It’s true that we dodged a bullet during the Democratic primaries when the prospect of Mark Penn running the White House political shop didn’t come to pass. Unfortunately, Obama’s political team seems about as incompetent. As DeLong says, it’s especially remarkable that Obama’s political team is urging a focus on cosmetic, short-term deficit rather than stimulus and job creation. Political science can’t resolve a lot of questions definitively, but this is one of them: any political advisor who thinks that spending cuts matter more to the electorate than employment and economic growth is a complete incompetent who is stealing his or her employer’s money. And this all has to come back to Obama; if he can’t find political advisors who are familiar with even the most basic research relevant to their field, he’s getting exactly the advice he deserves.
Unfortunately, while many elite Democrats deserve exactly what’s going to happen to them in the 2010 midterms, the country (and especially its poor and unemployed people) doesn’t. And I assume the gravy train that ensures that overpaid Democratic political advisors are never punished for failure will continue unabated.