Both parties have dilemmas. The Democrats imagined that, after the 2008 hope-and-change victory, America was ready for neo-socialism or could be finessed into it by the singular charm of Barack Obama. That fantasy is over. Now, no Democrat wants to run on Obamacare, card-check, takeovers of private enterprise, higher taxes, cap-and-trade, amnesty, and higher deficits, which leaves a Democratic candidate with the choice of either claiming that he voted against much of the Obama agenda, or ignoring it and attacking his Republican opponent in largely personal terms.
On the Republican side, the GOP must prune government and lower taxes — but that means contending with the fact that almost 50 percent of Americans pay no income taxes, perhaps 25 percent derive all their income from government pensions, social security, or entitlements, and another 25 percent derive a large percentage of their income from government redistributive mechanisms of some sort.
I think we are set up for a 2010 Democratic washout, and then a passive-aggressive Obama in 2011–12, daring Republicans to make the needed cuts and balance expenditures with revenue — reaping the benefits of financial sobriety and restored business confidence while damning “them” who took away our safety nets. Should be interesting.