Reading entrails and tea leaves – Democratic edition


Blog Rule #1: It would be irresponsible not to speculate

Looking ahead for the next 15-16 months, this is what I see happening on the Democratic side:

Obama will run virtually unopposed for the Democratic nomination. He controls the party machinery and will use it to destroy any real challengers. That of course means Hillary will not be running. If she runs again it will be in 2016.

I said way back in 2008 that the 2012 election should be a referendum on Obama with the state of the economy the primary issue. The economy is in the tank and I don’t see a big turnaround on the horizon. That means Obama’s only hope is (guess what?) convincing people that the Republicans are worse.

Obama will raise a gazillion dollars and use it to run the most negative, race-baiting campaign since 2008. No surprise there, he’s a one-trick pony. He’ll keep treating lefties like a political booty call, whispering sweet nothings in their ears and then fucking them. Where else are they gonna go?

Obama will try to make history repeat itself in two ways. First, he will try to recreate that astroturf magic of 2008. He will try to convince people he is really running a grassroots movement fueled by volunteers and small donors while taking most of his donations from fat cats. He’ll again use online donating to launder illegal donations.

There is a substantial possibility that there will be an astroturf primary opponent running against him. If this happens the candidate will be a strawman set up for a defeat. The goal will be to give Obama a lefty foil to beat on so he can look like a winner again.

Dissipating progressive energies is a second goal – by setting up a strawman he can prevent a genuine challenger from gaining traction.

The second way he will try to make history repeat itself is already underway. He will try brinksmanship with the GOP over a number of issues, hoping to trigger a government shutdown like the one in 1995. It worked for the Big Dawg, didn’t it?

Except John Boehner is not Newt Gongrinch. The Newtie Boy suffered from a raging case of hubris but Agent Orange comes across as far more modest while Hubris is Obama’s middle name. Not only that but the economic situation is far different and Obama is less popular and doesn’t have Bill’s brains or people skills.

Obama would love to dump Biden and replace him with Hillary or someone like Evan Bayh who can help him win a key swing state. If the GOPers nominate a woman for either of the top two spots he’ll pressure Hillary to take the VP job, hoping to short-circuit a massive defection of women voters to the GOP.

As far as Congress goes I don’t see the Democrats winning back the House and they’ll probably lose the Senate too. Voters in both parties will be holding their noses and voting next year.

COMING SOON:

Reading entrails and tea leaves – Republican edition


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83 Responses to Reading entrails and tea leaves – Democratic edition

  1. myiq2xu says:

    It feels like a Monday

  2. myiq2xu says:

    I do have some good news – 2012 will be Obama’s last election campaign.

  3. Dario says:

    The 2012 unknowns:
    1. The Democratic black voter turnout. I don’t see them going in droves and voting almost 100 percent for Obama. Mostly, I see a good 20 to 25 percent staying home vs. 2008.

    2. The bad economy. The economy will be bad, especially in 2012, but will Obama be able to convince the regular white Democratic voters that the GOP is worse and need to go to the polls in droves to defeat the evil party? I tend to believe that a good 10 percent of these voters will also stay home vs. 2008.

    Without those two voter blocks, Obama is toast in 2012.

    But then there are the unknown unknowns, and if there’s a major foreign or domestic crisis, he may gain an upper hand, unless the crisis is another financial crisis, which is very possible if there are sovereign defaults in Europe.

  4. yttik says:

    Ha! Those are downright optimistic tea leaves. I’m thinking he’ll just declare WW3 because nobody wants to change horseman in the middle of a good apocalypse.

    I don’t see Hillary in this picture at all. She’s not going to run. And I doubt she’d accept the VP job. I think she’s shown enough loyalty towards women in her lifetime to refuse to be used in such a transparent way to pander and deceive them. As SOS she had the opportunity to do a lot of good for women all over the world, as Obama’s VP her sole purpose would be to prop his ass up and get him re-elected.

