2011 Time Capsule


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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138 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    I’ll start:

    I don’t know who the top of the ticket will be (I’ll have to think about it a lot) but say that it will *NOT* be Romney. He will be the VP.

    The Republicans will nominate someone Goldwateresque, however, who will crash and burn and (barely) lose to Obama. It will be pointed out that if only the Republicans had nominated someone more like Bush and less like Dole that they would have won. Democrats will claim it is a mandate for their economic recovery policies and health care plan.

    Oh, yeah, Biden ain’t going anywhere.Report

  2. I predict Romney will be at the top of the ticket unless Rick Perry announces his candidacy by mid-August, in which case it is a toss up between Romney, Perry, and whoever survives the Bachmann/Cain/Palin bracket, probably Bachmann. The worse the economy is in that case, I expect the more likely the winner is Perry or Romney, with Perry a slight favorite over Romney.

    I predict Romney or Perry will beat Obama as long as the unemployment rate remains over 8 percent. Biden will stay in the ticket regardless.Report

    • Plinko in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      I think we’ll see Perry matched with a Tea Party type in the VP slot, probably Cain. I think they’ll lose narrowly to Obama/Biden unless the unemployment rate tops 9.5% next October.
      I think the best thing for Obama to win would be to face a somewhat serious primary challenge from someone truly on the Left proper which would allow them to claim the middle better, but it won’t happen.Report

    • Koz in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      I agree with you here, except for Bachmann/Palin/Cain at the bottom. Bachmann has some small shot, the other two have none.

      It’s not a matter of conservative vs. moderate or whatever, but the lesson from 2010 is that you can’t run candidates who only circulate among Tea Party regulars. That affects the top of the ticket more than the bottom, but still enough so that Cain/Bachmann/Palin aren’t going to be Veep.

      I agree with you that Pawlenty has run a poor campaign so far. In some ways he’s got the best resume, but he’s getting no traction at all.

      Joe Biden stays on the ticket. For as much as my team likes to make fun of him, he’s been a nonissue which is probably as good as you can hope for. The D’s problem is at the top, not the bottom. President Obama’s fundamental incohoerence makes it difficult for me to believe that anyone who would ever consider voting Republican will vote to reelect the President. There are enough potential Republican votes to win elections in America, therefore the GOP wins.

      We’ll know a lot more in a month. The resolution to the debt limit standoff will give us the lay of the land.Report

  3. Chris_H says:

    I think it’s Romney/Perry as the ticket and they’ll win.

    Republicans have it awesome right now — they can attack Obama for being a Democrat *and* they can attack him for the populist stuff too. Coming from the right, that populist Tea Party stuff is pretty incoherent, but I think their attitude and supposed outsider-ness will continue to persuade independents.

    Obama has yet to pick a fight with the GOP that Dems have supported wholeheartedly *and* that he’s backed up with action. This will fail to get the Dems out to vote, and his demeanor won’t fit with what independents want.

    I don’t think Romney will be a George W.-“everything must be done to make the GOP stronger” type of president, though. He’s too smart on policy and this will frustrate the GOP (it seems to never run out of outrage).Report

  4. I’m calling it this way: Bachman wins Iowa, Huntsman wins NH and then they slug it out for SC. The winner of that takes Florida and then the momentum will be behind them enough that you can proabably call it then.

    Personally I would like to see a Huntsman/Romney ticket. The only thing is that it will be so vanilla that the general election could be a battle of inches.Report

    • mark boggs in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

      I’d be interested to see how many of the southern states would see a Mormon / Mormon ticket.Report

      • Dems are more bigoted against Mormons according to Gallup, 27% vs. 19 and 18 percent among independents and Republicans respectively on “willingness to vote for a Mormon for President.”

        Another one buried by your faithful mainstream media. 😉Report

        • Koz in reply to tom van dyke says:

          So what, we want Demo’s to vote Republican too.

          The only saving grace of the Mormon business is that for the places where Mormonism is likely to cost votes the GOP will be running far enough ahead to afford it.Report

        • mark boggs in reply to tom van dyke says:

          Yes, but the democrats won’t have to worry about a Mormon on their ticket, much less two. Me, I could care less. But watching Romney try to have it both ways in ’08 was a real thing of beauty to watch sitting here in Utah.

          And despite your poll, I’m still gonna be interested to see what the southern states do if that ticket comes together, my anecdotal evidence from Iowa family and friends when it was Romney v Huckabee in the Iowa Caucuses aside.Report

          • Ah, but that was a choice between an evangelical and a Mormon. Duh, said yr anecdotal family. Huckabee all the way.

            But the choice between a Mormon and a modern left-liberal seems rather clear for most evangelicals, like mega-fundie Rev. Frank Pastore [yes, the ex-MLB pitcher]


            I originally opened this door out of mischief, Mark, and will say out of fairness that the higher Dem opposition to voting for a Mormon is probably due to its strong affiliation to social conservatism. I doubt many Dems atall would vote against Harry Reid for his Mormonism.Report

            • mark boggs in reply to tom van dyke says:

              Yeah, I understand there are plenty of social conservatives who don’t have a problem with Mormons, but I found it very interesting to hear some of the under currents about Romney’s “strange” faith when it came down to particulars in terms of what who believed and how that affected their status as a “true” Christian.

              To supplement your take, I believe it was Bob Jones or one of the other leading evangelicals who came out in support of Romney last time, so Mormonism isn’t the death knell that say, atheism, might be. Nice to know we’re making *some* progress.Report

              • Mark, until I saw that poll, the Dem anti-religious streak didn’t really register in my mind.

                And I’m not totally condemnatory, to a point. From the very first presidents, Americans have liked our politicians to be theistic, but not strongly sectarian.

                Not only were Washington and Lincoln elusive on dogma, but so was Ronald Reagan. And I like Huckabee a lot, but as a Baptist pastor, and when he said

                “When we become believers, it’s as if we have signed up to be part of God’s Army, to be soldiers for Christ…”

                while on the campaign trail in 2008 [even if it was guesting in a pulpit], well, that was a little much even for this theistically-inclined Republican.

                And just to show I’m a good sport, I’m gonna give the gentlepersons of the left hereabouts a heads-up on some ammo on Rick Perry.

                This explicitly Christian-prayer-meeting-for-America scheduled for next year with Perry as titular head


                is a big stinkeroonie, and if he runs, you ain’t heard the end of it. Glenn Beck made his national prayer meeting non-sectarian, and it went very goddam well, so well the anti-religious left and smirking class couldn’t lay a glove on it or him.

                But even if Perry hadn’t screwed this pooch with the exclusively-Christian angle [which they’re now tap-dancing on], we vote for a president, not a Pontifex Maximus.

