The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Carville’s Panic Attack

James Carville has looked at the results of the Nevada and New York congressional elections and has a word of advice for the White House:

Panic!

Beyond that, Carville suggests that the President fire his economic advisers and maybe his Attorney General, force the Justice Department to indict a bunch of bankers, launch a rhetorical campaign attacking austerity and pick a simple economic story and stick to it.  You can read it all here.

Carville seems to have taken his own advice to heart; he is clearly panicked about the President’s re-election chances. As he writes:

As I watch the Republican debates, I realize that we are on the brink of a crazy person running our nation. I sit in front of the television and shudder at the thought of one of these creationism-loving, global-warming-denying, immigration-bashing, Social-Security-cutting, clean-air-hating, mortality-fascinated, Wall-Street-protecting Republicans running my country.

The course we are on is not working. The hour is late, and the need is great. Fire. Indict. Fight.

If Carville wanted to destroy the Democratic Party he couldn’t have come up with a better plan. Four reasons why the Carville approach is the kiss of doom for President Obama and the party he leads:

Number one, while left-liberal Democrats keep thinking it MUST work, left populism doesn’t even help Democratic candidates win Democratic nominations, much less general elections.  The siren song of left populism has wrecked the hopes of every Democratic presidential candidate who listened to it for the last twenty years.  Remember Dick Gephardt’s inspiring campaign for the Democratic nomination?  And who can forget those halcyon years of the John Edwards administration?

Problem Number Two: Carville’s advice is contradictory.  President Obama can’t be both populist and consistent at this point in his presidency.  Larry Summers and Secretary Geithner didn’t sneak into the White House and hijack his economic policy while President Obama was off making friends in the Islamic world and solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem.  President Obama has made his key economic policy decisions out of conviction and calculation.  He has billed himself as a reflective and cool decision maker who reviews the evidence before carefully making a decision.   To make the 180 degree turn Carville wants, the President would have to have a Moses on the mountaintop, road to Damascus conversion experience.  And to pull that off, he wouldn’t just have to reinvent his economic policy; he’d have to reinvent himself and reintroduce himself to the American people as a different kind of person and a different kind of leader.  That would be hard to pull off at this point in his presidency; I can’t see it working.

Third, this President doesn’t do ‘tough’ very well.  I am not saying he can’t be tough and decisive as a person; he can be.  He has made decisions — on Afghanistan, on drone attacks in Pakistan and on the raid to get bin Laden — that were gutsy and hard, whether you agree or disagree with the choices he made.  But he isn’t convincing as a Chuck Norris impersonator.  Often when he tries to sound tough he comes out tinny.  Also, teleprompters don’t work when the goal is to project spontaneous, righteous and passionate rage.

Finally, Carville totally overlooks the dramatic and swift economic consequences if President Obama took his advice and fired his economic team, launched prosecutions against prominent bankers and Wall Streeters while barnstorming the country doing Huey Long impressions when world financial markets are already on edge.

The result would show Carville what real panic looks like as stock markets collapsed worldwide, business confidence crashed, and the global economy went into a recession that dwarfed what we saw in 2008.  That recession wouldn’t be President Bush’s fault; it would be seen by voters as an avoidable economic catastrophe brought on by a President who went off the rails.

GOP operatives have to be hoping and praying that James Carville will stampede the President into committing political suicide.  I don’t think he will; President Obama may have his shortcomings, but panic doesn’t seem to be part of his repertoire.

Published on September 15, 2011 9:29 am
  • stephen b

    Stepping up unmanned vehicle attacks in Pakistan is tough? Killing Bin Laden when we knew his exact whereabouts for a predictable period of time is tough? Essentially these are continuations of previous policy, so I guess to extent that Obama campaigned against them, and then decided to go along, yeah, I guess those were “tough” decisions.
    Also, Carville didn’t mention that some of those indictments ought to include some Democrat stars like Barney Frank or Chris Dodd.

  • GTFO

    I think his wife has re-programmed him.

