The game of Political Musical Chairs seems to be propelling Jon Huntsman toward outperforming expectations in New Hampshire. The Wall Street Journal’s rhapsody that his economic growth plan is “Better than anything so far from the GOP presidential field” may move more Granite Staters than expected.
Yet the disaffection, trending toward apathy, that America is feeling toward its politicians is bleeding into the 2012 race, possibly setting the stage for … the totally unexpected. Apathy? The Tea Party — which not so long ago was turning out over a million people on the National Mall — has bored itself into hibernation. Occupy Wall Street has been reduced to a dispirited tent city in Washington. According to most of the front page of Sunday’s Washington Post it mostly is good for romantic liaisons. Devoting Page One to this implies the Post, too, finds the presidential race strangely uninteresting.
Disaffection? Progressive enthusiasm for President Barack Obama has been replaced by a hard slog by party regulars. Obama now is being pilloried by the Feisty Left for a “trail of betrayals,” as a “coward” and “traitor” who “for now on desperation is his path.” He’s also been called a “Trojan Horse, A Psychopath, A Bad Boyfriend.”
And it looks very possible that the badly overdue cyclical recovery now, notwithstanding the inane growth-curdling polices of liberal Democrats, may be getting under way. James Altucher, in his extraordinarily perceptive column “My Last Death Threat in 2011” points out the inconvenient truths. Housing inventories are at the lowest level since 1963, corporate profits are at an all time high, cash in the bank is at an all time high, announced stock buybacks are at an all time high, consumer spending is at an all time high, household obligations are the lowest since 1993.