                [Unless you’re like invading Normandy or something, but that was a million years ago…


      • Mark Boggs,

        Tom made the same point I was about to suggest. The Mormon faith dovetails pretty well with conservative Christianity. For example they have been out in front in opposition to gay marriage. On the flip side Mormons are just a source of jokes for the Left.Report

  5. RTod says:

    The Republican nominee will be someone that is barely on the radar now. It will be like ’92 (Clinton) , ’00, (Bush) ’04 (Kerry) an ’08 (both Obama and McCain), where those that predicted the candidate based on TV exposure before the race began will be proven amaaaazingly wrong. Perry will toy with the electorate for a while, and eventually throw his hat in and pull an immediate Fred Thompson.

    The economy will be slightly better than it is now, but not much. And though that should mean that the Republicans have a great shot at getting the White House they won’t. Their campaign will be forced to take aggressively hostile sounding positions on social issues that their base will be convinced is their key to victory but will turn off and irritate the center. Positions the candidate swore to when they tried to win the nomination will come back to kill him or her (Ha! No, seriously, him) as the general race heats up. The White House, on the other hand, will continue it’s current trend of presenting the President as a centrist – and will truly look like one in comparison. By mid-October we will know that it is basically over, but Rasmussen and Fox will continue to report that the R is heavily favored. Biden will be a near invisible non-issue.

    The Senate will remain largely the same, and the House will add more a chunk more R’s. However, those gains will be by more centrist candidates, and the part of the right that has found recent success with vitriolic populism will find that they had already picked up the districts where that strategy can swing an election.

    Afterwards, this election will be the harbinger that starts the right seriously reconsidering using anti-gay, anti-immigration and pro-Chistianism as anything other than a regional strategy. They will find a more centrist message and subsequently win big in 2016. In subsequent years, they will not control spending, choosing instead to spend mightily but have a “the Democrats would have spent more” message.

    Life will go on.Report

    • Anderson in reply to RTod says:

      I agree. Plenty of things are going to happen in the next year and a half that absolutely nobody can predict now. Remember that at this point before ’08, most political pundits thought it would be Clinton vs Giuliani. And, on top of that, your point about the prevalence of social issues is good. The Repub nominee can’t avoid the questions of gay marriage/ abortion/ immigration forever (like Romney did when he tried to avoid the topic in the NH debate), and these issues, while less influential than broader economic ones, still have the ability to galvanize activists. The GOP is behind the curve on this, and I think their head strategists know it, but the base (I would say far more important to the GOP than liberal base is to Dems) is not ready to shift the platform in any meaningful way. This isolates independents, which have become far more liberal on these topics than in, say, 1980 Carter vs Reagan.Report

    • Barry in reply to RTod says:

      “Afterwards, this election will be the harbinger that starts the right seriously reconsidering using anti-gay, anti-immigration and pro-Chistianism as anything other than a regional strategy. They will find a more centrist message and subsequently win big in 2016. In subsequent years, they will not control spending, choosing instead to spend mightily but have a “the Democrats would have spent more” message.”

      The reaction of the right to their well-deserved losses in 2008 was to double down; they then won quite nicely in 2010. Any scenario which has the right draw back would have to involve them losing hard several times (say, 2012, 2014 and then against all odds in 2016).

      In terms of spending, the GOP has been the party of wild spending for decades now; again they aren’t going to stop until
      something makes them stop.Report

      • RTod in reply to Barry says:

        I sense, regarding the over-dependence on Rove-ian dog whistling social issues, that those in charge of the party (as opposed to those in charge of the movement) already recognize the strategy’s growing downside and want to change it – but also know there will be no way to do so by 2012. I think a non-nailbiter loss in 2012 gets them to push back harder, and turns more slightly-right inclined back toward the center.

        No arguments on the spending. Say what you will about Jon Stewart, I think he is 100% correct when he says the Con vs. Lib fight and the R vs. D fight tends to distract us from the more important corruption vs. non-corruption fight when it comes to political reporting and punditry.Report

  6. tom van dyke says:

    In ’96, Buchanan won NH, and to avoid a ’64-style meltdown down the ticket, the shocked GOP unified behind Dole, whom they knew would get creamed but wouldn’t hurt the congressional candidates. He did, and he didn’t. In ’96, the Dems gained 8 House seats but lost 2 in the Senate; in ’64, they picked up 37 House seats and 2 more in the Senate, giving them 2/3 of both houses!

    [The Clintons feared Lamar Alexander, but Alexander never got the chance to get in gear before Dole was selected as the non-tragic choice.]

    Romney should win NH anyway, so absent Perry having genuine legs, Romney’s the safe choice, and Pawlenty not bad on a “competence ticket.”

    No way the party establishment rolls the dice on a risky candidate, not even for VP [see Palin, S.], although Bobby Jindal is the better choice in a “competence ticket” and not as boring as Pawlenty. He’s running for re-election in 2011, so has kept under the presidential race radar.

    Romney with Pawlenty or Jindal will be a “serious adult” ticket and be good for the party even if it loses.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to tom van dyke says:

      Bobby Jindal will require the contortion that Obama is ineligible because his parents weren’t both citizens but Jindal is OK even though neither of his were. Andy McCarthy will be up to this challenge.Report

  7. Mike Schilling says:

    If the GOP wins, their spending cuts will be at the level of defunding NPR and cutting student loans and unemployment benefits. They will not touch defense, farm supports, or Social Security, but will cut taxes further, very likely targeting capital gains rates. The result will be ever-growing deficits, but Very Serious People will once again insist that tax cuts always increase revenue, and thus the GOP is serious about the debt. If the GOP gain a majority in the Senate, filibusters will once again become unAmerican.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      No snark until you give your predictions! (Or say “I don’t know.” That’s acceptable, if a cheap and cowardly cop-out.)Report

      • RTod in reply to Jaybird says:

        I say no snark period. This isn’t a theoretical Communism vs.Progressive vs. Libertarian etc. kind of thread. In 16 months we will have *scoreboard,* and then we can all either crow or make lame-ass excuses.

        This post was a great idea, JB. I hope you remember we did it after the election.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to RTod says:

          I hope you remember we did it after the election.

          If I don’t, I’m sure someone will. (Probably somebody who predicted it accurately.)

          I say no snark period.

          We have to have *SOME*. I just don’t want any snark from people who haven’t put out their guesses for other people to laugh at and call naive because, hey, we should have known that the outcome would be what the outcome was because only a dishonest hack would have come to a different conclusion.

          In 16 months we will have *scoreboard,* and then we can all either crow or make lame-ass excuses.

          The scoreboard will say “Statists 45, Libertarians 0 (but Washington meant well)”.Report

          • Pat Cahalan in reply to Jaybird says:

            > The scoreboard will say “Statists 45, Libertarians
            > 0 (but Washington meant well)”.

