Thursday, July 14, 2011

Update on John Hogue's Dreamland predictions

In April I wrote:

Mr. Hogue also predicts that by June of this year, we will have avoided another catastrophic economic meltdown, something that he called a "cold depression." This prediction is neither surprising nor unforeseeable, but interesting nonetheless, so it should be easy to check in a couple of months.

His prediction is vague, but is, as it turns out, accurate: he might well be referring to the impasse over the U.S. debt ceiling. Since he predicts this catastrophe will be "avoided," it looks like the issue will be resolved.

I doubt that there will be a grand deal, however. Congress will probably just vote to let Obama raise the ceiling unilaterally.

Though I'm a social progressive, I'm a fiscal conservative. Many Americans are. Somehow, both the Democratic and Republican parties have come to exemplify the worst aspects of their respective constituencies, so there's little hope of reconciliation. In the end, however, I think that Obama's stance may well appeal to Independents, in a way that will validate Mr. Hogue's overall prediction that Obama will succeed by forging an ideological consensus.

For the moment, however, Democrats are pretty angry at Obama's strategy, and the Republicans are apoplectic, suggesting that they recognize that they are being boxed into a corner by the billionaire-financed Tea Party movement on one hand, and a sly Obama who is proving to be more clever, and more capable, by half, than their worst fears. They cannot win, though when the dust settles, they will have plenty of time regretting not accepting that grand compromise cooked up by Obama and Boehner on the golf course.

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