James Pethokoukis

20 reasons Democrats are the walking dead

November 1, 2010

The final numbers are almost beside the point. Whether Democrats lose one or both houses of Congress, the 2010 congressional midterms will almost surely be an epic rebuke to the party and President Barack Obama. Two years ago, Democrats actually thought they would probably gain seats during these elections, just like Republicans did in 2002. What happened? This, politically and economically:

The new Era of Big Government … is not popular

October 29, 2010

I think this Gallup chart is pretty stunning, especially when higher economic insecurity was supposed to push Americans toward a greater embrace of government. And it did for a bit, but that effect has more than reversed itself:

What the polls are saying about Obama

October 29, 2010

First some recent polling data:

– 68% think the money the federal government has spent on the economic stimulus has been mostly “mostly wasted.” (ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Sept. 30-Oct. 3.)

Reviewing the midterm election pre-mortems

October 29, 2010

Let’s assume the Republicans take the House and the Democrats hold the Senate. What will it all mean and what will happen next?  My two cents: I think it will be response by voters who think Obama hasn’t done enough to boost the economy and that the stuff he has done has been ineffective and off-point at best, harmful at worst.  Here’s what are some other folks saying:

Will Obama triangulate?

October 29, 2010

National Journal’s Ron Brownstein’s chat with President Obama last week:

It was clear that Obama has started to think seriously about how he will navigate a Washington with many more Republicans in it. But nothing about him suggested that he viewed the impending arrival of those Republicans as evidence that he needed to radically rethink his presidency. Obama sounded neither shell-shocked nor defiant. He seemed entirely focused on the practical: where he might work with Republicans, and where he expects confrontation (education, infrastructure, and energy in the first group; taxes, health care, and Social Security in the second).

Will 2011 be the year of the tax cut or tax hike?

October 29, 2010

There’s a brewing debate among conservatives over whether they should favor some tax increases to close the budget deficit. Some Republicans on Obama’s deficit panel are talking about cutting various tax breaks for individuals. Possible presidential candidate Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana recently spoke favorably about a value-added tax and an energy tax.  And here is Kevin Williamson of the National Review Online’s Exchequer blog:

5 questions for CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera

October 29, 2010

I’m a big fan of Michelle Caruso-Cabrera’s analysis and insight on CNBC, so I was delighted to hear she was writing a book. And “You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government” doesn’t disappoint. It’s a straightforward, highly readable argument in favor of fiscal conservatism and limited government. Like me, she spent her childhood in the 1970s and 1980s and experienced firsthand the impact of economic policy gone awry and economic policy done right. During Ronald Reagan’s presidency, she writes:

If GOP doesn’t grab the Senate this year, it might in 2012

October 28, 2010

Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics has a great analysis of the 2010 Senate races and beyond:

Shock poll: Americans think Bush doing a better job than Obama (and more)

October 28, 2010

Some fascinating numbers from longtime Democratic pollster Doug Schoen (via U.S. News & World Report). Among them: Voters prefer Bush over Obama, want the GOP to control congress, favor extending all the Bush tax cuts, don’t favor another term for Obama and would give Palin nearly 20 percent of the vote if she ran as a third-party presidential candidate.

Could Obama’s re-election plan be to devalue the dollar?

October 28, 2010

Will President Obama get re-elected in 2012 if his party suffers a crushing midterm defeat? His political team likes to point to the example of Ronald Reagan. Congressional Republicans were crushed in the 1982 midterms, but the Gipper cruised to victory two years later.