            FULL POINT.

            Missed this on the first read-through. Hey, you might get some quotable moments out of the primary debates. Mebbe call that a field goal? 45-3?Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’m terrible at this, so I’d advise any betting persons to go the opposite way.

        Obama/Biden narrowly defeats Romney/Paul fils with slight D gains in both House and Senate.

        The previous post was, by the way, not snark, but my honest assessment of how serious the GOP is about fiscal responsibility.Report

  8. dexter says:

    I think Jindal would be a perfect GOP vice pres under Bachman(pun intended) because he has performed excorcisms. He is conservative enough to kill the Stelly plan, raise the cost of college, tried to make the home stead exemption less fair for poor people, gave big raises to his new state hires, and is convinced that we don’t need no stinkin volcano monitors. Besides, since he spends most of his time outside the state at fund raisers, it would keep him out of the state for longer periods. Also, he has much in common with Thomas. While I have not heard that he is not declaring the extra income on his taxes, his wife has a wonderful little charity that gets mucho dinero from a major player in state contracts. The company gives to Mrs. Jindal and viola, the company gets a major no bid contract. It is typical Lousy Sauna politics.Report

  9. pragmatic idealist says:

    Romney wins by default, picks Perry as VP and loses to Obama / Biden by a slightly smaller margin than McCain did.Report

  10. Matty says:

    In a surprise twist Justin Bieber runs as an independent and wins in a landside but is struck down by a just God at his inaugaration leaving Vice President Miley Cyrus in charge.

    The Canadian government seals the border in an effort to stop to flow of refugees.Report

    • RTod in reply to Matty says:

      An admitted long shot, sure, but what a genius Matty will look like if it comes to pass. Like betting on the Clippers to win it all in training camp.

      (OK, maybe not as unbelievable as the Clips winning, but unbelievable nonetheless.)Report

  11. Will Truman says:

    Obama/Biden 293, Romney/X 245. It’ll be close, but (informally) called pretty early when it’s determined that Romney winning every state but California, Washington, and Oregon won’t get him over the top.

    As for the value of X, I suspect it is someone not currently on our radar, unless Pawlenty steps up. Possibly Daniels or Barbor, but unlikely. Maybe Perry if he doesn’t end up running (if he does end up running, I suspect too much bad blood).Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

      The last few VP nominees (Palin, Cheney, Kemp, Quayle) certainly weren’t anyone you could have predicted, and the tradition of it often being someone laughably unqualified (Palin, Quayle, Agnew, Nixon) is longstanding. Glen Beck, maybe?Report

      • Let’s play…Ruin the Comments Sections with Partisan Snark! You went first, so now it’s OUR turn:

        Biden– Gaffe Machine
        Lieberman–Exiled by the Dems
        Gore–Psychotic Sex Poodle

        [Forgot about that one, huh?


        Bentsen was qualified, but his big shining moment in ’88 amounted to no more than acting like a dick.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to tom van dyke says:

          Ferraro was obviously chosen purely because she was a woman. The others were all will within the ballpark because they had been presidential candidates themselves.

          In 1952, Nixon had been in the Senate for two years and the Congress for 6. He was no one’s idea of presidential timber.

          And I’m very amused that the pot is shocked, shocked that anyone dares criticize of his party’s choices.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to tom van dyke says:

          I’ve read Mark Halperin I’ve watched Mark Halperin. I’ve even commented on Mark Halperin’s blog. And you, Mr. Van Dyke, are no Mark Halperin.Report

          • That riff didn’t work for Bentsen either, Mr. Schilling. But it was a coherent riff, how you stitched together the two things and all, so props.

            The president did come off like a dick. So did MSNBC. They goad the only guy who tells the truth around there for saying it out loud, then they cut his balls off.Report

            • Herb in reply to tom van dyke says:

              So sensitive, Tom, and yet so eager to do your Pee Wee Herman impression. “I know you are but what am I.”

              At any rate, here’s my prediction:

              Obama wins without much effort. (Incumbents usually do.)

              Romney finally realizes that this country is not ready to make him president (for a variety of reasons, his politics being the most prominent, his religion the least).

              As for his VP pick, I don’t think it will be Rick Perry. His flirtations with secessionist ideas make him a national joke. I suspect it will be someone that will help Romney appeal to the rest of the country, not a bombthrower.Report

              • tom van dyke in reply to Herb says:

                Brother “Herb,” WTF you am, TVD couldn’t have lasted 2 posts hereabouts if TVD were “sensitive.” This is a meat-grinder. TVD calls fouls when fouled—which is often—but doesn’t ask for the ball back. “Turn the other cheek” doesn’t mean pretend it didn’t happen. You could look it up.

                TVD doesn’t usually talk about TVD in the 3rd person but it seems a propos here. Last time somebody accused TVD of speaking in the 3rd person, TVD said, TVD has no idea what yr talking about, dude, because there’s only two of us in the room.

                [OK, I got bored today, I admit. But TVD puts facts on the table, not just IMOs.]

                TVD don’t like any of the announced GOP candidates. So far, the GOP deserves to lose, just like that trophy wife John Kerry lost against an eminently defeatable candidate, if you can remember all the way back that far.

                The GOP leads in Obama vs. Unnamed Republican. But as they say, you can’t beat something with nothing.

                Last time out, Both McCain and Obama ran as “None of the Above.” The real “None of the Above” won.

                Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?Report

              • > TVD don’t like any of the announced GOP
                > candidates. So far, the GOP deserves to
                > lose, just like that trophy wife John Kerry
                > lost against an eminently defeatable
                > candidate, if you can remember all the
                > way back that far.

                I will hereafter only be able to think of John Kerry as Trophy Wife. That is fishing hilarious.Report

        • RTod in reply to tom van dyke says:

          Sex poodle?Report

          • tom van dyke in reply to RTod says:

            Yup, google Gore-crazed-sex-poodle. But Democrat Walter Russell Mead has really been nailing Gore on substance, or lack of it. If you need someone to lead you into a ditch, Al Gore’s your man.

            It must be as perplexing to his many admirers as it is frustrating to himself that a man of Vice President Gore’s many talents, great skills and strong beliefs is one of the most consistent losers in American politics.

            “All political careers end in failure,” said Enoch Powell; Gore has not won an election on his own since his 1990 re-election to the Senate from Tennessee. His 1988 presidential bid ended well short of the nomination. Many observers felt Gore was headed for defeat in a third Senate campaign as the south continued to swing Republican; Clinton’s offer of the vice presidential slot in 1992 gave Gore the opportunity to reach a national audience as his home state cooled. On his own again in 2000, gifted by the departing Clinton with the most bubbliciously expanding economy in American history and a comfortable budget surplus, and insulated from the innuendo and scandal of the Clinton White House by his still-vibrant marriage, he found the elusive road to defeat against a flawed and inexperienced challenger. Tennessee voted for Bush; Florida or no Florida Gore would have gone to the White House if those who knew him longest and best had rallied to his support.

