The White House is losing the left, and fast. Last week it was New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd suggesting—and perhaps hoping—that the "flailing" President Obama may be a one-termer. Then it was Washington Post writer Dana Milbank dismissing the Obama presidency as "irrelevant." Now it's the Ragin' Cajun, former Clinton strategist James Carville, asking the White House to "show us you are doing something." In fact, he writes, "Fire somebody. No—Fire a lot of people." Carville wants a wholesale change of staff in the White House, and believes that the current people are the ones who got the country into this mess in the first place. "This is what I would say to President Barack Obama: The time has come to demand a plan of action that requires a complete change from the direction you are headed," he wrote. Amen to that.
A plan of action and a complete change of direction is exactly what we need—one look at "wrong track" numbers from any number of pollsters proves that. In fact, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of all polls, 73 percent of us think we're headed in the wrong direction, versus 20 percent who think we're on the right track. I'd like to meet the 20 percent who think things are just great.
When those on the left want the president to "go big" and change direction, they mean he's needs to be even more liberal. They want a bigger "federal family," as they call it in their "progressive" terms, with more "investments" and higher "revenues" (translation: newer and bigger government programs, more spending, higher taxes.) For example, Carville urges even more stimulus spending and calls for indicting Wall Street executives. Issuing indictments for corporate leaders may mean more jobs for lawyers, but that's not a solution to a stagnant economy. Neither is more deficit spending. What Carville and his friends don't understand is that in a center-right nation, most of us don't think that going hard to the left is the best move right now.
Carville makes no mention of what really needs to be done to boost consumer confidence and job creation: unleashing entrepreneurship, reforming our tax code, getting entitlements back on a sound footing, and reducing domestic spending. That's because the left doesn't have a plan for any of that. And judging from what's in the big-spending so-called "jobs bill," neither does the White House.
One word comes to James Carville's mind: "Panic." That might be how the far left feels. But rather than more fear and uncertainty, new indictments and higher deficits, the rest of us want something else: "Prosperity." Time for a change in direction. November 2012 can't get here fast enough.