday, August 24, 2009

Like a Bad Horror Movie

Paul Krugman writes in yesterday's New York Times about zombie Reaganism. That is, Reaganism that even in the face of failure, just won't give up. It's a good column. And it helps to explain why I think the best recent president we've had is Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

I had (and still have) high hopes for Obama, but as yet, nothing's doing. I'm afraid if the Democrats don't get their butts in gear, the party will not stand in the next election. All parties are fragmented to one degree or another, but the Republicans always toe the party line. Democrats are wasting great opportunities to further progressivism, and Obama seems unable to get them to unify behind good policy. I don't want to think about what will happen if Republicans gain seats during the mid-term elections in 2010 - it would be a huge setback for cities, rail, healthcare, and gay rights.

Yonah Freemark over at the Transport Politic links Louisana's Bobby Jindal to this zombie phenomenon in regards to his flip-flopping over high-speed rail between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.


Alex B. said...

The Republicans likely will gain seats in the midterm elections, but that's not a surprise. Barring a transformative event like 9/11, every single President has seen his party lose seats in his first midterm election.

Only two Presidents since Truman in '46 have seen their party gain seats in a midterm - Bush in '02 (post-9/11) and Clinton in '98 (during an economic boom).

The Dems will almost certainly lose some seats in the House. The Senate is tougher, since the way the open seats fall favors the Dems anyway.

The larger point is that Obama can't just push everything through at once. There's sequencing that needs to be done, and spending political capital at the right time is often more important than just spending it - if you actually want to accomplish things.

Once this healthcare thing finishes up, then we'll see what we have.

Froggie said...

Then there's the spending thing period, which I think you'll see the Republicans (and possibly even some blue Democrats) join together against.

If the economy doesn't rebound fully by this time next year, and if Obama doesn't reign in his budget, I think you'll easily see the Republicans win back the House in the 2010 election.

mike capitol hill said...

Are you really holding out for Obama to stand up for gay rights? Get real! He'll give lip service at a fund raiser hosted by GLBT -- but we won't see any change in DOMA, don't ask don't tell, or marriage anytime soon.

He won't put his neck on the block for us.