Thursday, July 19, 2012
The Economy, the Election, and Why the Rest of Us Need a Super-PAC
The latest New York Times poll makes for dismal reading. Support for Obama rises and falls with perceptions of how the economy is doing, and the latest numbers show a majority think he has bungled it. This gives Romney, for all his faults (some of which are clearly noticed by the electorate), a real shot at winning, at least now.
The frustrating part is that the public is right: the economy is in terrible shape and Obama deserves much of the blame. All available energy has gone into rescuing the financial system, but it has turned out that what was seen as necessary for economic revival is nowhere near sufficient. The Obama crowd could be saying that they wanted to do more but were blocked by the Republicans (only partially true), but they are not saying this. Instead, Trust Us: We Are Recovering is the banner under which Democrats are rallying. They could just as well change it to Kick Me.
One way to think about the core problem is that we depend on the two parties to each make their case to the electorate: the Republicans and their tagalong billionaires get to say what they want, and the Dems and their smaller coterie of tycoons get to say their shtick. The public is supposed to weigh the two sides and make its choice. This makes those of us who understand how truly deranged the Republican party has become hostage to the messaging of the Obamanoids, and their message isn’t working.
What we really need is an opulently financed independent voice that can say what needs to be said: the economy is bad, it hasn’t been handled well, but Romney would make it worse. It should be said over and over, with clever scripts, emotive actors, endearing fuzzy pets, whatever, until it becomes conventional wisdom. Taking the mike away from Obama, or at least drowning it out, is the best way to resist Romney.