    I have a lot of respect for Hillary. You might sell your soul to the devil because you’re trying to make the best out of a bad situation and you see the potential good that can come from the job you’ll be getting, but you don’t sell your soul to the devil just because he needs a good salesman.

    • myiq2xu says:

      I didn’t say she’d take the job, but he’ll try to pressure her into it.

      • Dario says:

        Hillary can read the voter mood better than most politicians and by now she must know that Obama is toast. With that prospect, I don’t see her taking the VP regardless of whatever pressure the party puts on her.

  5. Dario says:

    Myiq, you are the best at selecting topics that are thought provoking. I’m happy you continued your blogging 🙂

  6. Dario says:

    Myiq, do you think that Sarah Palin would take the VP again if the Mitt offers it? It’s the move that would make the Mitt unbeatable against Obama.

    • myiq2xu says:

      I’d call that a definite maybe.

      She’s not running to be second banana, but 4-8 years as VP would shore up her biggest weakness – her lack of experience.

      • Dario says:

        Yeah. It might be a win win for both.

      • 1539days says:

        I still think that’s a red herring. She only has a lack of expereince because the Obots say it’s so. I don’t even think expereince for the sake of appearances will help, since she’ll be attacked for every vote or decision she makes and some ass will file ethics charges again.

    • ralphb says:

      I doubt Mitt is going to have the choice. Any other year probably, but this year the rank and file are pissed.

      • WMCB says:

        The R rank and file are also pissed that every poll shows that the teaparty folks are the ones who will swallow their anger and get behind the eventual R nominee no matter who it is, while it’s the moderates who are saying they won’t vote for a teaparty candidate if he/she wins the primaries.

        Yet the media and the GOP establishment always moans and bemoans that “those teapartiers are going to split the party”. They parrot that meme constantly, even though it’s an utter lie.

        That right there REALLY pisses conservative voters off. They have been “falling in line” behind candidates not to their taste for years, including GWB. But the moment it appears that one to their liking might win, it’s the fucking cocktail party GOP who want to take their ball and go home. But somehow, in warped land, it’s the teapartiers’ fault if that happens.

        Since I have taken off my tribal/party ID blinders, I see so many similarities in how BOTH legacy parties keep the dirty populist rabble in line. Which is why I cheer on the grassroots conservatives, even though I disagree on a lot. Because they have a right to choose who they want – just like we Dems did in 2008.

    • crawdad says:

      If I was a bookie I’d make Marco Rubio the VP favorite.

      He’s Hispanic and from Florida, a key swing state.

      • ralphb says:

        Good bet, if he will take it.

      • angienc says:

        The GOP would be idiots to NOT give Rubio the VP slot (not saying I like Rubio, just sayin’).

        Of course, the hard core conservatives seem to be doing their best to make sure everyone votes FOR Obama, so you never can tell.

      • WMCB says:

        Yes. I’ve been saying that since he hit the scene – being groomed for VP. I’d bet on him if I were betting. Thad McCotter would be my longshot VP pick for the R’s – rust belt dood, snarky and quick on his mental feet.

  7. Dario says:

    Obama will try to make history repeat itself in two ways. First, he will try to recreate that astroturf magic of 2008. He will try to convince people he is really running a grassroots movement fueled by volunteers and small donors

    Obama is trying, even as I type, to recreate 2008, but can he? In 2008 he had a combination of paid and volunteers to create the illusory magic, but if he has to pay legions to crate the same illusion, it would be prohibitively expensive, imo.

    • Dario says:

      I meant to say paid workers and volunteers to create…

    • ralphb says:

      I think when they cut the price from $5 to $3 for his dinner raffle that was all about getting donor numbers, both number of donors and their card numbers. One $3 donor credit card number could be used to launder a max illegal contribution and make it seem legal. There’s a reason they didn’t use the verification on his website. 😉

    • votermom says:

      As far as re-creating 2008, my bet is that the OFA will try to rig the GOP primary. “GOP” for a day etc etc. If they can get the GOP to select the weakest link, Obama has a chance.

      What the GOP should do is help fund a primary challenge to Obama so that the bots will be too busy defending BO’s nomination to do their dirty tricks.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        They should push Feingold in. He’d be perfect.

        • crawdad says:

          Kucinich is another paper tiger. They snarl and growl then fold up.

        • votermom says:

          Feingold – He’d be a good one to make BO nervous – the real lefties like him and afaik his credibility with the Jewish community is 100%.

          Kucinich – meh.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          Agree. Kucinich would (will?) be the foil alluded to in the post. He’s too easy a target, and he’s beta. A real challenge would require an alpha.

  8. DandyTiger says:

    Obama’s biggest thing going in 2007/2008 is he had no record. Complete unknown. People saw what they wanted to see. Kool-aid is a hellofa drug, so many people still see a magic man. But he now has an abysmal record that’s hard for sane people to ignore.

    He still has some big secrets sealed up in fort knox. Aka, the Kennedy compound. Like his state senate record and his school records.

    Here’s another prediction for you. You will know he has been abandoned by the powers that be if all the sudden those records start coming out.

  9. ralphb says:

    Speaking of the economy, is GM going under again? GM has a growing inventory in its truck lines of 122 days worth of sales, nearly twice that of Ford. With flat sales, they are back to the high inventory of pre-bailout days.

    It appears the bailout didn’t “fix” GM after all. Who could have known?

  10. ralphb says:

    The Shame of the Cities and the Shade of LBJ

    A very good read by Walter Russell Mead in The American Interest. Like them or not, some points need to be made.

    The third Johnson Quagmire is the War on Poverty, and specifically the attempt to treat inner city poverty primarily as a racial problem. After the Medicare/Medicaid catastrophe the single greatest policy failure of modern America is urban policy. Since the Great Society era of Lyndon Johnson, the country has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into poor urban neighborhoods. The violence and crime generated in these neighborhoods costs hundreds of billions more. And after all this time, all this money and all this energy, the inner city populations are worse off than before. There is more drug addiction and more social and family breakdown among this population than when the Great Society was launched. Incarceration rates have risen to levels that shock the world (though they make for safer streets); the inner city abortion rate has reached levels that must surely appall even the most resolute pro-choicers not on the Planned Parenthood payroll. Forty percent of all pregnancies in New York end in abortion, with higher rates among Blacks; nationally, the rate among Blacks is three times the rate among white women. Put it all together and you have a holocaust of youth and hope on a scale hard to match.

    This is not a lot to show for almost fifty years of fighting poverty — not a lot of bang for the buck.

    We need to do better. The state of the American inner city is an unacceptable human tragedy, and the costs in money spent and prosperity forfeited create an unsustainable drag on the national economy at a time when we need all the help we can get.

    • WMCB says:

      Yeah, it’s like “We keep giving the patient medicine but he keeps getting sicker. We are keeping him afloat, but he’s sure not getting any better.”

      Q : Perhaps we should consider changing treatment plan? Trying something else? Stopping this useless cornucopia of pharmaceuticals and figuring out if something else might work?

      A: “You filthy coldhearted RAAAAACIST!! You hate the patient! You WANT him to die!!!!”

      Um……huh?

      • crawdad says:

        We have millions of illegal immigrants in this country and millions of people who are out of work.

        What’s wrong with this picture?

        • votermom says:

          As long as Jeff Immelt & the other Fortune 500 CEOs are taking home record bonuses, what’s the problem?

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          I’ll tellya what’s wrong with it. If we addressed our illegal immigration issue, the whole America-is-going-Brown narrative flies right out the window. Can’t have that, can we? After all, they are our greatest hope against the boomers, who are all white and really old.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          There was a { / sarcasm } tag that got eliminated from that post, ftr.