            Once out of office, he assumed the leadership of the global green movement, steering that movement into a tsunami of defeat that, when the debris is finally cleared away, will loom as one of the greatest failures of civil society in all time.

            Gore has the Midas touch in reverse; objects of great value (Nobel prizes, Oscars) turn dull and leaden at his touch. Few celebrity cause leaders have had more or better publicity than Gore has had for his climate advocacy. Hailed by the world press, lionized by the entertainment community and the Global Assemblage of the Great and the Good as incarnated in the Nobel Peace Prize committee, he has nevertheless seen the movement he led flounder from one inglorious defeat to the next. The most recent, failed global climate meeting passed almost unnoticed last week in Bonn; the world has turned its eyes away from the expiring anguish of the Copenhagen agenda.

            The state of the global green movement is shambolic…

            That’s from Part One. See also parts 2 & 3…Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to tom van dyke says:

              And he’s fat.Report

              • Besides his saying so, nothing — nothing — about WRM’s work would imply that he’s anything but a standard-issue Village Republican.Report

              • Elias, it’s you who has convinced me to abandon all attempts at lingua franca. This blog has been an experiment and study for me, as if I give a hoot about winning a debate with a sophist or convincing someone to vote as I do.

                ‘Twas you the Elias I was interested in, from our first go-round about your graduate studies at a certain prestigious university. Both you & I sign our names to our colloquies, which alone elevates them far above those of the pseudonyminists, who, between you and me, can go fuck themselves unless they say something interesting, which they seldom do. [Unless they fear for their academic careers, and youknowwhatI’mtalkinbout.]

                And so, I wrote that Walter Russell Mead is a Democrat for you and here you are. My faith in you abounds because you read carefully and see through every word. It’s a blessing and a curse, but I’ll go with blessing. Here’s to you, mate.Report

              • Tom, did not mean to have my WRM comment be seen as an accusation of you or anything like that. My chiming in has much more to do with my having a somewhat petty little grudge with WRM for what I think is to a degree false advertising. Hope you don’t think I’m patrolling you or anything like that.Report

              • Koz in reply to Elias Isquith says:

                Come on Elias, every once in a while people figure stuff out. At some time in medium-term future, I actually see you in more or less the same place WRM is (and you’ll still be good bit younger than he is now). When that happens, I trust you won’t be falsely advertising.Report

              • I understand, Elias. It’s like when they call Excitable Andy Sullivan a conservative. WTF?

                But I do realize now—and it’s really been my question here—that speaking the other fellow’s language, or even using a colorless neutrality, is useless. I shall speak English from now on and not leftese out of courtesy for the sensibilities of leftists as they have none. If they can’t speak the language of reality, that’s their problem.

                And I do share Mr. Koz’ hope for you. 😉

                As for WRM hisself, he says he’s a Democrat and that he voted for Obama. That will do. The old TVD would have not mentioned it out of courtesy—and it’s indeed irrelevant to his content—but courtesy is unrequited in these things. And calling him a “GOP operative” is a tactic of sophistry and delegitimization, and shows the writer to be unconcerned with truth or reality.Report

    • RTod in reply to Will Truman says:

      Will – I have to say that your not only picking a winner but going out and calling the score, is a damn bold and shows – dare I say – Jordan-esque game.Report

  12. North says:

    Romney at the top. I have no clue for the Veep and it will probably depend on the lay of the political land, someone fiesty if Romney is greeted with revolt in the base, otherwise someone safe if the TP etc fall in line.
    I’d say if unemployment stays where it’s at or falls Obama’s got even to slightly better than even odds re-election depending heavily on how things go in the next couple of battles he fights (or doesn’t fight). If there’s a market disruption or unemployment increases or surges then I’d give Romney decent odds of tipping Obama out.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to North says:

      It’s also possible that the TP will claim any non-squish as “their own” and represent their record as being wildly different than what it is. Which is, in my view, exactly how the current Sarah Palin was manufactured.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

        I rather expect that Ron Paul is going to do some damage this time.

        And by “damage”, I mean “cause questions to be asked that would never, ever, have been asked in 2004 or 2008.”Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

          If Paul were a little bit younger, I would think that he should move to Idaho or Montana, where he could pick up a senate seat (Idaho may not have a vacancy for a while, though). He could do a bit more damage in the Senate than he does in the House.Report

        • dexter in reply to Jaybird says:

          Jaybird, which questions are you referring to? I don’t know much about Mr. Paul except, I think, that he wants out our foreign adventures. Any information you give will be appreciated.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to dexter says:

            He’s likely to ask questions about Afghanistan and/or Iraq (and/or Syria) of the form “what in the sam hill are we doing there???” or questions about PATRIOT or questions about getting one’s junk shook by the TSA when flying from Tulsa to Cleveland… and these questions will get applause that they *NEVER* would have gotten even 4 short years ago. Or three. Whatever.Report

            • dexter in reply to Jaybird says:

              Jaybird, Those are things I agree with wholeheartedly and already knew. I am strongly in favor of lessening our reliance on force in most places. Would you be kind enough to suprise this lefty with something else about the man I might like?Report

              • James K in reply to dexter says:

                I’m pretty sure he opposes federal prohibitions on marijuana.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to dexter says:

                I don’t think that there’s much more to “like” about the guy. He disagreed with the decision of Lawrence v. Texas, if I recall correctly, because criminal law ought to be left to the states.

                Check him out here:

                He’s a social conservative. There’s much in tension between those and libertarians. With that said, there’s much more common ground between a libertarian who believes in limited government power and a social conservative who believes in limited government power than between a libertarians who believes in limited government power and a liberal who believes in a government powerful enough to provide social outcomes that you’d think that the libertarian would like.Report

              • tom van dyke in reply to Jaybird says:

                Elegant and principled constitutional argument by Ron Paul there. I have new appreciation for him.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to tom van dyke says:

                He needs to read the 9th Amendment.

                He also needs to read the last 4 words of the 10th Amendment again, until they sink in.Report

              • tom van dyke in reply to Jaybird says:

                Paul’s argument explicitly cites the 9th Amendment. And the 10th. The 10th does not get the federal gov’t in between the states and the people. That’s the whole point.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Where did he cite the 9th in there?

                He specifically denies or disparages rights retained by the people using the enumeration of rights in the Constitution.

                The 10th does not get the federal gov’t in between the states and the people.

