Friday, May 7, 2010

Pessimism at the Polls

290,000 jobs in April, and Boehner is is disappointed. He has to be. He voted against the legislation creating the jobs. Democrats are in a tough position on this one because it's hard to argue against the "something else would've worked better" message from GOP leadership. Basically it's an age old economic philosophy argument which will never be resolved, due to the speculative nature of economic response to crisis. But from an electoral point of view, Democrats have the upper hand. TWI explains:

For all the ambiguities surrounding last year’s stimulus bill — was it enough? where will the money go? would it be spent fast enough? — this much was crystal clear: Republicans, once they’d voted unanimously against the bill, were going to criticize the results no matter what they were. (Boehner’s statement today is evidence of that trend.)

But the strategy also leaves Republicans in the uncomfortable position of rooting against the economic recovery for political ends. Leaves you wondering how well that pessimism will play at the polls if the recovery continues to pick up.
Whether you feel the stimulus should've been larger (as I do), or that it shouldn't have happened at all (as Boehner et all do), the electoral reality remains: arguing against economic improvements isn't going to win voters over to your side. It's the uncomfortable paradox the GOP will continue to find themselves in as long as they stand for nothing more than opposition.

If you're offering no more than that, any improvement or uptick or slightest increase in public confidence belongs to the party doing things, and works against the party just dragging their feet like petulant children.

I'd wager reports of the GOP takeover in 2010 were (as expected) greatly exaggerated.

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