  • http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com Richard Mcenroe

    And it never dawns on that nasty old snapping turtle Carville that Obama’s in the trouble he’s in now because of how “well” Carville et al did then

  • American by Choice

    Far from the economic consequences Mr. Mead predicts, if Obama did what Carville suggests the stock market would boom, business confidence would soar and the danger of a recession would disappear and….. Obama would lose the next election. What’s not to like?

  • http://www.varifrank.com frank martin

    President Obamas biggest problem is that his life experience hasnt prepared him with the mechanisms for dealing with failure. Most people who reach the age of 50 have the benefit of scraping their knees on the hard realities of life. Most people learn not to take those things personally, but to recognize a failure when we see it, and do something about it ( first step – admit you have a problem!). Our President hasnt had the benefit of these character building events.

    Before being President, he hadnt experienced failure. both of his autobiographies make it clear, that this is the mercurial career and life of a man in a hurry. The result of life pattern is that we now have a man who mistakes failures for personal attacks by his opponents. Rather than take corrective steps ( sometimes called in military strategy a ‘retreat’) he doubles down, because he cant accept the idea of the “other side winning”.

    Where that puts us as a society is that we are in the position of being led by someone who simply cant back away from a bad idea because if he did, then someone might notice that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and we simply cant have that now can we?

  • forrest

    Carville has always struck me as one of the most reptilian democrats out there. I always expect to see him peel out of his faux human skin and gorge on the nearest bystander.

  • Willy

    Carville is concerned about the “morality-fascinated.” Kind of says it all, doesn’t it? Those darn ideas of right and wrong always getting in the way of a good old cynical “by any means necessary” presidential campaign.

  • Mikey NTH

    “President Obama may have his shortcomings, but panic doesn’t seem to be part of his repertoire.”

    That would require self-awareness and awareness of things beyond the self, and I don’t think President Obama has that in him.

  • megapotamus

    Panic is unhelpful when one is on fire, I doubt that it will prove a beneficial in any office environment, even the Oval Office. What Carville means of course is that it is time to do the hitherto unthinkable because that is precisely what has occurred, every day, every hour of the Obama administration as far as the Left, James Carville and Barack Obama can determine. That ain’t changin’ because their issues are not with Republicans and financial markets merely but foremost with Reality. Yeah, big R Reality. http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/2011/09/14/the-plague-of-swans/

  • vanderleun

    Carville: “As I watch the Republican debates, I realize that we are on the brink of a crazy person running our nation. ”

    On the brink? On the BRINK? Has the sun been beating too hard on thy chrome done Jimbo?

    We are far, FAR, past the brink when it comes to crazy running the country.

    I’d suggest to Carville that he is in the position that Wiley Coyote often finds himself, i.e. running at full speed off the brink and far out into thin air before realizing that there’s nothing under his paws and gravity is about to have its way with him. Yet again.

  • john b

    Understatement of the year: President Obama may have his shortcomings…

  • A.Men

    Carville aka skull has great ideas! It will show what a fraud Dems and Obummer have always been! Palin 2012.

  • ErikZ

    It looks to me that he’s saying “We need to keep doing what we’re doing, but louder and more combative.”

    They will never learn.

  • http://metanoodle.blogspot.com Ken Moore

    Carville would do well calling on Justice to clean its own uber-partisan house.

  • asdf

    I hate to belabor the point, but how the [heck] is the decision to get Bin Ladin “gutsy”? What was he going to say, no? Could you imagine the firestorm that would have ensued if it came out?

    Similarly, his decision to do a surge in Afghanistan looks a lot less impressive when you consider the context. Coming off Bush’s successful Iraq surge, it’s a straightforward attempt to replicate his predecessor’s success– and even then the move was accompanied by months of hand-wringing and paralysis. Only when the criticism over Obama’s indecision reached a crescendo did he OK the surge– and even then it was smaller than requested and balanced by a self-defeating public commitment to withdraw from Afghanistan 18 months later (regardless of the situation on the ground). Obama’s decision came late and straddled the competing factions in his party and his own administration. He essentially punted.

