Monday, April 18, 2011

Contemplating a GOP win of the White House in 2012 and the dark days that would follow

My first serious attempt at political prognostication came in 1974 when I announced to anyone who would listen that Richard Nixon would never resign the presidency. Since then I have tried not to take my own opinions too seriously when it comes to what is going to happen in politics or in elections. I still offer predictions, it's just that I know what they are worth.

Like many people, I think Obama will retain the presidency in 2012, especially given the cast of misfits the Republicans are intent on putting forward for the nomination. But I do know that strange things can happen in elections, and it is worth contemplating the cost of losing the next one for Democrats and for the country as a whole.

Helpfully, Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Ali Weinberg at NBC offer the following appraisal:

So much for the idea that the 2012 presidential election wouldn't live up to its predecessors. While the 2012 presidential election won't feature the historic candidacies that 2008 did, and while we don't know yet whether it will be as close as the ones in '00 and '04 were, there will be so much riding on it. For starters, it could decide the future of the U.S. safety net and the basic role of government (a GOP win would make passage of Paul Ryan's budget plan much more realistic). It will determine what happens to the Bush tax cuts (an Obama win would probably end the tax cuts for the wealthy, while a Republican win would probably extend them). It could decide the fate of the health-care law (though the Supreme Court could do that next year). And it could very well determine the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court (the winner could potentially fill two or three SCOTUS vacancies). All presidential elections have plenty at stake, but this one could have more than many realize.

We know all of this. It's just sobering to have someone compile it in one place.

Like I said, this one is Obama's to lose and I do think it is unlikely that he will, though I can still see Richard Nixon waving from the open doors of that helicopter soon to fly away from the White House forever.

Put more positively, progressives everywhere really want to make sure we win this one.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost)

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