It's been written before: The Obama team seems to think 2012 will take care of itself, as long as they burnish that shining Obama "brand," which requires reaching out to Republicans and independents and ignoring the pesky left, with its old culture-war grudges and its subversive demand for greater economic fairness. I've heard some smart folks speculate that the White House may even welcome a Republican takeover, the better to "let Obama be Obama," and continue to play out his fantasy of being a Democratic Ronald Reagan, creating a generation of what he used to call "Obamacans" and realigning politics for his lifetime.
If anyone in the White House still believes that, they are delusional. If Republicans win back the House, they will tie up the president in subpoenas and bogus investigations faster than you can say Darrell Issa. The president hasn't created "Obamacans"; instead he's created a phenomenon best described as "Obamacan't." And still he cozies up to Republicans like Alan Simpson, who's determined to slash Social Security and its "310,000,000 tits" (in how many ways was Simpson's statement wrong? Probably close to 310 million). And the problem with Obama's milquetoast approach to the economy isn't just political: If Republicans get to reverse or obstruct the Democrats' inadequate but promising steps forward on healthcare and financial reform, while slashing government spending and extending the disastrous Bush tax cuts, we may yet see an economic collapse to rival the Great Depression -- the one that an earlier generation of brave and visionary Democrats vowed would never happen again.If? Then they are delusional? Joan Walsh, they are delusional. What are you waiting on to make that call?
Americans are desperate about the economy, Americans need jobs and Barack Obama is focusing on foreign policy (first with the Iraq speech he gave tonight and then on to the Middle East). Does he really think the unemployment rate can continue and he can have a second term? Yes, he does. That is why he is delusional.
The reality is that all Mr. Obama ever had was confidence. It was the confidence of the insane. He still has the insanity, he still carries himself with that confidence but the confidence game does not play like it used to, the con game is not one he can pull off any longer.
Yes, Ms. Walsh and his team are.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today: