Looking into the Cloudy Ball
Tax day is a day when all Americans are reminded about the importance of politics and think about the importance of the political future so they can adjust their budgets accordingly. Most of the time in politics we have a reasonably good idea of what’s going on: what the issues are going to be, who the favorites in the next election are, who are the main blocs, etc. Of course, there are always surprises and upsets.
But right now, there are no favorites. It’s a time when the voters hate everyone and everything in politics. People want something different but have no clue what that something is. Who their disgust will fall heaviest one is almost impossible to guess. Anyone looking into a crystal ball will only see clouds.
Obama got his healthcare plan, but no one likes it and his political capital is spent (which is a slight problem with a Supreme Court nomination looming). He has been a disappointment to his followers, especially in foreign affairs, such that they can only make the feeblest of defenses of his presidency.
The problem is that in this two party system, Obama’s failure depends on the success of the Republicans. As Donald pointed out, the GOP may be poised to win big in November. But predicting the Republican’s success if difficult b/c of the wrench of the Tea Party. No one really knows who they are or what they want. Sure, we know they’re against big government and “socialism” but do they care about social issues too? Are they moving the GOP in a libertarian direction? Are they really big and influential or are they just loud?
This confusion can be seen in some recent NYT articles. On the one hand, the NYT claimed that the Tea Party got much of its support from the unemployed. Now having done some actually research, they find that the Tea Party may be wealthy & educated.
Who knows? But until you get a finger on the Tea Party, you can’t get a finger on the GOP, which makes it real hard to determine if the GOP is in a position to take advantage of Obama’s bumbling in 2010 and 2012. All of this will make the Republican primaries something to watch, as there are a lot of possibilities for candidates and directions for the party to go and with them the country.