December 4, 2013

I had a nightmare last night that things suddenly got better for the Democrats. I’ve been worried that their health-care debacle is happening too soon — it’s not close enough to the 2014 elections to suit me. Anyway, this has affected my sleep. President Obama is the luckiest politician on Earth. Here is how his fortunes could change:

President Obama at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting. (Drew Angerer/Bloomberg)
President Obama at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting. (Drew Angerer/Bloomberg)

First, the stock market on steroids could continue to bolster the 1 percent. It is ironic that Obama’s policies have been great for the privileged few who hold giant positions in the stock market. The Democrats can’t admit it, but some of the paper wealth created by the Obama administration’s conveyor belt of money from Washington to Wall Street does trickle down to the masses. The more paper gains, the more trickle down, and the better the economy feels. All indications are that new Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen understands this, and won’t take her foot off the gas before the November 2014 elections.

Next, Obama’s unwitting position as an oil tycoon makes Bush and Cheney look like complete amateurs. Although Obama is doing nothing to help it, the United States is experiencing the greatest oil boom in at least the last 50 years. The whole world has noticed the flood of cheap energy in the United States. The United States’ new-found oil wealth is already evident in several states and may show up soon across the country, from lower gasoline prices at the pump (something rank-and-file voters feel in real time) to a major expansion in the petrochemicals business. Can you imagine Obama or any other Democrat running for office and pledging to expand the petrochemical business in the United States?

So by next summer, we could see a bloated 1 percent, stuffed with stock market gains, spending money on everything from luxury purchases to new home construction, and the 99 percent getting some relief at the gas pump. We could also see new jobs being created by the petroleum industry. Yes, Obama and his Democratic allies, who piously promise to end income inequality and deliver the planet from the destruction wrought by cheap oil, may be the political beneficiaries of both.

Meanwhile, Obamacare could experience something of a dead-cat bounce. The takeover of the U.S. health-care system has been such a disaster so far that the absence of new calamities going forward might make Obamacare appear more benign than many expected. And let’s not forget, people will sign up for Obamacare not because they love it or because the able and reassuring so-called navigators rode to the rescue, but because word will spread that Obama’s IRS will come after you if you don’t buy the Democrat’s health insurance. A few stories circulating about the IRS pursuing those in noncompliance with Obamacare will be a great marketing tool. The ultimate protection racket is about to be unleashed.

The bottom line is that all these potential outcomes could converge around November of next year, saving the Democrats from the down draft that many are currently predicting. It would help if Republicans had a plan beyond just hoping for the worst.

Follow Ed on Twitter: @EdRogersDC

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.