Obama Willing to Trade Losing House this Fall for Reelection in ’12???

by JC

run over

Simon Johnson has an interesting piece over at The Baseline Scenario: “Does The Obama Administration Even Want To Win In November?” Johnson is, as some of you may remember, the author of The Atlantic article “the Quiet Coup” where he lays out the case for crony capitalism having taken control of our country.

In this piece, he dishes out some information about how Obama administration officials have already conceded losing the House to the Republicans this fall, and believe that will help him get reelected in 2012, and give the Democrats an opportunity to recapture the House.

Increasingly, senior administration officials shrug when you mention the November mid-term elections. “We did all we could,” and “it’s not our fault” is the line; their point being that if jobs (miraculously at this point) come back quickly, the Democrats have a fighting chance – but not otherwise…

But ever so quietly, you get the impression the Obama team itself is not so very unhappy – they know the jobs will come back by 2012, they feel that Republican control of the House will just energize the Democratic base, and no one will be able to blame the White House for getting nothing done from 2010 on…

The Obama team – both political and economic wings – seems to feel that their base has nowhere else to go, and all they need to do is drift towards the right in a moderately confused fashion to assure re-election for the president.

Jimmy Carter had the same sort of idea.

And of course, that gave rise to Reaganomics. This time it could be Palinomics.

I guess once you squander your first mandate, try, try again?


  1. Big Swede

    No takers?


    • petetalbot

      I’ll take a crack, Swede, and you’re right about it being interesting but it’s a shaky hypothesis. Don’t you think Obama would rather have strong majorities in both houses and pass some meaningful legislation?

      It’s the gridlock that’s pissing off the voters more than anything, and with more Republicans in Congress, there’ll be more gridlock (unless they get veto-proof majorities in each chamber, which ain’t gonna happen).

      “They know jobs will come back by 2012,” says the author. I hope he’s right but I’m not so sure. Anyway, if senior admin. officials are really saying, “let the Republicans win the midterms so Obama can win in 2012” … well, that’s a crap shoot and I don’t think those guys are gamblers.

      • JC

        It may be shaky, but I’ve come to look at Johnson’s writings and ideas as being right on. He’s spending a lot of time inside Congress these days–he’s on the CBO’s board of economic advisors. He also spent a year and a half recently as chief economist at the IMF.

        So he’s a smart and well respected fellow… well if you don’t hold the fact that he worked for the IMF against him. He’s about the clearest voice on crony capitalism that there is right now, and on Treasury policy and Wall Street. I hope, for our country’s sake, that Simon Johnson gets a whole lot more attention, and a position from which to wield some power. I think he’s a progressive’s dream Treasury Secretary. Here, check out his interview on Moyers.

        Here, check out his critique of today’s portrayal of Geithner in The New Yorker.

        “If we continue to allow banks to grow, as they have over the last 30 years – and did again through the latest boom-bailout-rescue cycle – we head towards a day when Mr. Geithner or his successor will try to save the financial system and will fail.

        You might think that is a good thing and for sure it will bring on a big change in creditor attitudes and presumably much stronger regulation. But, just as in the 1930s, first we will have to dig out from under a lot of economic rubble – and we’ll lose a lot more than 8 million jobs.”

        I think my goal here with this thread is to introduce another view of politics and the economy from an experienced voice (Johnson) that is going to be heard a lot more in this country in the future. And to see if democrats are walking into the fall with their eyes wide open or not.

    • Lizard

      i didn’t jump on this one, because, well, folks hear enough of my harping, and i wanted to see how other responded first.

      the key concept is this: they know you democrats don’t have anywhere else to go. until you find a way to make them pay for their betrayals, they will keep taking your support for granted.

      they’ll of course give you a good lip-job during campaign time. if that means pandering, like they did with the anti-war crowd to get control of the house back in 2006, then that’s what they’ll do.

      it’s utterly despicable, but what are you gonna do about it? vote republican?

      i’m telling y’all, it’s time to find some common ground between libertarians and progressives, and abandon the two parties who have abandoned us. or keep padding along like obedient puppies waiting for a treat.

  2. Big Swede

    Dan Rather seems to state that he needs to bone up on his salesman skills.

  3. Obama may face electoral defeat. Democrats may lose control of Congress.


    • JC

      Do you still vote? Or have you given up completely on the electoral system?

      Just because you think that the differences between democrats and republicans is nil doesn’t mean that there is nothing to talk about.

      Even in a uniparty system, politics is worth observing and commenting about.

      Unless you’re a total nihilist about the whole thing.

      • False perceptions have actually turned politics its head, where the statist goals are being achieved by the supposed “left” of the two parties. That’s how perverted we are.

        Do I still vote? I voted for The One. I was sucked in. I voted in local elections, and will continue to do so. Where there are choices with meaning, I will chime in.

        I never said there wasn’t anything to talk about. But do remember that all talk aside, both parties govern in teh same manner, and answer to the same forces of industry and finance.

  4. problembear

    there is a difference between the two parties of course. albeit a very muted difference and a pathetically tiny one but i will take it. mccain would have been much worse.

    but given the idiocy of the past 10 years or so, one would have hoped for less idiocy and more reform but i guess that would be hoping for too much.

    to say they are exactly the same would be imco a very jaundiced view that i am not ready for yet….
    they have the same masters yes. but we have a few dozen better people with more regard for honest government than they have.

    until there is a viable independent national party one must work within the system and if that means i have to insult max baucus all the more to achieve something in this sewer so be it.

    i neither have the energy nor the inclination to aim my barbs at all those people or all those evils that deserve it. that is for a better being than me to accomplish. like most bears, i don’t like to waste a lot of energy on things i cannot do much about.

    i prioritize my contributions (both real and internet-related) to achieve the maximum effect at what i percieve to be the worse evil. obama is not the worse evil i can imagine right now. but corrupt politicians like max baucus are and they need to be rooted out by 2012 or 2014 in order to have any hope of ever reclaiming this country’s government as anything decent or worthy of supporting.

    maybe if enough of the max baucus’s fall, the other politicians who follow them will heed the message.

    i will say this. if republicans field a decent honest and level headed person in any campaign i would take a good look at him/her but getting me to vote for a republican would also involve me trusting the party itself more than the democratic party. and that would take some candidate.

    our country is in dire straights right now, but i am pretty sure that if we talked to anyone who came through ww2 and the great depression, they would tell us that this is solveable. it will just take time.

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