It is an open secret that the Republicans have opposed efforts to help the economy in order to improve their chances against President Obama. Indeed, polls show that the American people are well aware of the Republican strategy. Nonetheless, the polls also show that the Republican strategy appears to be working in the Presidential race without apparent cost in to their representation in Congress. How is this possible? In the House, the people have a low opinion of Congress, but a much higher assessment of their own congressional representative. That the typical congressional representative represents a gerrymandered district in part accounts for this phenomenon. On this account, the Senate should be a different story. We will see.
As to the President, he surely has many flaws. His policies are also compromised by moneyed interests and his negotiating skills are not impressive. But the idea that he could have made significantly greater progress in improving an economy when the Republican Party was united in opposing the kind of government spending needed to create jobs is groundless. Fortunately, Obama has begun to attack the Republicans’ devotion to the rich and their intransigence. This might work. If it does not, the learned lesson will be that the party out of power should do everything possible to maintain a poor economy. There are many things you could call this, but good government would not be on the list.