    Authorizing drone strikes in putative ally Pakistan (which he’d campaigned on) WAS a fairly daring move on his part. So I’ll grant you that.

  • chazmartels

    “I sit in front of the television and shudder at the thought of one of these creationism-loving, global-warming-denying, immigration-bashing, Social-Security-cutting, clean-air-hating, mortality-fascinated, Wall-Street-protecting Republicans running my country.”

    I read statements like this and wonder why anyone on the right bothers to give lying bigots like Mr. Carville the time of day, much less the widespread attention he so obviously craves. He’s worth no more time than a speck of dog [creatively disguised profanity deleted - ed] that I’m forced to wipe from the bottom of my shoe.

  • Jim.

    Mr. Mead, apart from the prospect of some jail time, how would you attempt to instill some basic morality (and basic business sense) in those bankers who hold the world economy in the palms of their hands?

    I’m not saying it’s impossible; I am genuinely interested to know how you would go about doing it, particularly in the near-term.

  • John Burke

    Carville is always entertaining but he is right that it is panic time for Obama and the Dems. Obama has to set a course now that could lead to his reelection and stick to it. And he’s right also that it would help to fire some people and bring in new blood in the campaign operation and the White House staff (it would be pointless or counterproductive to start firing cabinet secretaries at this point).

    For example, fire Axelrod, Plouffe and/or Messina. Far from being political geniuses, these guys were well on their way to managing to lose the election to the dysfunctional McCain campaign when they were rescued by the financial collapse. Ever since, in their powerful, cushy jobs, they do not seem to have steered Obama away from one political disaster after another. Fire them,

    And fire a few high-ranking White House staffers too, starting with the unimpressive Press Secretary.

    That’s as far as I go with Carville’s prescription. Obama would do better to really take a page from Carville’s main man, Bill Clinton, and hire Dick Morris.

    OK, hiring the actual Dick Morris is impossible (although it was pretty tricky in 1996 but Bill did it anyway), so Obama needs to find a new Dick Morris. I nominate pollster and strategist Doug Schoen — someone who can show him how to contest for the center while placating the Dem base.

  • crypticguise

    “…He has made decisions — on Afghanistan, on drone attacks in Pakistan and on the raid to get bin Laden — that were gutsy and hard, whether you agree or disagree with the choices he made…”

    Do you actually believe that these decisions were gutsy and hard? Maybe you need a simple taste of military life or doing something really GUTSY or HARD in your life.

    I swear to [goodness], Americans are getting to be [the kind of people who do not measure up to my idea of manliness].

  • Will

    James is a bit late. We ALREADY have a crazy person running the country. Obama seems to have little grasp of actual reality. Isn’t that part of what crazy is? Theory is lovely, but needs to be checked against reality on a regular basis. Reality in this case could be determined by looking at the responses to what he has already done or by looking at history.

  • Koblog

    “…creationism-loving, global-warming-denying, immigration-bashing, Social-Security-cutting, clean-air-hating, mortality-fascinated, Wall-Street-protecting Republicans…”

    Translation:
    1. “Creationism” — Bitter clingers to Biblical religion taken on faith
    2. “Global Warming” — the proper liberal religion, also taken on faith
    3. “Social Security cutting” — bankrupt Ponzi scheme falling in on itself by all measures
    4. “clean-air-hating” — unending intrusive government regulations by unelected bureaucrats for everything anyone does anywhere
    5. “mortality [sic]-fascinated” — (“morality”?) let Hollywood be our moral guide (see #1) and whatever happens, abortion is the answer
    6. “Wall-Street-protecting” — Treasury Sec Tim Geithner: ultimate Wall Street insider

  • http://what-was-lost.blogspot.com Lee Reynolds

    Carville fails to actually criticize any Republican candidates. Instead of making a point, he just calls people names and plays upon stereotypes.

  • cubanbob

    “He has made decisions — on Afghanistan, on drone attacks in Pakistan and on the raid to get bin Laden — that were gutsy and hard, whether you agree or disagree with the choices he made. ”

    Mr Mead you should be a bit more forceful in stating that Obama has been successful only in the areas Obama has gotten in touch with his inner Bush.

    Obama should pull and LBJ and leave with what little dignity he has left. But he won’t. He is like Carville, stuck on stupid. Hey Jimbo! Its the economy, stupid!

  • luagha

    I will say that at least Obama doesn’t seem to have a problem with ordering people shot. Though the scuttlebutt is that people just shoot with the clear knowledge that if it goes well Obama ordered it and if it doesn’t you join the crowd under the bus.

  • Formerly known as Skeptic

    #5 Willy: I hate to be picky, but he actually said mortality-fascinated (as in death) not morality-fascinated. I think that statement is similarly revealing, but your criticism was off the mark.

  • Claire

    …Third, this President doesn’t do ‘tough’ very well….

    You’re watching the right hand. The left hand of regulation is killing us.

    He’s getting what he wants.

  • Blacque Jacques Shellacque

    “…I realize that we are on the brink of a crazy person running our nation.”

    Mr Carville, we have a crazy person running our nation NOW.

  • Larry L

    This presumes that Carville actually cares about Obama getting re-elected. FWIW, I think Carville works for one person…Bill Clinton. Getting Obama re-elected – not so important. Getting Hillary the nomination – very important.

  • Tex Taylor

    I sit in front of the television and shudder at the thought of one of these creationism-loving, global-warming-denying, immigration-bashing, Social-Security-cutting, clean-air-hating, mortality-fascinated, Wall-Street-protecting Republicans running my country.

    I tend to agree with ChazMartels.

    It’s not just that Obama is wrong about regulation choking business, or job creation with the highest industrialized tax rate in the world, or the dangers of debt, or even the idiocy of placating tyrants with “dialogue.”

    Obama’s troubles run much, much deeper than simply gross incompetence as CEO USA.

    Because Obama has surrounded himself with men of like mind like James Carville – so utterly void of decency and light, that they are not just wrong about managing our government.

    They are wrong about everything.

  • Richard

    It’s funny to watch the immodesty of political consultants who have gotten confused about their role in past victories and defeats. Smart candidates who can think on their feet (Reagan, Clinton, JFK) can make any campaign consultant look like a genius. I seem to recall when Clinton got into trouble, he fired Carville and Begala and brought in Dick Morris. You can’t use a screwdriver when you need a hammer.

    I don’t care much about whether they teach Darwin in the schools but politics is without a doubt Darwinian. (Why do so many care about what is taught in the schools when most of us had trouble staying awake in school?) Candidates who can think on their feet prosper. Obama was elected, though he was a one trick pony, because he ran against two candidates who were more inept and maladaptive than him. He made a beautiful dive into the deep water and then he finds out he can’t swim. R.I.P.

  • Robert

    The takeaway message for conservatives from Cpl. Cueball’s panic attack:

    • Don’t get cocky.
    • Organize locally.
    • Get out the vote in Nov 2012.
    • But above all — don’t get cocky.

  • Fen

    “He has made decisions — on the raid to get bin Laden — that were gutsy and hard”

    No. That was Leon Panetta. Obama hid behind Valerie Jarrett’s skirts, delegated decision-making authority to Panetta with the intent to stall the operation, hoping Panetta wouldn’t have the guts to make the call and be the fall guy if it all went wrong.

    Obama didn’t even know about the raid until AFTER Panetta gave the GO order. Hardly “gutsy”. Especially from the 10th fairway…

  • Lummox JR

    Based on his choice of slurs alone, Carville is either delusional (at best) or slanderous.

    1) “creationism-loving”

    Problem being? A creationist as president would mean absolutely nothing in terms of education at the local level. And there are plenty of Americans who believe in creation; the idea that they should never be represented by anyone is absurd.

    2) “global-warming-denying”

    Let’s pretend that data doesn’t actually show a cooling trend during the last decade. Let’s pretend the East Anglia malfeasance is irrelevant, as is its enormous impact on all of climate science since pretty much every study favoring AGW has been based on work that is now known to be fraudulent. Let’s ignore that recent CERN paper pointing out that we need to revise all our models to include cosmic rays, which points the finger straight back at the sun. Or let’s be rational instead. Nobody’s denying global warming is possible or even that CO2 plays a role, but the people suggesting the science is settled are zealots, political parasites, and those informed solely by soundbytes. The idea that a lot of caution and further study are required before crushing the economy under carbon-control regulations is hardly crazy.

    3) “immigration-bashing”

    Has Carville grown so used to repeating this slur that he’s come to internalize it, or is he simply that stupid? I can think of no Republican candidate, not one, who opposes immigration. What they oppose is illegal immigration. Does he not know there’s a difference?

    4) “Social-Security-cutting”

    Another slur. The idea that the program has to change or die isn’t radical–it’s common sense and inescapable reality. But no one has talked seriously about making changes for current or near-term beneficiaries, only for future generations. What do I care of Social Security makes some changes before I get into the system–it’s that or I never get into it at all!

    5) “clean-air-hating”

    Seriously, Jim? Nobody hates clean air, you idiot. But many, many people have reason to hate overly onerous government regulations on the subject, particularly if they benefit political cronies. Europe’s carbon-trading scheme is rife with fraud and abuse.

    6) “mortality-fascinated”

    Um… what? Is this some kind of sneaky way of saying all Republicans (or at least those running for president) want poor people to die? If not, I have no idea what he’s saying. But if that’s what he means, it’s just plain slander. Saying we can’t afford everyone’s medical bills is not equivalent to saying “Just die already”. If this is what he’s on about then he’s bashing not the candidates, but a grotesque caricature.

    7) “Wall-Street-protecting”

    Wall Street donated more heavily to Obama than to McCain. Big business loves excessive regulation and crony capitalism, and you don’t get any cronier than electing a Chicagocrat. It would be foolish to deny there are big-business interests on the Republican side too, but by and large the special interest groups have been voting in the D column for quite a long time now.

  • Kirk Parker

    …we are on the brink of a crazy person running our nation…

    He’s right about that, but totally wrong as to which side of that threshold we’re on.

  • M. Report

    There is no political solution to an economic problem; Government needs to
    take its over-controlling hands off the
    wheel and let the economy straighten out
    by itself.

  • Pickwick

    Jim said “Mr. Mead, apart from the prospect of some jail time, how would you attempt to instill some basic morality (and basic business sense) in those bankers who hold the world economy in the palms of their hands?”

    The simplest answer is to get Government out of the business of manipulating economic markets for “social justice”. Many of the dastardly “bankers who hold the world economy in their hands” (dogwhistle anyone?) did exactly what the Government encouraged them to do: provide high risk loans to people who did not have the means to repay them and then sell these junk mortgages to Fannie Mae, who gobbled them up. What we need to do is realize that business is in business to make a profit and not expect them all to be Mother Theresa.

    In the old days (before Bill Clinton), when Government stayed out of the mortgage business, and businesses bore the risk of bad loans, bankers made sound judgment calls. You needed 20% down and real honest-to-goodness verifiable income to get a mortgage. But those sound business precepts were deemed incompatible with “social justice” and the social engineers got involved. Blame them, not the bankers.

  • werbaz neutron

    Carville is a failed political career searching for a candidate. He is lost and irrelevant. His former macho is now minnie mouse-o.

    Listening to the Republican debate, I remarked that democrats who are listening also must be sick at their stomach to see so much talent there and so many good programs discussed.

    Carville proved that. He is terrified at people like US running HIS country but he is also repulsed at obama’s team. What is his preferred model?

  • DJ

    James Carville. What was that book he wrote?? Oh, yeah, “40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation”

  • Jimmy J.

    Carville’s prescription reveals the thinking of the far left democrats. He hates the idea of cutting government spending, of fixing Social Security (There’s nothing wrong with it, he says!), of setting an energy policy that is not based on the theory (religion) of man made global warming, and of the government not being able to pick winners and losers on Wall Street. (Let’s frog march those we consider failures out in handcuffs!)

    He’s supposed to be a very smart fellow, but when he cannot see how the Blue model is failing, it is instructive. There will be some panic mode actions taken by the Obamites and maybe some of them will follow Carville’s ideas. We live in interesting times.

  • Bonfire of the Idioces

    Maybe politicians should just admit they don’t know what the hell they are doing in economics and butt out. From the Community Reinvestment Act to ObamaCare to the Stimulus to Solyndra, NOTHING they do works. Not only does it not work, but it causes more damage than whatever it was they thought they were “fixing” did. Government should be like the umpires in baseball: arbitrating disputes and ensuring both sides follow the rules but not picking winners and losers or determining outcomes. That may be difficult for these self-righteous egomaniacs to do but we must insist if we are ever going to get out of the mess they’ve made.

  • Slayer

    Three years of Obama – the VERY BEST the Democrats have ever had to offer – has given us:
    
- $14 trillion deficit
    - US in a depression
    - ruined economy
    - US credit rating downgraded
    
- ignores the War Powers Act
    - gas/food/clothing prices skyrocketing
    - 5 wars, one with a record death toll
    - foreign policy disasters

    - raiding the public pension fund to avoid the debt ceiling

    - lost 800+ seats for his own party
    
- poll numbers in the toilet
    
- 44 million Americans on food stamps
    - Over half the states suing to get out of Obamacare. 

    - 1 in 4 mortgages under water
    
- ATF gunrunning scandal unfolding
    - Solyndra scandal unfolding
    ANYBODY BUT OBAMA!

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

    Some one upthread suggested that Obama has to do the unthinkable. I agree.

    How about blaming the ills of Drug Prohibition on Republicans and promise to end it?

    Given Ken Burns movie on alcohol prohibition coming to PBS on 2 Oct I show how to turn Drug Prohibition into a war on Republicans:

    http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/2011/09/looking-for-counter-strategy.html

  • Whitehall

    If Obama decides not to run, who would the Democrats nominate?

    I’d think Hillary Clinton is too tarnished by the Administration’s foreign affairs blunders and lack of support for Israel.

    Who else? Evan Bayh maybe? Any other suggestions?

  • tim in vermont

    If you want to keep bankers under control, here is an idea. Don’t buy up all of the bad loans that they make in the “secondary market” so that they can make a profit on every loan, no matter whether it gets repaid or not.

    Resist the urge to use them for social engineering, for example, like Obama did as a community organizer, and force them to make bad loans.

    Don’t borrow so much money as a government and basically cut them in on the profits at zero risk to them, provided they are in privileged positions.

    What would Wall Street do for money without all of the federal borrowing? They would have to find ways to invest money in the economy or go broke.

    In other words, if you leave great piles of unprotected grain laying on the floor of your barn, don’t blame the rats when they show up to eat it.

  • standfast24

    Carville is nothing if not entertaining. There is no way for Obama to fire or spin his way out of this mess. He outsourced his entire legislative program to the left/far left leaders of the Democratic party, as BHO is one of them.
    Impossible for Obama to stand up and say my belief system is wrong, has failed and I will change.
    Even worse for Obama is the protection from the MSM bubble that deflects any real criticism or self-analysis.
    Dick Morris was correct when he said voters would realize that moderate Democrats no longer exist. 2012 will be defeat of many Red State Dem senators, a Republican President and the Democrats reduced to a power only in the North East, Left Coast and Illionis.

  • jvermeer

    So Mr Carville suggests a bunch of criminal prosecutions be initiated as part of a political campaign. Think about that. Does anyone doubt liberals would do such a thing if they thought it would work?

