Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Oil WIll KO Obama (Updated!!)

I told you ( in May of 2009, no less) that 10% unemployment and $4 gas would send Obama into the history books as a one term disaster a la Jimmy Carter. I nailed 10% unemployment with one hand tied behind my back; $4 gas has been more elusive, but it's coming. This segment of Sir Lawrence's show gives you the goods. It's partly Mr. Bernanke's fault but Dear Leader's clueless drilling moratorium, which has yet to be felt in the economy - the oil market operates with a 6-12 month lag - sealed the deal. It's coming. Sir Lawrence is right, $140 crude in July of 2008 gets little blame for the subsequent meltdown, but it was decisive in my opinion. Obama is staggering around the ring right now, and oil will deliver the knockout blow. Unfortunately you and me will feel it too.

UPDATE: Peter Beinart - who, while not very compelling a thinker/writer, is no run-of-the-mill lefty twit - thinks Obama is a lock for a second term. He gives three reasons: 1) the base will rally, 2) the economy will rebound, 3) the GOP will screw it up. Only one of these is at all convincing to me and that is #3. Yes the GOP could screw it up, although one thing is clear to me, if they screw it up they will screw it up less than last time. So will the voters reject a GOP that is learning its lessons, albeit imperfectly, for four more years of Obama? Maybe, but doubtful. As to #1, I can't (nor would I want) to crawl inside the head of anyone typical of Obama's "base" but I have posited that the Obama coalition is dead. Fine, the base may rally but Obama needed a coalition last time and he'll need it again, but it is gone forever. "The base" isn't enough. (Oh, and let's not forget the other side's "base", if you think the Tea Party crowd will be satisfied with what they achieve in November, you've got another thing coming. Small-gov conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Partiers all understand that this is a two cycle fight at a minimum and that the really important pink slip that they need to issue is...Obama's.) Finally, IMHO the economy will stumble along, but even if the economy does do OK it won't feel like it to the average voter - lackluster growth won't create enough jobs to absorb workforce growth, $4 gas will dampen consumer spending, ObamaCare fallout will continue to plague businesses, and we will continue to look like laggards relative to the rest of the world. Furthermore, and this is a point that Beinart completely ignores, the world will look a mess and/or Obama's foreign policy ineptitude will shine through in a particularly visible and ugly way. The world's bad guys have already sized Obama up and will do what they want, and the world's good guys realize that Obama doesn't much care or even think about things in terms of good/bad, so no net positive on the global scene is forthcoming.

My take is that Obama's troubles are only beginning. One of the structural flaws that he had coming in to his Presidency was a shallow political base. As a newby, he didn't have the deep networks and connections to draw the top talent to his side; he only had the ability to draw party loyalists who do what they do for the party, not for him. As he proves damaging to the party, these folks will not sign up to resurrect the great Obama experiment, which is a major problem for him. He is going to need top class talent to resurrect his presidency. Where is he going to find these people? Where are the All-stars going to come from? Answer: He's not gonna get them. Is he really going to turn things around dramatically in 20 months with a bunch of B-teamers? Doubtful.

Think I'm wrong? Let me remind you what I said just over a year ago: "Mark these words, we will see at least one high profile cabinet resignation in the next six months and as many as three in the next 18 months as some determine that it is not good for their careers to be associated with this administration (Gates excluded)." We've gotten more than three in thirteen months. Trust Donny B. on this one. Beinart's got nothing on me.


Blogger D.W. Drang said...

The base will rally? The economy will rebound?
Seems like Beinart is channeling the scientist in the Sidney Harris cartoon, you know the one, where the formula includes the magic phrase "Then a miracle occurs."

3:38 PM  

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