James Carville to the White House: It's Panic Time!

James Carville unwittingly exposes what’s wrong with the Democratic Party in his column advising President Obama today. Carville says it’s time for the White House to panic, and then do four things to show the public that Obama is changing course: Fire people, indict people, state his case, and then keep stating his case.


Carville says Obama should fire his economic team. Great idea, but most of the original Obama economic team is already gone.

The indictments Carville wants are presumably of Republicans and in regard to the financial collapse, but Carville never specifies who, and in any regard he is politicizing the law unless he includes Barney Frank and other Democrats who blocked reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And there is zero chance that Carville intends that.

Obama has been making his case, just badly. “If you love me, pass this bill” and send another half trillion down a rat hole is not going to fly. Most Americans just aren’t that into Obama.

There is something missing from Carville’s advice, and it’s rather important: Policy. Nowhere does James Carville advise President Obama to change course on substantive policy. Everything Carville advises has to do with appearances. Push the panic button! Fire! Indict! But don’t change any actual policy.


It’s not appearances, but policy, that has left us with an economy in malaise. It’s not appearance, but policy, that has put the Jewish vote in play. It’s not appearance, but policy, that has the government regulating the life out of business and producing stubborn unemployment. It’s not appearances, but policy, that has the administration mired in two scandals — gunwalker and Solyndra.

The appearances Carville wants to change are products of bad policy, but as is typical of the modern Democratic party, style trumps substance.


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