Which also may explain to some degree the double whacking the Republicans have taken. In 2006 the war in Iraq was a galvanizing issue, along with Katrina, but I think in that election the Social Security privatization policy was critical in that public opinion and opposition to the policy gave Congressional Democrats the backbone to fight a rear guard action. Unfortunately they have not mustered the capacity since, and that was with a majority.
This past election focused on the economy and rightly so, just as it will for the next three and possibly four more cycles. We can speculate on Obama’s motives in his cabinet selections, and as the chattering class does on the political skullduggery of it all and miss the point altogether. Mr. Obama remains a pragmatic idealist, and as I asserted previously in the campaign, I think he is willing to at least listen to Jack Welch even if he won’t take the advice and implement it as policy. That is in and of itself quite a big change from the previous Republican administration, and given that administrations performance, sorely overdue.
The ideological purist still maintain the bullhorns so I would anticipate quite a bit of resistance to the pragmatism of Mr. Obama on economic issues. As I also said about T. Boone Pickens energy plan when he introduced it, I didn’t care about his ideology if the plan worked as advertised. This is a trait the Radical Republicans are not apt to develop, since they are to some extent very much imbued with the reconstructionist zeal of the previous iteration of Radical Republicans that imposed reconstruction on the Southern States, and yes, I am thoroughly enjoying the irony.