The Whitehouse's economic policy isn't and hasn't been working. Conventional wisdom blames the stimulus and traditional Democratic approaches to the economy. But it would be more accurate and better for Democrats if we blamed Obama's appointment of two Republicans -- Bernanke and Geithner -- into his top two economic posts.
Bernanke was registered as a Republican when he was appt.ed to chair the Fed, which is one of, if not THE, most important economic offices in the country. He's been extremely slow to respond to weak economic news, overly rosy about the economy's prospects, and tepid with targeting inflation rates and pursuing them.
Many have said that aggressive monetary policy wasn't likely to do much in a liquidity trap, but one thing is for certain. We'll never know given that we've had a Republican running the Fed.
Geithner was a registered Republican up until '06. Then, when Democrats suddenly became ascendent, he coincidentally switched to being an independent. Anyone would be justified in viewing that as a career move.
In any case, according to NYT reporting he holds essentially Republican views on the economy. He doesn't believe in stimulus or Keynesianism, and he credits the 90s boom largely to the deficit reduction deal between the House GOP and Clinton. If he quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, he's a duck.
In addition, Geithner the Republican has also been the dominant voice setting economic policy inside the admin. these past two years. Republicans in top positions at the WH explains a multi-year obsession on deficit reduction and spending cuts by a D admin., despite 9% unemployment, high oil, and risky exposure to the European banking crisis.
Having followed Obama's Republicans' lead for more than two years the recovery has failed to take hold and the economy is stalled and will likely remain so. This is the lesson every Democrat should be internalizing and distributing.