Political Strategy: The Pivot Point Has Arrived For The Democrats genre: Econ-Recon & Polispeak
Weekends don't typically produce earth-shattering business activity. However, this weekend may defy all others in modern history. As Sunday night comes to a close, the face of the financial has been forever altered...and it may not be for the better. In fact, it may be the first in a cascade of dominoes.
Lehman Brothers appears destined for bankruptcy liquidation. Merrill Lynch appears to have been absorbed by Bank Of America in order to preserve what little value it retains. AIG is scrambling to find a suitor to purchase some of it's subsidiary entities or an immediate injection of cash. And that may be little more than the tip of the iceberg...a virtual albatross ready to be hung round the neck of every American.
It's impossible to examine this situation without consideration of the inevitable political ramifications. In strict poli-speak, this is a pivotal strategic moment for the Democratic Party...particularly Barack Obama. Let me explain.
The GOP has been able to deflect criticism of the Iraq war on the premise that the surge has succeeded in reducing the violence...an outcome expected by both sides of the aisle. Notwithstanding, in the very words of General Petraeus, victory isn't in the vernacular with regards to an honest assessment of the end game. Here's where the conflation of events provides a pivot point for the Democrats and the Obama camp.
Americans have been patient during the surge...even though most were in favor of a withdrawal from the years of slog. However, that patience will quickly erode under the weight of the approaching financial firestorm. Once it becomes apparent that the Bush administration's grand notion of an ownership society has been little more than an unbridled fleecing, the ten billion plus being pumped into Iraq will resurface as a pariah of the highest order.
The pivot point emerges. Now is the time to attach the Iraq money pit to the economy like a ball and chain. Faced with the prospect of untold financial peril, voters will undoubtedly be primed for the picking...so long as the Democrats explain and extend a well-designed rescue ladder...one that includes delivering the following message to the Iraqi's..."Time is up...get your ducks in a row because the U.S. exit countdown has begun."
The Obama message to voters must include a healthy measure of candor. It should consist of the following. One, we simply cannot afford to prolong the Iraq war and there's only one party that has promised to put an end to the ongoing loss of blood and treasure.
Two, change is a necessity; not an abstraction. The Democratic Party has a plan for change and the other party, suddenly aware of the need to promise it, in order to garner votes, is trying to wrap itself in it, rhetorically, in order to disguise it's untenable commitment to more of the same...in Iraq, and here at home.
Lastly, voters must hear that The Bush Doctrine, in each of its poorly planned and politically postured iterations, is an unmitigated disaster. Its "evolution" has been a series of cynical calculations necessitated by mismanagement and premised upon partisan expediency.
The fact that the McCain ticket, itself a product of cynical scheming, cannot define the doctrine is merely a testament to the fact that it was never a sound strategy; but rather a tool in an arsenal devoid of principled purpose and fully comprised of ambitions anchored in arrogance. Plain and simple, McCain-Palin is a Bush third term.
The goal is to show voters the flaws and the frays in the sloppily sewn strategy that has led us to this moment of trepidation. At the same time, voters must see that an Obama administration has the wherewithal to weave a plausible plan...one that is transparent and tangible...one that won't waver to the whims and wishes of Wall Street; but will instead focus on the needs of Main Street Americans.
If the Democrats will make this crucial course correction and connect the dots for voters, Americans will quickly realize the dangers of reemploying the party that promises victory in a faraway land while ignoring the crumbling economy at home. The pivotal question for voters must be, "At what cost victory?" The answer must be obvious. The answer must be, "Not at these costs...not if it means Russian Roulette at home."