With all due respect to BooMan, I think it's unfair to accuse anyone who questions the likely accomplishments in an Obama second term of giving aid and comfort to the Romney campaign.
Here's the backstory: Ryan Lizza published a piece in The New Yorker in which he considered what Obama might accomplish after another electoral victory. Lizza quoted Obama's expressed hope that the right-wing crazies might back down and "the fever may break."
BooMan thinks Obama has to say this because it's crucial to his reelection strategy -- voters mustn't start believing that the only way we can break gridlock in America is to vote Romney.
But BooMan also apparently thinks that the rest of us need to align our utterances with the Obama campaign's. His post is titled "Because the Left Is Stupid, Too," and he singles out Washington Monthly's Ed Kilgore as a (presumably "stupid") offender because Kilgore doesn't expect a break in the fever:
This hope has been received with open derision on the left because it is assumed that the administration is as hopelessly naive as they sound. For example, I give you Ed Kilgore:
...what I found striking is Obama's frequent references to the possibility that a 2012 defeat might change the Republican Party from its current direction of hyper-polarization, 1964-style reactionary messianism, and paranoia. The term he uses with Lizza (as elsewhere) is that "the fever may break."Let me be blunt. Not only would it be a bad idea for the president to suggest that our present gridlock might remain unchanged in his second term, that simple idea represents the single biggest danger to his reelection prospects.
While the clinical term is entirely appropriate, I do wonder if Obama really believes it.
But if you go to Kilgore's post, you see he says absolutely nothing about whether Obama should say any of this -- Kilgore's just describing the political landscape as he sees it. Should we really refrain from doing that -- from telling the truth about American politics as it appears to us -- because some low-information voters might overhear us?
I don't even buy the notion that low-info voters might choose to reject Obama at the polls because they see his second term as likely to be gridlocked. Low-info voters know only what they hear from the mainstream media, which is that gridlock is everybody's fault, both sides do it, and politicians just have to stop fighting like kids in a sandbox. They don't see it as a thing Republicans do to Democrats because they're never told that that's how it works.
I think Obama's second term will be gridlocked. I also think that's a hell of a lot better outcome than a Romney term, which will result in the continued (in fact, accelerated) dismantling of the twentieth century, a nationalization of what's been done by governors such as Scott Walker and Rick Scott. And don't get me started on the Supreme Court.
And even a gridlocked presidency presents the possibility (however slight) that our political culture will emerge from its decades of denial and acknowledge our main problem, which is the extremism of the right and the deployment of 24/7 demonization in order to ensure that duly elected Democrats are never allowed to govern. Maybe we'll be able to focus on Republicans as the problem and get a Congress after 2014 that will work with president -- I doubt it, but it's possible.
There -- I said it. If a swing voter rejects Obama now, I'm sorry. But I don't think that's what's going to happen.