Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Very Merry Democratic Christmas

So here's the good news. The Democrats, who were elected above all on a policy of health care reform, have finally put bills through both houses. Although some wrangling remains, there is little doubt now that there will be a bill on the President's desk in 4-6 weeks. That is a huge victory for the Democratic party. Nothing makes for electoral success like legislative victories. That is why McConnell looked so grim Saturday morning. The strategy failed. He got nothing but defeat for his own party, and gave the Democrats a victory that Obama was willing to forego in favor of bipartisanship.

The other good news is economic. The GDP figures are turning around and housing prices are down less than 5% over last year nationwide, and are increasing in some areas. Unemployment is still at record levels, but the layoffs have decreased to a trickle and new hiring is now replacing them. Also, the stock market has recovered to where it was in September 2008. These trends should continue in a positive direction into 2010. I believe that by the summer of 2010- a politically crucial time - the public at large will believe that the economy is "recovering" and the the Obama administration will get the credit for it. The "right track" polling will show that voters will by and large believe we're headed in the right direction, even if we are not there yet.

This spells political disaster for the GOP. They've got nothing to offer but criticism. That works rarely - for example, if you're the Dems running agaisnt Bush in 2006 who had a monumental record of failure and the public believed him to be a big failure. It doesn't work when things are perceived to be going your way. What has the GOP shown it will run on in 2010 except "NoBama"? And what will that get them? Not much, since Barack Obama is the most popular politician in the country right now. Repeat that for emphasis, if need be. Despite all, despite his hovering-at-50% mark, he is more popular than anyone else on capital hill.

Also, word comes today that the DRCC (the House committee to reelect Dems) has three times as much money on hand as its Republican counterpart. Republicans have nothing to offer lobbyists because they have just sat out this legislative session. The strategy of stopping has failed. No influence over nothing, so no campaign contributions to the GOP.

In other words, folks, what we see in the polls today represents the nadir of Democratic popularity with 10% unemployment and (till this morning) little real legislative success to point to. It all gets better for the Dems from here.

House races are hard to predict, but extra Democratic cash means that they can afford to save the more marginal districts. Loss of a 10-20 house seats is not fun, but it's not that big a deal. Only blue dogs will lose, and that's not a great loss.

The Senate remains anyone's game. Dems should be able to hold Colorado, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, pick up NH and Missouri (both polling Democratic even now), and challenge Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida. That's +2D. Republicans must win both NH and Missouri, and knock over a couple Dems (possibly Delaware, Louisiana, and Colorado) to make a dent in the Democratic supermajority. Nevada looks bad for Reid now, but Reid has won that state for years and it's bluer than it has ever been. After Labor Day 2010, the Democrats will campaign joyously with their popular, Nobel-prize-winning President with a simple unified message: we've turned around the mess the Republicans left us, and we're headed in the right direction. To this, the tea parties, birthers, deathers, and NoBama will have little to offer in return, even in an off-year election that favors the old, decrepit, and conservative.


Raised By Republicans said...

Another X factor...once the Health Care bill passes, Obama is going to turn on the charm full blast selling it. Now that's its a done deal he can afford to attach himself to it without worrying about getting tied to a failure. So far he hasn't been much of a front man for health care reform but over the next 9 months or so, look for him to talk it up big time.

And you are right about the lack of ideas from the Republicans. They only thing they have is "deficit/debt" stuff and that will be a hard sell given their recent record.

Raised By Republicans said...

Oh, one other thing. My girlfriend has been estimating her tax refund and has figured out that her taxes are going to be a lot lower this year as a result of the Obama tax cuts. Look for Obama to be talking that up too.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Same in my house with taxes. But what kind of nerdette estimates her tax refund before Xmas? Perfect for you - you found a live one, RBR. =)

The Law Talking Guy said...

Republicans can run on deficit restraint, but that's not a big seller. They can't run on that and tax cuts, however, which is a big problem for them. GOP strength has often been related to the desire by businessmen for more tax cuts, which everyone realistically knows are off the table now except as part of the stimulus packages opposed by the GOP.

Raised By Republicans said...

Well, my girlfriend wants the tax refund sooner rather than later. She is selling her house this month at a considerable loss and so eagerly awaits any infusion of cash she can lay hands on.

But yes, she is most definitely a "live one." :-)

Anonymous said...

I always approve of estimating a tax refund early, so of course your girlfriend is awesome. In my house, I haven't gotten farther than looking at my almost-broken fridge and saying "Tax refund. Icemaker."

-Seventh Sister

Dr. Strangelove said...

LTG makes the critical point that the Republican Party is fighting against health insurance reform for political reasons, not for policy reasons. When all 40 Republican senators voted against the bill even after the Public Option was totally gone, the real motives behind their scorched-earth obstructionism became manifest. Republicans fear the electoral consequences of a Democratic victory on health care reform, and that's all there is to it.