                If rights are retained by the people, saying that they’re retained by the state does not give you the power to deny rights retained by the people.

                Even if you do think that you have every right to know what they do behind their closed doors.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                It’s not exactly surprising to find Ron Paul unsympathetic to the right to be gay. (It’s ok TO QUOE cATO, RIGHT?)Report

              • tom van dyke in reply to Jaybird says:

                Clearly you disagree, but I don’t think you’re getting Paul’s argument, JB.

                “There are, however, states’ rights — rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards.”

                4 of the 5 majority on the court used incorporating the 14th against the states to obviate Paul’s argument on the 9th & 10th, via “substantive due process”. But that’s a separate argument. No 14th and the principle of “incorporation,” no basis for Lawrence.

                see also


                And Justice O’Connor, who argued Bowers was correctly decided [states can ban sodomy], but since at issue in Lawrence were banned sexual acts that were legal between heterosexuals but not homosexuals, the unconstitutionality was in a violation of the Equal Protection clause of 14A.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to tom van dyke says:

                He didn’t “cite” the Ninth.

                Citing the Ninth would have resulted in something like saying “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

                By talking about the Ninth with regards to the States, he is ignoring what the Ninth actually says… and doubly so when he goes on to talk about the absence of a Right to Privacy.

                I say again: He needs to read the 9th. Not just appeal to it.Report

              • tom van dyke in reply to Jaybird says:

                Ron Paul isn’t a “living constitutionalist,” which you have to be to create a “right” to sodomy. When the 9th Amendment was ratified, the power of “the people” to illegalize sodomy was not in question. [Or else the ratification of 9A would have immediately nullified existing state sodomy laws.]

                The 9th was a limit on the federal government inserting itself into such questions. “The people” in 9A isn’t just about individual rights.

                I was skeptical of the usually facile Sandra Day O’Connor to be able to reconcile her opinions in Bowers and then Lawrence. Upon further review, I favor her reasoning over Paul/Scalia’s and the “living constitutionalists’.”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                You don’t have to be a living constitutionalist to forbear from denying or disparaging rights retained by the people by mentioning the enumerated rights in the Constitution.

                You just have to be someone who has read it and does what the 9th says.Report

            • David Cheatham in reply to Jaybird says:

              He already asked about the drug war’s point, and said we should legalize _heroin_, and got applause for it, despite the talking heads on TV pretending it was some huge gaff. (Here’s a hint: When the audience breaks into random cheering, it probably wasn’t a ‘gaff’. You idiots in the media can pretend that normal people couldn’t possible hold such ideas, but as they clearly _do_, it’s not going to work. This was a Republican debate, not a meeting of NORML.)

              But here’s the fun possibility:
              Ever since Obama got elected, the media has been moving from crazy person to crazy person letting them sprout whatever nonsense they wanted. Because it gets them ratings, you see. Eventually they’re run out of semi-attractive semi-young crazy women and move on to other people, and they’re probably going to think Paul is the same sort of crazy person, and do the same with him.

              However, Paul is not, strictly speaking, ‘crazy’. Nor is he stupid. He’s got a lot of weird ideas, but he also has exactly the sort of sane, normal ideas that no one in Washington will ask, but the vast majority of Americans will say ‘Yeah, what about that? Why _are_ we bombing those people again? And locking these other people up for smoking pot? Isn’t this expensive?’

              They will then go on to ask ‘Why can’t we pay teachers instead?’, while Paul will ask ‘Why can’t we reduce taxes instead?’, but that really doesn’t matter. Like I said, Paul isn’t stupid.

              He’ll eventually get asked some question that blows up in his face and makes him unelectable, (Or someone will just track down something he already said.) but until then, he’s going to be asking a lot of questions that other candidates would rather he didn’t.

              And, because of the fact the media has escaped the control of the GOP, I’m not entirely sure they’ll drop him at that point, if he’s getting them ratings! If Paul ends up being treated like _Palin_ is currently being treated, oh, wow. Imagine a _non-idiot_ in that position, with a hatful of incredibly popular ideas that Washington won’t consider.Report

            • North in reply to Jaybird says:

              Well let’s hope so Jaybird.Report

      • The “current Sarah Palin” is Barack Obama, WT. Centrist, neo-liberal, progressive, post-partisan, hope, change, you name it, he’s yr man. That was ’08.

        Meme 2.0, 2012 is this:

        Moderates—Vote Obama! He’s a centrist! Beware the far-right Christianist grandma killers!

        Progressives—Vote Obama! He’s a crappy president because he’s a centrist, but he’s all we got! Beware the far-right Christianist grandma killers!

        Hey, it might work, and Obama 1.0 sure ain’t gonna fly.Report

      • North in reply to Will Truman says:

        Yes Will, I can see that. In my scenario claiming them as their own counts as falling into line.Report

  13. Jesse Ewiak says:

    Romney/Bachmann if Perry stays out of the race, Perry/Pawlently if Perry gets in. Obama wins by slightly less than he did in ’08 against Romney, and wins everything outside of the Mountain West and the South if Perry is the nominee.

    R’s barely hold on to the House, D’s lose a couple, but barely hang on to the Senate. Nothing much else gets done for 2013-2015.Report

  14. Order of likelihood:

    1. Romney/Perry – lose by 2
    2. Romney/Perry – win by 4
    3. Perry/Pawlenty – lose by 5
    4. Romney/Bachmann – lose by 3Report

    • In retrospect, I think it’s likely that the VP choice will be someone currently in the Congress who is not going to be in the race. Someone from one of the “big 3” toss-ups: OH, FL, PA.

      Nikki Haley is a darkhorse, too.Report

  15. James K says:

    Since I’m an economist and a statistician I can’t give a straight answer to anything, so I’m going to do this by probabilities:
    1) 70% chance of a Romney / Pawlenty or Huntsman ticket. I give Obama a 60% chance of winning in this scenario.

    2) 10% chance of Bachman / Cain or Cain / Bachman ticket. I give Obama a 95% chance of winning in this scenario.

    3) 10% chance of a Johnson / Paul ticket. I give Obama a 40% chance of winning in this scenario.

    4) 10% chance of some other candidate being nominated (I’m not informed enough to get into more detail). I give Obama a 50% chance of winning in this scenario.Report

    • Elias Isquith in reply to James K says:

      You really think a Johnson/Paul ticket would be the favorite?Report

      • James K in reply to Elias Isquith says:

        I think Johnson has more centrist appeal, though in retrospect I should have had it as Johnson / Paul or Paul / JohnsonReport

      • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Elias Isquith says:

        Libertarian-leaninh types tend to think Americans actually want smaller government. Americans don’t want smaller government. They want their taxes low, but to lose none of their goodies. Sure, take benefits away from Those People, but God forbid you take away their tax deduction for their health insurance or their mortgage.

