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      Back in 1968 the book “Limits to Growth” stormed the world. Computer models predicted that humans would run out of almost every resource, overshoot carying capacity, then crash. It was well known and widely discussed and combined with the oil crashes, made the 70s a ferment of practical and theoretical work on alternative energy, different ways of farming an […]
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Sunday: It’s not Republicans I’m worried about

Premature empoppulation?

Paul Krugman writes a post about the Republican party, which seems to be churning out more and more unorthodox candidates as it searches desperately for the magic bullet.  He mocks Pawlenty’s opposition to fiat currencies.  In general, the post sounds like a lot of left blogosphere types who are counting on Republicans to be so messed up that they turn off the electorate.

But that’s because lefties tend to ignore human nature, including their own.

There is a lot of economic pressure on Americans right now and I’m betting that many of them will swap something they hold dear for immediate relief of stress.  By the time the 2012 election rolls around, the Great Recession will be four years old and many families will be ruined by joblessness, no health benefits and foreclosure.  I have no doubt that Republicans WANT it that way.  They are going to keep Obama’s minimal accomplishments to even more of a minimum.  Obama, in turn, is cooperating because as the master strategist he was reported to be, he isn’t.  And he doesn’t use the bully pulpit well either.  Oh, and he hasn’t ended the wars, created a jobs program, truly reformed health care, equalized pay between the sexes, enforced the suspension of DADT or any of the other things he said he did that he really didn’t but thinks we aren’t paying attention to call him on it.

We’re paying attention.

Nevertheless, Republicans have a weird way of rallying the troops.  I wouldn’t count them out. My gut feeling is that voters who tend to go Republican are itching for an alternative to Obama.  What I see happening is that the coalition that Obama cobbled together in 2008 isn’t going to hold together.  I’ve read many posts on  the web that suggest that AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka was just bluffing on Friday when he promised to create an independent labor movement.  It was more of the “where else are you going to go?” crap.  If I were Democrats, I’d take Trumka’s threat more seriously because there are a lot of working people who are disgusted with both parties right now.  And Democrats only have to look to Canada to see how the next election may play out if Democrats continue to leave so many voters on the table.

Democrats have learned nothing from Jon Corzine’s defeat to Chris Christie, Martha Coakley’s defeat by Scott Brown  and Blanche Lincoln’s primary struggle.  It wasn’t a sudden last minute increase in the number of Republicans to the polls that did these lukewarm Democrats in.  It was adherence to a party line that didn’t accommodate the base.  Republicans didn’t turn out so much as Democrats stayed home.  Those elections were warnings to Democrats that they are not heeding.

If I were the Democrats, I wouldn’t be nuking the popcorn yet.