        • Georgia got rid of a lot of illegals and their crops are not getting picked. Legal citizens won’t take the jobs or can’t do them.

          I posted a link about this at H44.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          The salient question–never answered, of course–is: did farmers raise wages to attract people who could legally work on their farms? Because no, Americans will not work for the wages an illegal will work for. And for good reason(s).

        • WMCB says:

          bemusedleftist, it’s not that Americans won’t do those jobs, it’s that they won’t do them at under-the-table slave wages.

          And guess what? Those crops that aren’t being picked? Do that for long enough, and those companies will have a choice. They will find the wage point at which an American WILL do the job, or they will go out of business. Supply and demand, baby.

        • crawdad says:

          It’s not just farm labor – “La Migra” raids meat packing plants and garment manufacturers all the time.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      I really like Walter Mead. He’s good.

    • JeanLouise says:

      Medicaid and Medicare are not catastrophes. While both programs need to be tweaked, the real failure is the lack of will to take the profit motive (insurance companies) out of medical care.

      I’ll concede that the War on Poverty has not worked. I truly have no idea how to deal with those who are unwilling to work other than cutting them loose. That said, there are still a lot of elderly, sick and mothers of young children who need help. I would prefer to not give them any money but we have to provide sevices such as affordable medical care and and child care if we ever expect them to get a job.

      • crawdad says:

        Medicare is for old people – they don’t exactly have a lot of options because they can’t exactly go get new jobs with medical insurance.

        As for Medicaid I doubt people use that as an excuse to be lazy.

        When Clinton signed welfare reform it provided training and child care assistance – moving people into jobs. That’s one of the reasons that most of the prosperity in the 90’s went to people on the bottom of the income ladder.

        But the progressives hate him for it.

        • ralphb says:

          The progressive hate for Clinton over that is ridiculous. Just goes to show that doing good is no defense against dummies.

        • crawdad says:

          If you look you’ll notice that none of them were personally affected by welfare reform.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        I’ve said for years that if women with children were allowed to keep the medical coverage of welfare and nothing else, they would enter the workforce in droves. It wouldn’t work in this economy, but in a strong, robust economy I am confident this would hold true.

        • WMCB says:

          My 29 year old daughter, who is handicapped, gets SS disability benefits. We do not WANT them. We have no need of her monthly check, we are more than capable of providing for her.

          So why did we let her apply after she turned 21? Because with SSI comes automatic Medicaid. Because she is uninsurable otherwise. If she could get the Medicaid WITHOUT the $647 monthly SSI check, we’d gladly do so. But she can’t.

          Oh, and she has never once used her Medicaid. We pay out of pocket for all her doctor visits, etc. Because we can, with no difficulty, and don’t feel right taking taxpayer money for things we can easily cover. Her Medicaid is basically like major medical for us – there just in case of truly catastrophic injury or illness.

      • WMCB says:

        My approach to welfare would be to decide as a nation where the lowest rung is going to be. To decide as a society that there is a point below which you cannot fall. That point needs to be pretty much subsistence level – i.e., you won’t literally starve or die. And we need to accept that there are going to be completely unworthy, lazy, drug addicted, criminal, and otherwise disreputable people who will be on that subsistence level of the dole. Forever. But they won’t be dying in the streets, which no sane person left or right wants to see. That ends all argument over “not supporting people who won’t work”, because yes, we are going to do so, just not well. Income is the only qualifier for that, and it’s given without question, without a lot of red tape. We will use ONE program to do it, not 12 different aid programs. Big savings right there.

        That leaves the rest of the welfare poor – the ones who might actually make something of their lives, or who had a life before and have just fallen on hard times. ALL benefits above the base subsistence level will be tied to job training, working in public service (even if it’s picking up trash), going back to school, etc. Benefits at this level are more generous, but they are time-limited and always tied to effort on the recipient’s part.

