Mar 05 2010

Perfect Political Analysis

This analysis by a Democrat speech writer on why the Democrats are imploding is spot on (OK, it is spot on with my views of what has happened). It is long, but a must read.

Indeed, over the past 14 months they [Democrats] have continually been trying to jam a square political peg into a round historical hole. The result has been a disastrous fit with the public mood and a deepening credibility gap.

This failure to factor can be traced back to the watershed vote on the stimulus bill, the Democrats’ single big accomplishment in the Obama era. The Democrats considered the $787 billion recovery package not just an essential step for saving the economy from depression, but also a first strike in White House’s “big bang” strategy. It would, by their way of thinking, build political momentum for a range of other major Obama agenda items like climate change. But for much of the public, the poorly conceived and marketed stimulus plan was the last straw in the unsettling explosion of government and debt that began with the bipartisan bailout bonanza in the waning days of the Bush administration.

Right pivot point, but the realization it was not going to work (as many of us predicted early on because we know the government contracting process is slow and lethargic) took many months to dawn on the public. It was not until last fall, after summer of waiting on results and then the Ft Hood shooting that ‘last straw’ actually began to fall. You can see this in the ever growing Tea Party movement during this time period, from small crowds in spring to massive crowds and packed town halls in the summer. But the it was the failed stimulus bill which paved the way for the Democrats’ decline.

Ever since that dividing line was crossed, the Democrats have seemed to be operating in a hermetically sealed political vacuum, impervious to the public’s changing post-crash priorities and diminishing tolerance for big government solutions. The complex, sector-remaking cap-and-trade bill is a perfect example. That plan may have been a tough but closeable sell in a stable economy, given the short-term sacrifices we would have to make to secure the long-term rewards. But it was a dead letter in a near-depressed economy with a mistrustful electorate prone to believe the most damning attacks about higher taxes and lost jobs. Yet the Democrats plowed ahead with a bill in the House and only stopped when Senate moderates bolted.

And this is correct as well. Once the centrists started breaking ranks it was all over. As Mitch McConnell has so aptly observed, the only thing bipartisan about Obamacare and the left wing agenda is its growing opposition.

That was nothing, though, compared to the multi-pronged Democratic disconnect on health care. It was clear early on that the public wanted the president and Congress to focus on the economy, especially after the evidence mounted that the stimulus, whatever its disaster-preventing benefits, was not going to spur job growth any time soon. Yet the Democrats went ahead and devoted most of the last year to health care reform, which only reinforced the growing perception that Washington was still as arrogant and unresponsive as ever and that the Democrats, like their predecessors, were still out for themselves and their political aims.

Well, we were right, weren’t we? It is a great article and notes how the path forward ends in the same place – demolition of the Democrats.

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Perfect Political Analysis”

  1. AJ,

    The House Democrats are not in a death ride.

    They are in the middle of the only election there is more most of them.

    The final weeks of the only election for 2/3 of their House caucus — their partisan primaries — are happening right now.

    This primary election season ends in late May.

    The House leadership has to keep 80% of that 2/3 happy to keep their positions.

    So the Blue Dogs and other Democratic hold out are going to be getting lots of pressure and bribe offers between now and the end of May…for reasons that look very self-destructive to the rest of us but make perfect sense to House Democrats.

  2. TomAnon says:

    Darn AJ, You ought to be getting a hat tip there. Reads like several pieces you have written since the 2008 bailout.

    Dan Gerstein just plain nails the problem though!

  3. WWS says:

    From Open Left: Stupak has 17 democrats with him against this bill. Pelosi can’t even get to 200 in the House.

    The House dems know that the plan is to pretend that their will be a reconciliation and get them to pass the Senate bill first. As soon as that happens the Senate says “opps, we’re sorry, reconciliation won’t work after all!!!” and the Senate bill becomes law.

    Sure, it would mean stabbing the House dems in the back, but since they’re already willing to stab America in the back, what’s the difference?

    The perfect quote is at 1:10 into this clip. Not a bad portrayal of the Senate dems, either.

    and a bonus, at 1:45

    “Will that work??” “Hey, it’s gotta work better than the Truth!!!”

