Thoughts From Another Perspective
1. Dan McLaughlin (the Baseballcrank) makes the same point on twitter that I made on Friday. Obama’s approval and disapproval ratings are noticeably worse now than at this point in 2010. He should be an even bigger drag on his party. The only difference I would note is that the labor market was probably putting continual downward pressure on Obama’s approval ratings in 2010, and this probably is not the case (or as much the case) right now. But if the state of the economy is going to help the Democrats in 2014, there is not much time left for the effect to show up.
2. I was watching Fox News Sunday yesterday and the commentator panel was talking about how the House Republicans were making a mess of immigration. What? President Obama has a spectacularly low approval rating on immigration, and suddenly he is some kind of tactical genius on this issue? What would qualify as political failure?
3. The media look at the Republicans on immigration (or health care or taxes) and see division. They look at the Democrats and see relative unity on policy. One interpretation is that the Republicans are a mess and the Democrats are together. Another interpretation is that the Democrats are stuck in a political and policy strategy optimized for the recent past, while Republicans are hashing out ways of dealing with the changing political reality. It will be a while before the GOP forms a consensus, but the center-right is in a much better place now compared with the combination of desperation and torpor that characterized the 2008 cycle.