The first is House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larsen explaining very succinctly why the Democrats got crushed this month:
We had a Roosevelt moment and responded like Hoover.
If Bush or McCain or some other Republican were president last year and wanted to pass a massive $1.5-2 trillion stimulus (i.e., tax cuts for the rich), does anyone think he wouldn’t have been screaming, “OMG IF WE DON”T PASS THIS RIGHT NOW YOU WILL ALL LOSE YOUR JOBS DOOM DOOM DOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!” 24-freaking-7 and daring the Democrats to vote against it? Granted, maybe Obama shouldn’t have gone quite that far, but he should have been pushing, not settling.
Second is Jan Schakowsky explaining that maybe it’s not such a great idea to soak the middle class so the rich can have tax cuts:
The middle class did not benefit from the Republican economic policies that led to the current deficit — they were the victims. They should not be called upon to pick up the tab.
That is what Obama should be saying about the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan and tax cuts for the rich, not some lame-assed judgment-reserving “respects the challenging task”/”only a step in the process” bullshit. The rich made out like bandits at our expense, now let them pay some of it back. And oh by the way, it’ll reduce the deficit, which is The Gravest Existential Threat That America Has Ever Known.
And finally we have Jane herself, striking at the very heart of Democratic and Villager conventional wisdom:
No reasonable person could look at the data and say that the center has support for Obama’s priorities right now: cutting Social Security, passing Korea free trade and ballooning the deficit by $700 billion with tax breaks for millionaires.
So can we please stop with this fiction that Obama is attempting to woo independents? The things he is doing are not any more popular with independents than they are with the base. Just because something annoys the base does not axiomatically mean it is popular with independents.
How often do we see politicians and Villagers assume that anything that annoys the Republican base must be popular with independents? How long must we watch our own party eagerly perpetuate the myth that the Republican base is reasonable and mainstream while the Democratic base is cuckoo-bananas?
If Obama wants a second term, he needs to stop trying to curry favor with the Pete Petersons and David Broders of the world and start trying to help the people who aren’t selfish peon-hating billionaires or lazy out-of-touch hacks. He needs to listen to Jan, Jane and John.