  • Sam L.

    All Obama’s promises (and premises) come with an expiration date (and counting 10,9,8,7…)
    He’d also have to fire the heads of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and investigate the previous heads, and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd…

    NOTE: I have notified Attack Watch of this comment.

  • Dana H.

    No, I do *not* hope Obama takes Carville’s advice, even though it would indeed destroy any chance of his re-election. Carville’s plan would result in an economic collapse that would make the 1930s look like a fun time. Let’s not wish to trade whatever freedom and prosperity we have left for the sake of partisan advantage.

  • http://www.planetpeschel.com Bill Peschel

    Actually, the federal government can be effective in economic matters, by ensuring, through regulation and enforcement, that companies have a level playing field on which to base their decisions.

    If inside trading is punished effectively, there would be less temptation to indulge in it. If patent suits are settled quickly, there would be less incentive to launch them. If pollution controls are enforced, companies would be more willing to follow them (and pass the costs onto the customers).

    Unfortunately, we have gangster government, in which certain industries are given benefits (ethanol and solar in particularly) and laws are enforced unevenly, if at all.

  • TANSTAFL

    I once saw Carville at 30th St. Station in Philadelphia.

    He really does look like Thulsa Doom from the first Conan movie.

  • boqueronman

    Wow! Can I get a job as a “political advisor” like Carville. Actually, any AP high school student could do better than this advice.

    1. Fire people! Sounds like the political campaign equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. Why fire the economic advisers? Because they applied obviously bankrupt neo-Keynesian nostrums or because they didn’t expand the money supply and public debt ENOUGH? Give us a hint, please.

    2. Indict People! Again, for what? Correct me if I’m wrong but being “responsible for utterly ruining the economic fabric of our country” may indeed be a bad thing but it’s not an indictable offense. We know that fraud and abuse was committed in the mortgage loan implosion. But, after your administration (along with Bush) shoveled billions of unsupervised subsidies to TBTF banks how do you credibly put that toothpaste back in the tube?

    3. Do It Like A Democrat! This statement means, to most people, tax and spend. And, those same most people are now tired of it and are far from convinced that stimulus on top of stimulus and debt on top of debt are going to accomplish anything positive for investment, production and job growth. I can’t imagine that having Teleprompter Barry do the talking will make much difference.

    4. Hold Fast To An Explanation. Har, har! Unfortunately, telling people what happened and what is going to happen will elicit this response. “Well, how come you haven’t rolled out the “successful” policies in the last 3 years? And then he says don’t say that things are improving because they are obviously not. Really!?! You can’t make this stuff up!

    If that’s the best the Dems have, it amounts to a 3 Card Monte confidence game, i.e. mislead and confuse the electorate. The campaign strategy well is truly dry.

    Perhaps he should have made some useful suggestions rather than what amounts to more of the same but with gritted teeth and iron will. My own suggestion would be to learn from the mistakes and cut private business some slack by reducing red tape, promoting domestic energy, reforming the tax structure, curbing the union bosses and resubmitting ObamaCare legislation for a rewrite.

  • teapartydoc

    It doesn’t sound as if Carville has any experience in the world outside of political punditry. Otherwise how could he be so categorically wrong about everything he says and still think he is right?

  • IcePilot

    The “mortality-loving” goes hand-in-hand with “There were enough deaths at Stalingrad to make the entire tea party collectively orgasm.”

    Carville is trying to riff on the Tea Party/CNN sponsored Republican debate when the crowd responded to the number of executions in Texas. So, in addition to branding the Tea Party as stupid, white and racist; they are also death-loving.

    Good luck with that.

  • Right Wing Nutter

    As Tevye says in one of my favorite plays/movies “You know, you’re right too.” Carville is right that it’s time to panic. Walter is right that it’s too late to, and Obama is unable to, convincingly reinvent himself.

    IMHO the only way for the Dems to hold on to any part of government is to knock Obama out in the primary and pray that the GOP self destructs. (After all, we’ve done it before.)