        Oh, and I think we need to end the practice of welfare benefits encouraging the breakup of families. It may have been an unforeseen side effect of a noble desire to do more for single moms, but that side effect has been DESTRUCTIVE, and we need to stop denying it, own up to it, and fix it. There needs to be a benefit to both parents being in the home, not a fucking financial penalty.

        • ralphb says:

          I could get behind that.

        • elliesmom says:

          The most cost effective welfare program is to provide women with financial support while they are getting an education or job training. When they have the skills or education to earn a living wage, cut them loose. Where I live they used to let “welfare mothers” have unused seats in state college classes and places in the laboratory preschools for their kids free. I was always amazed when people would say “it isn’t fair to students who have to pay tuition”. Is it better that we support the moms for 18 years or 4? Turning “welfare moms” into teachers, nurses, legal or medical assistants, etc. was a really good investment. Unfortunately, they stopped the program.

    • WMCB says:

      Also, Ralph, when failed programs are questioned as to whether they are achieving their larger goals – i.e. the goals for which they were ostensibly begun, the response is inevitably to just trot out individuals for whom the program has been helpful.

      Well, no offense to that individual, but that’s not the question that was asked. If the measure of whether a program is working to solve an overall societal problem, is whether those who have benefitted from it have…benefitted, then we are in crazy land.

      • ralphb says:

        You are correct again. The social policies of the US haven’t worked because they never had a chance to work. They were never fully funded in any year after they were passed. That makes the unproven assumption they would have worked if fully funded, which I doubt.

        Virtually every bit of social policy in this country has turned into a vote buying scheme of one kind or the other. There is no attempt to fix anything and will be no attempt to fix anything until TPTB are toppled. Only then can people of good conscience try anew.

        • JeanLouise says:

          The new people aka Tea Partiers who are being elected are generally not people of good will who are at all interested in providing governmental assistance to anyone according to their rhetoric.

        • WMCB says:

          I’ve heard very very few teaparty candidates who are in favor of zero safety net at all.

        • ralphb says:

          Most tea party candidates are like their constituents to some degree. They have been convinced over time that government could screw up a one car parade. From what I see, they are more correct than not.

          However, they are no more or less heartless than the average person and, when given a choice, I believe will do the right thing if they can.

        • JeanLouise says:

          WCMB, I’ve heard a numberv of them preach that the government needs to get out of the business of helping the needy and that they should instead rely upion churches and other charity-minded individuals to satisfy their basic needs.

          The total destruction of programs such as Medicaid/Medicare and Social Security is not a primary campaign promise amongst the Tea Party candidates, imo, because it would be detrimental to their election prospects. That doesn’t mean that they don’t agree with their Tea Party brethren,

          GWB minimized the impact of his religious convictions in his campaigns in a successful attempt to win those voters who were worried about some candidates more theocratic leanings. Yet, he used language that was very obvious to Evangelicals to promise them that he would govern as an Evangelical. I think that’s what Tea Party candidates are doing when they talk about fundamentally changing Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security.

        • crawdad says:

          Evangelicals and other conservatives are more likely to give to charity than progressives are.

    • Dario says:

      Since the Great Society era of Lyndon Johnson, the country has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into poor urban neighborhoods. The violence and crime generated in these neighborhoods costs hundreds of billions more.

      As much as I hate to waste billions of dollars that could very well go to fund schools, that kind of money is chump change in the scheme of things.

      • ralphb says:

        Over the last 50 years, it’s far from chump change and makes TARP look like lunch money.

  11. WMCB says:

    The only way Obama can win is to fight as dirty as possible. There is no soaring optimism of Hopenchange left – recapturing that magic is a lost cause.

    And I do not expect the GOP to be as hands off as they were in 2008, either. They didn’t hit him hard in 2008 for fear of being raaaaacist. The idea of a black president was too new, too treasured, too holy to be effectively combatted. That fear has to a large degree subsided. They won’t be able to hit him as hard on personal stuff as they would a white candidate, but the economy gives them more than enough fodder to pound him.