        In other words, Paul or Johnson would poll well until American’s find out that they actually want a smaller government.Report

    • Pat Cahalan in reply to James K says:

      > 3) 10% chance of a Johnson / Paul ticket. I give
      > Obama a 40% chance of winning in this scenario.

      I find this observation fascinating. I’m not sure what I think about it, yet, though.Report

  16. Michael Drew says:

    The head says Obama loses, but the gut says he wins. But the gut also says over the next twelve months the gut reconciles itself to what the head is saying, and the head keeps saying Obama loses. All assuming an electable nominee.

    Go Bachmann!Report

  17. Robert Cheeks says:

    Bubba’s butt-boy, James Carville was right when he once pontificated, “It’s the economy, stupid!”
    Being old school, I really can’t argue with that. Barry will be re-elected if his commie/statist policies pull the country out of it’s first depression in seventy years or so. If not, Michelle Bachman’s maid can win if she decides to run. So, Ima guessin’:
    Pres: Michelle, Pawlenty, as pres and vice-pres, and Ron Paul will be named SecTres and as a result of his efforts the stupid American public will wonder why they didn’t elect this rather brilliant dude twenty years earlier.
    Alternate scenerio: Tea Party splits from Neocon/RINO GOP, forms third party, Barry wins easily, and is able to finish destroying the country in his second term.
    In any case, buy guns and ammo.Report

    • Koz in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

      Bob, Bachmann and Pawlenty can’t be on the same ticket.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Koz says:

        Well, technically they could, if they’re willing to throw away Minnesota’s electoral votes. (and of the last 20 prez elections, Republicans have won the state only 3 times, and Nixon was on the ticket each time)Report

        • tom van dyke in reply to Kolohe says:

          Mr. Koz was citing an obscure clause from the 12th Amendment, Mr. Kolohe. No dis intended toward thee—it is obscure. It serves more as a symbol and reminder of federalism than a necessity for the preservation of the republic. One state should not rule us all.

          And so, I like it. Accordingly, I like the electoral college even more. 😉Report

  18. I’m kind of shocked at how little chance everyone is giving Huntsman over Romney. I think when you compare them the only plus Romney has is name recognition. Huntsman on the other hand is a whiz on foreign policy, has the same executive experience (and no Romneycare to get hung with) and seems much more genuine when interviewed. I see him as a much more viable candidate for the establishment unless they just want to pull a Dole and sacrafice Romney this year to clear the way for the young guns in 2016.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

      I think when you compare them the only plus Romney has is name recognition. Huntsman on the other hand is a whiz on foreign policy, has the same executive experience[…] and seems much more genuine when interviewed.

      OK, but is he someone you’d like to have a beer with?Report

    • Chris_H in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

      Huntsman’s not even *trying* to get the super-conservative vote. Romney’s tried hard year after year to look conservative, and I think it’s paid off. He may look moderate to the general public, but I think that image is more conservative to GOP activists. I mean, Huntsman worked for Obama — it’s that simple.

      Besides, no one cares about foreign policy in the GOP right now. It’s all taxes and the size of government, even though both have gone down.Report

      • Chris H,

        I don’t think anyone on the Right will see an ambassadorship under Obama as a bad thing – especially when he’s now trying to get his job. Remember how much we liked Zell Miller and Lieberman at the 2004 and 2008 conventions? Also, Hunstman has a lot to say about how China affects US economic policy and that is huge right now.Report

        • Chris_H in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

          Yeah, but the Zell Miller and Lieberman stuff is different. Mainly, they’re despised by their parties so they parlayed that anti-popularity to curry favor with the opposing party. They were liked because GOP voters eat up the “politics of resentment” stuff — if it pisses off liberals then it must be awesome.

          Huntsman on the other hand is a moderate GOP guy who cements his moderate-ness by being picked by the Obama administration. I don’t disagree that the guy’s smart and would be an awesome pick; he just can’t win primaries when activists are focused more on ideological purity over thoughtful policy.Report

    • Mike, is it not relevant that Huntsman can’t even make the needle twitch on plls for Iowa and New Hampshire? Let alone nationally?
      On the merits I think Huntsman is much better than Romney. But he has to get the nomination first. What on earth makes you think the GOP primary voters are even considering him?Report

      • North,

        Well I acknowledged the lack of name recognition – and I also agree that Huntsman has a lot of work to do – but so did Obama in 2007. Huntsman has the money to get his name out there IF he plays it right. Let’s remember that the technology tools at the disposal of these campaigns can change things quickly. I realize it’s a longshot but I think he can still pull it off. Also, there are a lot of folks like myself among the GOP primary voters that have basically become Independents but have’t changed our party affiliation. We’re going to have a voice in the primaries and in some places like NH that might be a loud voice.Report

        • Well I wish him the best (though he’d probably be the biggest threat to Obama of the lot). It’d be good for the country if he got the nod. I just ain’t gonna hold my breath.Report

        • Koz in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

          I can’t see much rationale for Huntsman. He’s a poorer candidate than Romney, among other things because Romney’s track record outside of government is so much better.

          Gary Johnson and Ron Paul have constituencies. Huntsman doesn’t.

          The Frum crowd (and yourself as well) would like to support Huntsman, but I think that’s contingent upon him being a frontrunner, and he’s not.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Mike at The Big Stick says:

      The latest Time Magazine cover displays the election as a bracket battle between insiders and outsiders. It puts Newt on the same side as Romney and Huntsman. I think it completely misses the dynamics of a Republican primary season. There are two brackets, top Conservative and top Moderate. Then those two fight it out.

      1980 Reagan (C) vs. Bush (M)
      1988 Bush (M) vs. Kemp (C)
      1992 Bush (M) vs. Buchanan (C)
      1996 Dole (M) vs. Buchanan (C)
      2000 Bush (C) vs. McCain (M)

      In 2008 all three top candidates made a claim for conservatism and moderation. It never really jelled.

      So, this time it’s going to be Romney – Huntsman – Pawlenty in a battle for top Moderate, and the others fighting to be top Conservative. If Perry enters the race, he’s top Conservative fighting against R -H – P.

      I can analyze the heck out of campaigns, but I rarely guess the results correctly. I think that Perry’s the conservative most palatable to moderates, and Pawlenty’s the moderate most palatable to Tea Partiers. I also think that neither of them could go wrong with a retired general and CIA chief as a running mate.Report

  19. Katherine says:

    Romney will be the Republican nominee; I have no doubts about that. The Republican winner-takes-all primary system means that the person who can win states like New York, Florida and California will get the nomination – and they’ll take a principleless hypocrite over a kook like Bachmann.

