Douthat studies the political climate:
I give you the latest Congressional Budget Office economic outlook, which forecasts an unemployment rate that averages 10 percent throughout 2010, and 9.5 percent throughout 2011. As Peter Suderman notes, the CBO tends to be overly-cautious in their economic predictions, so there’s room to hope that the situation isn’t quite this dire. But what was already an unprecedentedly dreadful climate for the Democrats is looking darker by the day. If unemployment is still around 10 percent this November, it’s difficult to see how they hold the House; if unemployment stays at 9 percent into 2012, it’s very difficult to see how Barack Obama wins re-election. I stand by my contention that ideology as well as the woeful economy is dragging the Democrats down, but there does come a point where only the economy matters: Obama could spend the next three years channeling Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich and Silent Cal, and he still isn’t going to get re-elected if 9 percent of the country is out of work.