    • crawdad says:

      The race card has been overplayed and isn’t very effective anymore. It didn’t work last year against the Tea Party.

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        Totally agree on this. And as can be expected, Americans overall are more cynical on issues involving race. This was always the danger–that overplaying the card for Obama’s personal gain would make it harder for people actually experiencing racism to get heard and taken seriously.

        I personally think that affirmative action is going to be an electoral dynamic in 2012, albeit a somewhat hidden one. Too many people have experience with the Jayson Blairs of the world, folks who were clearly in over their heads and gained enormous opportunity because of how they looked and who they were instead of what they’ve done. I expect to see that collective experience provoked and stoked in electoral politics, sowing the seeds of doubt about Obama’s actual capabilities. And he has provided us with all the evidence we need to make that judgement. No amount of progressive wailing on the racism front will quell it, either, because they overplayed that card.

  12. ralphb says:

    That was quick!

    In a new column from Washington insiders Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift they advise that Michele Bachman’s presidential campaign, of just a few days duration, has been sent to the dustbin of history .

    The Beltway media have not even waited for Bachman to drop off in the polls before announcing her political demise, like other media meteors, e.g. Trump and Cain who burned brightly, assisted by a press rapacious for readers.

    Cohn and Clift have got stuck straight into her, discovering Bachman’s numerous wild past statements, her current gaffes, and the baggage her husband brings-none of which was apparent to the media who announced her, after one debate, as the GOP’s new star, the eclipser of Palin and the main challenger to their anointed Romney.

    Predictability, thy name is MSM.

    • WMCB says:

      This is why the R’s making primary decisions based on electability is a crock. Now, if they mean real electablity, in the sense of appealing to lots of the electorate, then that’s fine. But usually what those touting “electability” mean is “whoever the media is going to be least hateful to”.

      • ralphb says:

        Electability means starkly different things to the political class (establishment) and everyone else. You are absolutely correct about the media meme.

    • votermom says:

      Well, tweety can relax now. The “be nice to MB” orders was giving him hives.

    • Dario says:

      I like LSM better than MSM. Lame, lame.

    • JeanLouise says:

      I don’t remember any writings of Douglas Cohn but Eleanor Clift constantly harped on Hillary and promoted Obama during the 2008 primaries. She’s one of the reasons that I stopped reading Newsweek.

      If Bachmann’s campaign continues, Clift will surely keep up her doomsaying.

  13. Dario says:

    Palin Could Hit the Presidency Ground Running with Secret Army in Iowa

    The Palin “secret army” is sort of like a guerrilla force hiding in the hills, awaiting the signal to begin the insurgency. There is some thought that because of the existence of this force of supporters, Palin would instantly become the frontrunner should she pull the trigger on a presidential run.
    After that, the political dynamics become interesting. If Palin is suddenly seen as a winner, operatives and supporters will suddenly start to gravitate to her and away from candidates they have initially made commitments to. Both the Gingrich and the Cain campaigns have already lost staff, the feeling being that neither candidate is ready for prime time.

    Now I understand why Romney is skipping Iowa for NH.

  14. Sandress says:

    I don’t know. I think you’re right about how he’ll approach it, but I think if O screws up much more, Dean will challenge. Several months ago he was openly attacking O and clearly trying to whip his fans up into a frenzy. I’m still hoping for some monumental fuckup or for O to tank so hard he’s afraid to run again (which would have him name some family problem centered on the kids or Michelle and back down), so that Hill can jump in.
    In terms of the Rs, I think Palin will take it. Romney may win the primary, but I think he’d have a hard time taking the general. Palin is the other way around. She’s going to have a hard time in the Primary with the machinery of her party against her, but she’d stand a fair shot in the general. That said, the corporate overlords will decide it.

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