Persuading Congress to enact pro-growth pro-employment pro-America policies over the past six months requires that Republican senators and representatives look ahead and see obstruction now--as they have been obstructing over the past four years--leading to a future that they do not like.
It is not a case of the President becoming willing to compromise with Republicans on substantive policy issues. The President has, after all, pursued Ronald Reagan's (second term) foreign policy, George H.W. Bush's spending policy, Bill Clinton's tax policy, Rick Perry's immigration policy, the Squam Lake Group's financial regulatory policy, John McCain's climate-change policy, George W. Bush's countercyclical fiscal policy, Richard Nixon's environmental policy, and Mitt Romney's health-care policy--and he has appointed a Republican from South Carolina to head the Federal Reserve. Yet Republicans have tried and have in large part succeeded in obstructing his policies--not because they would not have been extraordinarily enthusiastic supporters of exactly the same policies had they been put forward by a President Romney, a President McCain, a President Bush, or a President Dole, but because they saw political advantage in obstruction.
So the President's task over the next month is to make sure that when Republicans look forward into the future they see obstruction plausibly leading to a future that they do not like.
Making blue- and purple-district and state representatives and senators see obstructing the President as a likely big vote loser in the fall of 2014 requires that they see:
- no large foreign-policy disasters for America on the horizon,
- policies put in place now by the President using his executive authority that will lead with high probability to a full-employment economy in the fall of 2014,
- a convincing consensus narrative that Republican obstruction is largely to blame for the slowness of the recovery thus far,
- economists able to speak to journalists at a level they can understand about how the policies the President is now putting in place are highly likely to lead to full employment by the fall of 2014,
- commitments by the President to actively and effectively campaign against blue- and purple-district representatives and senators who continue to obstruct pro-growth pro-employment pro-America policies,
- commitments by the President to focus his campaign energies elsewhere than against blue- and purple-district representatives and senators who become part of his working legislative supermajorities starting... now,
- sufficient financing in place so that good Democratic candidates backed by a successful, eloquent President presiding over a full-employment economy can win over Republican incumbents in blue and purple districts and states in November 2014, and
- recruitment of good Democratic candidates who can take advantage of Presidential support and adequate financing to win over Republican incumbents in blue and purple districts and states in November 2014.
The argument that the President's policies are pro-growth, pro-employment, and pro-America is convincing and has been made and is being made and will continue to be made. But over the past four years it has proven to be insufficient because Republicans were convinced that obstruction was an election-winner.
If President Obama wants his second term to be a success, he must before the end of this year convince blue- and purple-district and state Republican representatives and senators that even if obstruction ever was it is not now an election winner.
Substantive policy success for President Obama in 2013 thus requires that the permanent campaign restart... now.
Substantive policy success for President Obama in 203 thus requires that all the policy levers the executive can pull on its own to implement pro-growth pro-employment policies be pulled... now.
Now tell me why Ed DeMarco is still head of the Federal Housing Finance Administration?