It wasn’t very long ago that Republican candidates were shy about trumpeting their party affiliation. You had to look carefully at the fine print on their mailers to figure it out, if it was there at all. The Bush administration had pretty much flushed America down the cosmic toilet, and most people knew it. But in a nation that treats history as something born anew with every 24-hour cable news cycle, “Republican” is apparently some fresh, untried brand now, an apple pie-scented alternative to the horrors of the present. At least, that’s how swing voters seem to view things.
I’m not saying Obama has been great on the economy. Clearly he needed to be more aggressive about stimulus and job creation. But the people making that politically impracticable are Republicans and conservative Democrats. And administration advisers too timid to start a fight.
(Afterthought: I was just doing my 2009 taxes — filed for an extension, natch! — and got an $800 tax break I wasn’t expecting. Part of the stimulus package, and a big help. So that’s something.)