October 22, 2012


It's (Almost) Morning in America : A surging economy is great news. Especially for the next president. (Michael Tomasky Oct 22, 2012, Daily Beast)

The winner may very well go down in history as the man who led the country out of the greatest economic crisis in eight decades.

If it's Obama, that validates the stimulus, the deficit--even Obamacare, which revolutionizes one sixth of the economy. That old-time FDR religion, Democrats could claim, still works. "Which party sent this country to the brink of ruin in 2008, and which party pulled our chestnuts out of the fire?" could be a Democratic rallying cry until about the 2040s.

And if it's Romney? Well, that'll be one lucky man. He'll brag, of course, that it was all about his policies. The party that made the mess will spend the next few years or decades--and they're pretty good at this sort of thing--hammering home the argument that they sorted it all out as soon as Obama got out of the way.

So the improving economy raises the stakes in a huge way. In case they weren't high enough for you already.

This is the fourth important election of the past 100 years, not because of the choice of candidates in themselves, but because it will determine which party gets credit for the Peace Dividend.  In 1920, the GOP won back Washington after WWI and got itself the Roaring '20's, though it screwed the pooch by adopting limitations on immigration and trade.  In 1948, Truman fended off Tom Dewey and kept the Democrats relevant for another couple generations.  With the party finally on the ropes, after the GOP won the Cold War, Bill Clinton got o George H. W. Bush's right and Democrats managed to get part of the credit for the 1990's boom.  Comes the end of the WoT, which combines with the transition to a Third Way social safety net, and the party that gets credit for this boom and transition--if it gets sole credit--stands to dominate our national politics for a number of decades, as Republicans did after the Civil War and Democrats did after the Depression.

So, while the differences between the candidates and parties are trivial, the stakes are potentially massive.

Posted by at October 22, 2012 6:28 PM

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