Markos Is Optimistic

Boehner will fail, and Democrats will pounce in 2012. If only things were so.

Now, this new GOP-led House will make sure that nothing of note passes, and will try to gum up the works further with investigations into President Obama’s birth certificate and other such insanities. There’s nothing Democrats can do about that, but with power comes responsibility, and presumptive Speaker John Boehner will be under pressure to walk the line between the ideological purity his tea party base demands, and the pragmatism of governing. When he fails (and he will), Democrats need to be ready to pounce.

The last three cycles have proven that the House can swing wildly from extreme to extreme. We truly have an angry, downright schizophrenic electorate, ready to take out its frustrations on whomever is in power. The Democrats took the brunt of that anger in 2010. Unless they help turn things around in America, Republicans shouldn’t get too comfortable in their new congressional digs before 2012. Especially in a year when the Democratic base will turn out.

Most of that paragraph is boilerplate. The calculus that Boehner faces risk almost all pollsters commenting on 2010 would find unexceptional. The rationale behind his conclusion, however, seems built on sand. He assumes that Millennial turn out in 2008 is a baseline and not what it is, an exceptional outlier. Second, it’s premature to assume those Millennials who actually bother to vote will break the same way. Most pointedly, his assurance that the same Obama coalition including independents will somehow re-materialize and ‘pounce’. . .

Markos as AgitProp field commander needs to ride the horse, waving the cap before troops-of-the-line to boost morale. That’s a given. Objectively, it’s at best wishful thinking. The netroots experiment to us was one part of a possible solution to the Dark Years. A reason is that republics in decay show disintegration of functioning organized, coordinated politics based around institutional concepts and devolve into coalitions around personalities. To us the netroots interest in working through pluralistic institutions hinted at tangible, possible re-vitalization. Even if their journey might end differently than they envisioned now it would still herald a great service to restoring a working Dahl-esque pluralism. We just thought they would have more time.