    Will he win the election? I deeply hope not, but there’s a chance. I think the odds are towards Obama getting re-elected though.Report

  20. Mike Schilling says:

    It’s not exactly surprising to find Ron Paul unsympathetic to the right to be gay. (It’s OK to quote Cato, right?)Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      The rumor I heard was that Rothbard wrote those particular columns… which is why Rockwell didn’t cop to writing them and, since the dude’s dead, why Paul didn’t roll over on him.

      Which sucks because I really like Rothbard.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        I heard Rockwell, but yours make more sense. Either way

        1. “I had no idea what was being written in my name for decades” is pretty weak stuff.
        2. The New Deal was incredibly popular among the lower and working classes in the South. It is not a coincidence that the federal government suddenly became a tyranny there at the same time as the Civil and Voting Rights Acts. Whoever wrote those columns knew his audience.Report

  21. Steven Donegal says:

    Obama-Biden will cruise to re-election in 2012 over Romney-Bachman. The Republicans will immediately assert that Obama is a lame duck and that he should take no actions that will bind the president to be elected in 2016. The Senate will not be able to muster 60 votes for anything, the government will shut down and we will all discover what life in a libertarian paradise is like.Report

    • Mr. Donegal, BHO’s been a lame duck since his election, refusing to lead, squandering his congressional majority, and now doomed to fighting an opposition congress.

      Which fits the community organizer personality, speaking truth to power and all. He is the power! He is the truth! Speak!

      The cognitive dissonance is so great that all he can do is bleat against himself. I hate to be cynical about the judgment of the American people, but this will probably win him re-election.

      Actually, I’m not cynical about the American people. If we re-elect Barack Hoover Obama, it’ll be because the alternatives are even more frightening. I think a weak and neutered chief executive who is young, thin and black is like totally cool as the figurehead of the American state.

      To the substance, such as it is:

      Romney/Bachmann is McCain/Palin, Part Deux.

      Altho superior in all respects, top and bottom and in between, this here GOPer has been there done that and so has the GOP. McCain’s first exec decision was to pick an underqualified running mate. BHO’s first exec decision was to pick a qualified running mate.

      I have no squabble on any vote in 2008 based on that evidence alone.Report

  22. Herb says:

    “I think a weak and neutered chief executive who is young, thin and black is like totally cool as the figurehead of the American state. ”

    While Obama is indeed thin and black, I’m not sure you should be so sure about the weak and neutered stuff.

    The GOP is playing a very weak hand against a guy with an excellent poker face. My advise is don’t go all in. Just fold, man. Just fold.Report

    • tom van dyke in reply to Herb says:

      Heh, Brother “Herb.” The GOP does not fold to BHO, it calls. Put up or shut up.Report

      • Herb in reply to tom van dyke says:

        Call on a weak hand, Tom, and see how far it gets you…

        Besides, the GOP isn’t calling the president. They’re raising him. And what’s worse, they’re bluffing. They don’t have a winning hand yet, but they keep betting like the river card is going to close their inside straight.

        I always invite players like that to my table games. It’s easy to win their money.Report

        • North in reply to Herb says:

          But you’re not playing them Herb. Obama is; and he’s acquired for himself a reputation (possibly undeserved) for folding when faced with frenetic raising (and I’ve now exhausted my knowledge of poker).Report

          • Plinko in reply to North says:

            When faced with a ‘maniac’ (ie a reckless raiser), I believe the generally accepted best strategy is to go super tight until you have a surefire winner and then take the maniac for every dollar.
            Not saying the whole political/poker analogy is actually apt, but if you take those givens, then Obama is doing exactly the right thing, politically.Report

            • Pat Cahalan in reply to Plinko says:

              > I believe the generally accepted best strategy
              > is to go super tight until you have a surefire
              > winner and then take the maniac for every dollar.


              You can’t call every bet, the maniac can get lucky and wipe you out. But the maniac is irrepressible, and if you wait long enough you’ll get the nut hand when they have the second-best hand and they’ll murder themselves for you.

              Works except in tournament play. In a tourney, battlefields can be forced upon you. Also: can be dicey when you have multiple maniacs at the same table, or when you have a shark masquerading as a maniac.Report

              • North in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

                Pat, you and Plinko are of course correct. The problem is that the serial compromiser and the cold blooded strategist are almost impossible to tell apart up until the latter defenestrates his overreaching opponent.Report

              • Pat Cahalan in reply to North says:

                Yes. This is where the poker analogy to political strategy breaks down completely and becomes useless.

                Sooner or later, in poker, you have to show your cards to some other guy in order to take the rest of his money, and your cards have to beat his cards by the rules of the game to win. Nobody folds out with their last dollar in the pot (assuming table stakes, which is just about the only thing anybody plays anymore).

                In politics, it’s not entirely about forcing your opponent to go all-in on the sucker hand, because the hands are judged by public opinion, which is affected by narrative.

                It’s actually possible to have the showdown in politics and have both sides think that hand A lost to hand B, but they don’t get to decide, the gallery does. And the gallery is a odd duck, and can vote hand B the winner.

                Let’s say the GOP actually sticks to its guns, and the Dems stick to their guns, and the debt ceiling vote deadline passes with no resolution.

                Whose hand “wins”, when it comes to political capital in 2012? Fished if I know.Report

              • Herb in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

                “the maniac can get lucky and wipe you out. ”

                Poker is not a game of luck. A player with any skill will not allow themselves to get wiped out by a maniac. Instead, they’ll fold and fold and fold and then when the maniac does something stupid –and he will– the skilled player will pounce.

                Advantage: Shark.

                Disadvantage: Fish who thought he could cruise on luck

                Also, if we’re going to apply this metaphor correctly, we can’t introduce this “public opinion” canard. In poker, the cards speak.

                In life, results do.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Herb says:

                Ain’t nothin’ funner than runner-runner.Report

              • Pat Cahalan in reply to Herb says:

                > Instead, they’ll fold and fold and
                > fold and then when the maniac
                > does something stupid –and he
                > will– the skilled player will pounce.

                This strategy will indeed result in you walking home most nights with more money in your pocket then you had when you went to the game. That’s not why most people play poker, though.

                And you can’t necessarily grind in a tournament. But that’s an aside.

                > Also, if we’re going to apply this
                > metaphor correctly, we can’t
                > introduce this “public opinion”
                > canard. In poker, the cards speak.
                > In life, results do.

                Well, that’s why the metaphor doesn’t work. Because public opinion matters in real life, m’man.

                Results are in the eyes of the beholders. And the beholders have a group think that doesn’t match my think or your think or even, in every case, objective reality.Report

              • RTod in reply to Herb says:

                “Well, that’s why the metaphor doesn’t work. Because public opinion matters in real life, m’man.”

