There’s one kernal of truth in all the conservative talk about a Democratic victory next week being calamitous for the economy. It would definitely produce Depression-level job losses for Republicans in Washington.
In Politico today, Daniel Libit laid out the grim prospects for Republican staffers, both those likely to lose jobs in Congress, and those who might have spent years planning for a lucrative landing amongst the K Street lobbying shops:
Consider the abounding whammies:
Twenty-six Republican congressmen are retiring at the end of this session, and expectations are that Democrats will pick up at least that many seats on Tuesday. If the average congressional office has 14 to 18 full-time staffers (plus paid interns and part-timers), that’s a couple of hundred job opportunities that could soon vanish in electoral smoke.
The average Senate office has 34 staffers, and with polls showing Democrats poised to take anywhere from five to 10 of those seats, that could be an additional 150 to 300 Republican Hill jobs gone the way of the dodo bird. Scores of Republican committee staff slots would also get wiped out, too, as the GOP would control a smaller portion of the committee personnel budgets in both chambers.
Of course, with fewer Republicans on the Hill, there are fewer needs for lobby shops to refill their GOP cartridges….
All of this, and we haven’t even touched on the direct effect of an Obama victory: If the Democrats take the White House, that’s up to 3,000 displaced Republicans looking for jobs after the Bush administration.
That last number is definitely on the low side.
I take no personal pleasure at the idea of anybody being out of a job. But Republican policies have contributed enormously to the current economic crisis, and the recession sure to come. And far too many conservatives have long promoted the moral calamity of confusing economic success with personal virtue. So there’s a certain rough justice in the fact that Hard Times are aborning for many of those eager Young Republicans who came to Washington at some point over the last fourteen years, looking to overturn the New Deal/Great Society legacy.