It remains to be seen whether he is pursuing the covert strategy of getting Democratic leaders to take the vote off the table -- at least until after the election. But I suspect he is. Unlike the DLC, Obama actually has an appreciation of reality and can recognize what an issue like this means to what has become a core constituency. Nor is he afraid to try to pull away from a screw up.
In other news, I am experiencing Cassandrafreude. I have decided Cassandrafruede is feeling good from the pain others are experiencing because they did not believe you when you predicted something for the future, even though you are also going to get caught up in the awful events through no fault of your own.
In this case, my Cassandrafruede is directed at all the happy pundits and government officials who kept insisting on a second quarter turn around. As regular readers will know, I predicted in 2004 that the Bush policies must inevitably lead to a total meltdown of the economy and devaluation of the dollar (or, as I said in response to the news Bush was reelected "the dollar will become so worthless children in China will use it for toilet paper"). In 2006, I predicted the financial meltdown because the government had transformed the financial sector into a Ponzi scheme. So when people kept predicting a miraculous turnaround in the second half of 2008 and that the terrible danger was that all this panic talk would become a self-fulfilling prophecy, I kept telling my radio and television they were full of happy talk with no substance whatsoever. No one could point to a single reason to believe in a second quarter recovery other than they really wanted to believe it.
And now, even the government spokescritters are finding it impossible to keep up the happy talk. Here is a link to Assistant Treasury Secretary Swagel trying to put a nice spin on the job loss numbers. It includes delightful snarky commentary by Dana Milbank.