And you know who that helps? Er, nobody, really, but it certainly hurts Barack Obama. The Daily Caller provides a four-minute video from today’s Don Imus Show, in which Democratic political strategist James Carville warns that extended unemployment will have a destabilizing effect on American politics, which is hardly the kind of Hope and Change Obama was selling in 2008:
“It is going to be very difficult,” Carville said. “But the country, if that is what we are doing, this is gruesome on people. This unemployment rate for this long is humanitarian crisis of the first magnitude. This financial crisis, people have studied this by the way, they know that the things take this long to work their way through. The aftermath of these things — kind of an academic book that is dry entitled ‘This Time is Different.’ What it concluded it is not different this time. They studied it, the aftermath of the financial crisis. What we are going through is imminently predictable. But this is a terrible thing that has happened to people’s lives. I think the president at one level understands that, you know. But he is limited in what he can do. So we’ll just have to see. But it’s going to be hard. If 54,000 jobs is the new norm – this is going to be very, very tough. Some people say it just might be one more thing. We don’t know.”
But Carville said the consequences aren’t limited to politics alone. He warned of heighten risk of civil unrest with the bleak economic picture.
“You know, look – this is a humanitarian — you know, you’re smart enough to see this,” Carville said. “People, you know, if it continues, we’re going to start to see civil unrest in this country. I hate to that, but I think it’s [eminently] possible.”
Will there be riots in the streets? Doubtful, not unless we see a total collapse of the economy. Right now it’s a toss-up whether we’ll drop into a mild recession, so the civil unrest is hardly imminent, the word the DC mistakenly used to transcribe Carville’s warning. But without a doubt, high and chronic unemployment has caused civil dissatisfaction with Obama and the Democrats; we saw that in the midterm elections, while the GDP numbers were still inching up.
Now that the Keynesian bubble has deflated, Obama is left with no progress at all, and handed his opponents a good argument that far from helping, Obamanomics got in the way of a normal recovery. At the very least, Republicans can ask whether a Democratic warning of impending civil unrest is a sign of success or failure, and ask voters to reach the obvious conclusion.