It’s January 25th, and President Obama has been in office for only a few days, and it seems as though there is jockeying for the Republican nomination for 2012. Here is how it works: take one of President Obama’s or Congress’ new and somewhat popular initiatives, and bet against it – heavily – by criticizing it in every which way you can and being an obstacle. You know you’ll eventually lose the battle that the initiative will go through, but then if it doesn’t work, you can claim “I told you so.” Doubly down if the initiative the economic stimulous package, because even if it does work, you can claim that the economy would have recovered in spite of it, and now the deficit is larger.
This is precisely the tact currently being taken by Senator John Cornyn of Texas. And he’s gone further by challenging the appointments of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State, and Eric Holder to Attorney General.
There are risks with this strategy. First of all, if they are simply mowed over, and the policies are effective, the Democrats will enjoy popularity for a recovering economy. if the obstruction works, and the economy doesn’t improve, then the Democrats can weild that failure against the Republicans – again – in 2010.
But I have a simple suggestion for the Democrats regarding the economy: allow those congressmen and senators to who oppose the stimulous to refuse it on behalf of their states and their districts, and let the voters judge them.