Why The Next Election Matters

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 16 2012 @ 8:32pm

Ezra Klein suspects that the next president will get credit for the recovery:

The 2008 economic crisis was not nearly so deep as the Great Depression — in part because of an aggressive policy response — and so the recovery is not likely to be so remarkable, nor the political benefits so dramatic. But they’re still likely to be present. And because a recovery is likely within five years, whichever party wins the White House in 2012 is likely to get the credit, and so too will its policy agenda.

There are two massive reasons for re-electing Obama – to add to my case here. The first is to reform the right, and only after getting defeated – soundly – will they begin to reconsider their lurch to the most extreme positions in my adult lifetime. Secondly, it is to ensure that Obama gets the credit for the hard work and decisions he has made these past three years:

If Romney wins the presidency and the economy begins to rebound, Republicans will argue, and America’s experience will seem to show, that they were right all along: The stimulus was useless and the regulatory uncertainty the Obama administration created with its health-care plan and its talk of cap-and-trade and all the rest kept businesses from investing. Of course, if Obama keeps the office, that argument will be largely discredited, and he’ll be able to make the case that he and his party steered the country through incredible choppy waters despite relentless obstructionism from the Republicans — oh, and in 2014, he’ll also give 32 million Americans health-care insurance, just another little side project he got done while saving the economy.

It's really up to all those who backed Obama in 2008 to give him the breathing space to succeed. We are the ones we've been waiting for.