Friday, September 16, 2011

Do They Sell Panic Buttons at Staples?

James Carville thinks it's time for the White House to press the panic button...
People often ask me what advice I would give the White House about various things. Today I was mulling over election results from New York and Nevada while thinking about that very question. What should the White House do now? One word came to mind: Panic.

We are far past sending out talking points. Do not attempt to dumb it down. We cannot stand any more explanations. Have you talked to any Democratic senators lately? I have. It's pretty damn clear they are not happy campers.

This is what I would say to President Barack Obama: The time has come to demand a plan of action that requires a complete change from the direction you are headed.
Carville proceeds to suggest that Obama fire a lot of folks, including his political team (maybe they'd hire Carville then... hmmm), indict a lot of people (which seems awfully close to politicizing the Justice Department, as Ed Morrissey notes), and lead the fight against Republican talking points and not leave the explanations to bureacrats.

I will humbly suggest that the White House should probably accept Carville's diagnosis that their chances look bad, but not neccessarily accept the cures he's suggesting.  By all means, firing people is not a bad idea, and it's not like the West Wing is lacking in candidates who should be fired.  But the real issue is who replaces them, and whether they bring any new ideas to the table, rather than rehashing the same crap.  The American Jobs Act is a warmed-over mini-version of the Porkulus of 2009, and no one outside the DNC's orbit thinks that worked. 

As to the indictments, I agree with Morrissey that indictments of Wall Street figures would be shameful and totally politicize the Justice Department... not that Eric Holder hasn't already done that anyway.  Suddenly deciding to indict people in an election year smacks of political positioning, and it will look worse if people who get indicted are folks who aren't maxing out contributions to Team Obama.  One would think this adminsitration is smarter than that, but they're not giving me a lot of reason to believe in their brains.

Finally, I'm not sure it's a good idea to have Obama continue to try to sell his policies.  Repeated speeches by the President have not made the sale so far, and it looks like it's starting to eat into the President's likability, which may be the one thing he has left.  If anything, President Obama has been an incredibly poor sales person for his policies.  Maybe Carville can get Bill Clinton to handle the sales pitch instead.

The most aggravating thing about Carville's column?  The best Simpsons quote to fit Carville's advice is not available on video via Hulu. The quote, with Kent Brockman reporting on a crime wave...
Kent: When cat burglaries start, can mass murders be far behind? This reporter isn't saying that the burglar is an inhuman monster like the Wolfman, but he very well could be. So, professor: would you say it's time for everyone to panic?
Professor: Yes I would, Kent.
Damn Hulu.  In lieu of that, I offer this video, for no reason other than its inherent greatness...

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