                Very, very true. I’m old enough that I remember the fed shutdown back in the Clinton administration. The truth is neither side budged in the budget negotiations, and both the Rs and the Ds were equally guilty of both the shutdown and the negative consequences that followed.

                But only one side stated publicly that they welcomed a shutdown, and promised that everyone would love it when the shutdown happened.

                When the shutdown happened and everyone hated it, guess which side got blamed entirely, and then took it in the shorts in the next election?

                Both sides were to blame, but one side took all of it.Report

          • Herb in reply to North says:

            Tell that to Osama Bin Laden and if you can’t find him at the bottom of the sea, look for Donald Trump.Report

          • North in reply to North says:

            Yes well I support the man, if unentheusiastically, so I hope you’re right. We’ll see soon enough I imagine.Report

            • Herb in reply to North says:

              I’ve been tempted to consider Obama a lightweight, too –considering that he’s said he’s gonna dance and has ended up playing the rope-a-dope– but the guy’s win-loss record speaks for itself.

              The only person to go against him and win has been Bobby Rush and that was a decade ago. Maybe that just means he’s set up for a fall. Or maybe it means that the guy is a formidable opponent.

              The GOP would be wise to consider him the latter.Report

  23. Pat Cahalan says:

    Okay, it’s not fair for me to not weigh in on this sucker, on account o’ what Jaybird said – everybody should be able to point at this thread and laugh about how dumb we all were/are.

    So, collection of observations:

    Will’s comment #36:

    > Obama/Biden 293, Romney/X 245. It’ll be close, but
    > (informally) called pretty early when it’s determined
    > that Romney winning every state but California,
    > Washington, and Oregon won’t get him over the top.

    I think this is the most likely scenario at the moment upon which to issue a wager. Not sure about his numbers, though. If I had to bet, it’d be on Obama/Biden beating Romney/X. 15 points to Will.

    However, I think Jaybird has the hedge right, in that Romney nets the VP instead of the top ticket. But since he doesn’t bet on who takes the top slot, and since I have no fishing idea who it would be either at this point, I can’t throw it out there as it’s too unformed of a scenario. 8 points to Jaybird.

    Tom’s comment #77:

    > Moderates—Vote Obama! He’s a centrist! Beware
    > the far-right Christianist grandma killers!
    > Progressives—Vote Obama! He’s a crappy president
    > because he’s a centrist, but he’s all we got! Beware
    > the far-right Christianist grandma killers!

    Yes, I’d say that’s a spot-on prediction of how the left is going to sell itself on their own Presidential ticket. 10 points to Tom.

    Bob’s comment #87:

    > Bubba’s butt-boy, James Carville was right when he
    > once pontificated, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

    Aside from the butt-boy aside, this is definitely how the right is going to sell its Presidential ticket to *everybody*. The question is, will it work? The Right is going to claim the economy is all Obama’s fault, and the Left is going to trot out what Tom said, and point at there *not* being an actual Depression as evidence of success. The question is: are the independents and swing voters going to swing? 10 points to Bob.

    RTod’s comment #22:

    I don’t entirely credit his first paragraph, for the same reason I can’t give JB credit for picking “amorphous somebody” for the top of the ticket. However, I think his second paragraph is winnable. 25 points for the second paragraph, -5 for the first.

    Barring major economic crash in the next year, my guess is that the swing voters believe that a not-continuing-to-be-failing-economy qualifies as a “better economy” just like they believed that a not-continuing-to-have-terrorist-attacks President qualifies as winning on the war on Terrah when they re-elected Dubya.

    In other words: everything is crap, but crap is getting slightly better and we’d rather keep on with slightly less crap than turn this ship around at this point. Ergo, Obama wins.

    About the only way this goes sour is if there is another economic crisis, which certainly is within the realm of possibility. But it can’t be an esoteric failure, it has to be up front and center on the unsophisticated voter’s radar. The only way this comes about is if there’s a major international issue (Greece alone isn’t going to cut it), or if something at home comes straight to the chicken fight and nobody pulls out, like the debt ceiling fight.

    If the debt ceiling war ends in default, the Democrats will try to burn the GOP down for making it happen. I’d bet that they could sell that, but the Democrats are also en masse politically risk-adverse and I don’t see that happening. If the GOP continues to stonewall on the tax issue, I see the Democrats caving, which gives them an out… if the economy does crater then, they can point their fingers at the GOP and blame them for “cutting taxes on the rich” and “slashing all the programs that benefit the middle class”.

    And I bet that will work, if it comes to that.

    Basically, what I see right now is that the GOP is selling itself to itself, and the Democrats are selling themselves as not-GOP to the center. I think that results in a winning edge for Obama in 2012.Report

    • RTod in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

      Pat, dude, you’re leaving us hanging… You take points from JB and I for not naming names in the GOP, and then you go and not name names?

      This line, though, is the best & most succinct way I’ve heard this thought put yet:

      “Basically, what I see right now is that the GOP is selling itself to itself, and the Democrats are selling themselves as not-GOP to the center”Report

      • Jaybird in reply to RTod says:

        Hey! I got 8 points!Report

      • Pat Cahalan in reply to RTod says:

        That’s why I defaulted to Will’s call, RTod.

        I can’t fault you guys for not knowing what I can’t see either, but out of all the predictions on the thread that name names, I think Will’s is the closest to a usable prediction.Report

      • North in reply to RTod says:

        “Basically, what I see right now is that the GOP is selling itself to itself, and the Democrats are selling themselves as not-GOP to the center”

        This is the big theme the Dems have been peddling for a while it seems to me. Consider the debt fight for instance. Obama et all have very publicly agreed to all kinds of spending cuts but are yelling loudly that the GOP won’t raise revenue by so much as a dime; not even to eliminate even some egrigarious and distortionary tax loopholes. That plays right into the theme of Obama et all being the adults in the room.Report

        • Pat Cahalan in reply to North says:

          > This is the big theme the Dems have been peddling
          > for a while it seems to me.

          Oh, before Koz accuses me of being a lefty again, I’ll fess up that I don’t buy for one second that the Dems actually are best described as the “not-GOP” for the center.

          As far as the center is concerned, I think both political parties can really be best described as “out for our own agendas and screw the center whenever we can get away with it.”

          But I do think that the Dems have done a better job of maintaining the “not-GOP is better for you, middle!” mantra for the last two years. It helps that the media has portrayed the GOP as listing Bachmann and Palin as serious contenders.

          It’s easy to say, “Look, we’re Not Them, and They are Worse for YOU!” when They are easily characterized by the bozos in their group. Whether or not it’s a fair or true characterization isn’t really all that relevant.Report