  • Joe Ynot

    Hmmm…:”There are certain people in American finance who haven’t been held responsible for utterly ruining the economic fabric of our country. Demand from the attorney general a clear status of the state of investigation concerning these extraordinary injustices imposed upon the American people.”

    Just like OJ searching for the real murderer..

  • Perry

    This is how Mr. Carville makes a living. He reels off a few juicy soundbites a year, geyts face time on cable,stirs the pot and then gets five figures on the dinner circuit. It beats working for a living. Only in America.

  • the wolf

    Carville’s approach is simply Obama’s “it’s everyone’s fault but mine” tactic taken to the extreme. Carville admits we’re on the wrong path, but then agitates for more of the same on steroids. Obama looks sane by comparison. Maybe THAT’S his real strategy.

  • willis

    “As I watch the Republican debates, I realize that we are on the brink of a crazy person running our nation.”

    Brink?

  • John Burke

    Looks as if chief of staff Bill Daley could be the designated scapegoat. Politico has a long story up about Daley’s shortcomings at the White House with anonymous backstabbing quotes from senior Obama aides (it is clear that the 2008 campaign crowd don’t like Daley and regard him as an outsider) and some nasty swipex that obviously came from Harry Reid’s office.

    Daley is an obvious target for Dems looking for someone to blame but I still think that the campaign crowd — Plouffe, Axelrod, Messina, et al, — are the ones Obama should fire.

  • John

    I wouldn’t mid seeing a lot of people from the three main credit rating agencies behind bars.

    Every other reason aside, if they had simply done what they were supposed to do, we would not be in the trouble we are today.

  • nb

    Carville is not altogether wrong. Economic theory points to the existence of huge market failures in the financial sector. Just look at the economic disasters that repeatedly emanate from this sector. Carefully designed but very tough regulation of this sector is therefore good economics. This is not a left versus right issue (See for example the tough regulation proposals just put forward in the U.K.).

    And it is also exceptionally good politics. Just check out the opinion polls for the widespread and quite proper hostility in which the American public holds Wall Street – which is also an old tradition in our politics, as Prof. Mead well knows. Not only could Obama win by adopting a vigorous anti-Wall Street platform, so could the first Republican with the smarts and balls to adopt a right-wing populist anti-Wall Street platform.

    Which raises the interesting question why neither party wants to go there. I can think of three reasons.

    First, no doubt a large part of it is the simple corruption of our political class across the spectrum. Wall Street extracts monopoly rents through things like implicit government guarantees for Too Big To Fail banks, and those rents flow back into politics through myriad channels, harnessing the political system to the disasterous aims of the financial class.

    Second, if Wall Street wants to harness politics, so does Politics want to harness Wall Street. As a lot of people are observing, crony capitalism is the inner essence of the Obama strategy, the grimy fingers of the Chicago machine smeared across the nation at large.

    Third, perhaps in the end most important, is the intellectual feebleness of our elites. Not having bothered to look seriously into one [darn] thing, these people just just go along with the convenient idea that supporting a competitive free-market system is the same as cosying up to Big Business, Wall Strett in particular. It is not.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Carville is way to deep in the forest (leftist cocoon) to see anything but trees. And he is probably [very unhappy] that his one claim to fame “It’s the economy stupid!”, is going to be stolen and used by the Republicans in the next election. LOL

  • NaSa

    It is very sad that America is in the state that it is in right now… having chosen a person mostly on the basis of the color of his skin and his race to be the country’s next President, it is now faced with an imbecile charlatan of a politician who has no business running anything let alone being POTUS.

    Just imagine – a 47 year old man who has held no private sector job worth talking about in his whole life(“community organizing” is not exactly a job) is suddenly elected as the chief executive of the world’s only super power only to prove how utterly out of depth he is…

    Even God cannot save America at this point -and it pains me to say this.

  • Andrew Allison

    The President’s chances of re-election are zero — unless he decides to violate the constitution yet again!