William Galston, a first-rate academic mind who was a top domestic adviser to President Clinton, begins his piece in the New Republic this way:
Earth to House Democrats: It’s time to push the panic button. But don’t take my word for it; consider the evidence.
After analyzing the evidence, this is how Galston concludes:
It’s too late to enact legislation that will actually affect the economy’s performance between now and November, but it may not be too late for Democrats to better align their agenda with the public’s economic concerns. And they could get lucky: The four remaining employment reports between now and the election might show accelerating job creation in the private sector and a more rapid decline in unemployment than we have seen thus far. That would give embattled incumbents the chance to argue—more credibly than they can now—that we’re on the right track and shouldn’t turn back.
On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that none of this matters now, that the voters likely to turn out this fall have already concluded that with one-party control of the legislative and executive branches, Democrats will continue to take the country further to the left than the majority of the electorate would like. If so, Democrats should probably prepare themselves for the two words they dread the most—“Speaker Boehner.”
It will be hard for Obama acolytes in the press to dismiss this as more “the sky is falling” predictions from Republican critics, now, won’t it?