The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Independents Return to Obama…

… now that the election is over.  And I’m going to agree with Mandos, some people really do want “bipartisanship” of the sort Obama is now offering.  Or, more accurately, they like Obama now that he is moderating the governing party (the Republicans, who are actually driving policy now.)

The problem is (and this is a mirror of the warning I gave in early 2009) that the current most likely policies (as “compromised” with the House Pubs), which they think they approve of, are going to put the economy even further into a hole.  Give it a year to 18 months and the current economy is going to be a susperating wound, and it won’t matter that “independents” thought they wanted austerity, they’ll vote based on the results of the policies.

Or to put it another way, good for Obama for improving his poll ratings so close to an elec…


Thinking more than one move in advance=good.

And good policy=good politics.  Bleeding the patient when he’s anemic, even if that’s what he wants, won’t make the patient happy with you more than briefly.


You now have a year to a year and a half at most before the next economic meltdown


Carl Safina’s “View From Lazy Point”: Expanding the circle of compassion ever out


  1. Most Americans are complete idiots when it comes to economics. If I were a doctor, and encountered a patient who really wanted to be bled, so much so that he might resist any real treatment, I’d get a bag of stage blood and pretend to bleed him (with plenty of witnesses about who understood what I was really doing, of course). Politicians are more than capable of this sort of deception. They will happily name a bill “The Bleeding America To Death With Austerity Act”, and fill it up with enough spending to keep any government agency whose initials aren’t “DoD” happy. They did far worse with the health care “reform” bill.

    If what I read at FireDogLake is at all true, President Obama may try to convince people that investment is a good thing, something worth borrowing for. If he does, good for him. It’s a concept anyone who took out a mortgage before the housing bubble started would understand.

  2. It is only a minority of “independents” that vote on the basis of policy. Nor do they vote on the basis of personal affiliations or disaffiliation, like the plurality of voters. What do they vote on? Last year’s financial news. Last year’s weather (really.) Nothing at all. This group wants to be comfortable. Which is a reasonable thing to want, but their method of accomplishing their desires, ah, leaves something to be desired.


  3. par4

    @cujo359… Most Americans are complete idiots.

  4. bob mcmanus

    “Give it a year to 18 months and the current economy is going to be a susperating wound”

    Ian, do you really think Obama and his handlers see this as a problem? If the next two years look like the last two, with markets, profits and bonuses thru the roof and wages under control? Bernanke will be able to keep the disinflation from becoming precipitous deflation, until they need a crash.

    Romney and Huckabee will have Palin abd Michelle Bachmann sniping at them and so they will have to campaign to the right of Obama. No matter what. This gives Obama all the room to move to the right he wants. And so in 2012 he will get a mandate for neo-liberal policies, and a Republican Senate and House to help him enact them.

    They will not let the economy recover as long as the tax cuts and entitlement reform are still on the table.

  5. So the president gives a speech in response to a national tragedy, and independents flock to him once more. I wouldn’t count on that as a long-term strategy if I were him.

  6. Sam Adams

    PRIMARY PRIMARY PRIMARY. I don’t care who anymore, just no more Thimmey and crony capitalism.

  7. Democracy is the notion that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. — H.L. Mencken

    Indeed. Indeed.

  8. see the light

    quit yer whining / bitching

    the dow jones industrial average ( aka the “stock market” ) is gonna pass the 12,ooo barrier tomorrow

    see, it really is all good.

    so, carry the funk on !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Why do pundits keep misunderstanding what (most) voters want? They’ve made it clear enough:

    Government spending on me = good = investment

    Government spending I might have to pay for = bad, taxes, red alert, austerity now now NOW!

    Oh, and they’d rather not be bored. So be entertaining while you hand out money.

  10. Morocco Bama

    Why do pundits keep misunderstanding what (most) voters want?

    I wonder how misunderstood the 100,000,000 million eligible to vote but don’t are?

  11. jcapan

    Even if voters were universally brilliant, we’d still be playing within the confines of totalitarian democracy, and the oligarchs would simply double down on the billion $ they’re anticipated to give O. Smart doesn’t mean shit in a rigged fucking game, unless you’re the one rigging it.

    The majority of smart folks I know don’t vote. And I gotta tell you, working within the system, primarying O, these are not actions that are going to arouse their faith, their participatory energy and talents to remake a failing state.

    Before or after looming catastrophe, the left is going to need a movement that circumnavigates the rotted duopoly and the rightist government that will likely result. Now might be a good time to build such a framework.

  12. Morocco Bama

    Right on, jcapan, right on.

  13. Tom Hickey

    The big question now is whether the economy can make it to Nov. ’12 without another crash. If so, Obama probably can make it for another term unless unemployment remains intractable. However, I do not see the economy making it to ’16 without another blow out, which will likely result in a global restructuring, not necessarily for the better.

  14. susperating -> supperating.

    On the “bipartisanship” — Of course some people want that. Obama wrote it into the D platform and ran on it, and won. And so after the famous victory of the lame duck session and the greatest speech EVAH after the Gifford assassination attempt, they “came home.” I think this is a fine example of “weak ties,” and I agree with Tom that “it’s the economy, stupid.” (I don’t think they would have come home if “the economy” hadn’t twitched as if it were alive after Christmas.)

  15. jcapan:

    “Now might be a good time to build such a framework.”

    Ding! And the opportunity cost investing in the legacy parties is, exactly, that framework.

  16. David H.

    Ah, come on, you cynics. Rain puddles in heaven, man. Rain puddles in heaven.

    Short of massive government spending, nothing will change for the better for those not worth $500,000 & up. Even liberals who should know better prefer to cry about deficits, as if we’re about to go bankrupt. And as referred to above re: the massive amount of adults who don’t vote — 84 million people can’t be wrong.

    Though I can’t help dreaming about the effect of those 84 million staying home from work, even one day a month. That would be interesting.

  17. Tom Hickey

    “Though I can’t help dreaming about the effect of those 84 million staying home from work, even one day a month. That would be interesting.”

    The Europeans have figured this out. Americans, not so much.

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