  4. lurker9876 says:

    It’s interesting to see that Perry got twice the votes that Bill White got.

    Ya see the results on those five Texas GOP proposals?

    All got well over half-million votes. First four got less than 50,000 against. Last one about sonograms got more nay votes.

    And that fourth one…about recognizing that the nation was founded on Christian principles is the most interesting one.

    Followed by reducing federal income tax.

    Come November, if they go on the ballot, the results might be interesting.

    Ya think this further confirms the tide is changing from far left to right conservative (by M-W definition; not by observation and confusion)?

  5. lurker9876 says:

    WWS, that is truly sickening.

    And the repeal cannot take place until Obama is completely out of the WH.

    (Unless the Republicans have 67 Senate votes and 290 House votes to override Obama’s veto.)

    But if they DO pass it, it will be the DEATH KNELL for Obama. This will make Obama a one-term President.

    Unfortunately, he doesn’t care.

  6. tarpon says:

    I doubt the massacre will discriminate.

    Put America back to work, fire the Democrats, all of them.

  7. theshaz says:

    1st post here…finally broke down and registered. Strata-Sphere is on my favorites.

    The Senate and Reconciliation is a Red Herring. It will not be hard for them to get 50 votes plus Biden. This farce will live and die in the House of Representatives. Lurker9876 is correct, once in this cannot be repealed until after Obama is out of office and unfortunately we Americans have poor political memories.

    This lives and dies on Stupak and his gang and other Blue Dog Dems. Republicans can do nothing to stop this but yell and scream. Right now there is no clear consensus on where these Representatives are leaning. There are posts that Pelosi has the votes and others saying that she does not.

    If somehow this vote got delayed until after Easter Break, and those Representatives get a earful from We the People. But again last summer…you saw the most liberal of these hide from the people they are supposed to represent.
    I am holding out for a miracle.

  8. AJStrata says:

    Welcome theshaz!

  9. Terrye says:

    The Democrats just went too far too fast.

    I think that most people really believed that our financial system was close to collapse back in October 2008. The Bush administration used about half of the $600 billion TARP money to stabilize the banking sector. I think that if the Democrats had been smart and kept to the original idea of putting the paid back funds back into the Treasury and returning the unused money to the Treasury people would not have been so upset.

    It was supposed to be a loan. And the banks paid back a lot of that money with interest. But the Obama people just spent the money somewhere else on things people did not want.

    If the taxpayer had been paid back most or all of that money, and if the government had concentrated on smaller less costly stimulus ideas and got the economy going again…the Democrats would have been more likely to get what they wanted in the long run.

    But they just kept piling on the debt to no apparent purpose and people got disgusted with the whole process.

  10. OBloodyhell says:

    > But the it was the failed stimulus bill which paved the way for the Democrats’ decline.

    I believe this was once so eloquently phrased, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

  11. OBloodyhell says:

    > But if they DO pass it, it will be the DEATH KNELL for Obama. This will make Obama a one-term President.

    Dude, the man is already a one-term President. It would take either a friggin’ economic miracle (on the scale of Obama waving his hands and the trees become gold — literally) or a true coup d’etat for him to remain in power.

    No — The key question is if he’s going to be the first incumbent in history to not even manage to get his own party’s renomination…

    I am on record as having said, shortly after Obama gained the Dem nomination — “The man will make everyone appreciate the tower of quivering incompetence that was Jimmy Carter”.

    I stand by that claim, and, so far, believe it’s been borne out.

  12. ivehadit says:

    I have to dispute Charles Krauthammer tonight. He said the dems should go ahead and pass the bill because people could like it.


    If the democrats think we are going to LIKE this bureaucratic nightmare they are delusional. It will be a nightmare to implement. There will be utter chaos and confusion for the 85% that are happy with their healthcare now…and higher TAXES will remind each and every one of us of this debacle *every single month*….in our paychecks, that we are paying for this cheap, low quality medical attention…Medicaid style…while Unions are rescued again WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS.

    Ten years of taxes, 6 years of services.

    What functioning citizen is going to be happy with this?

    And when interest rates rise….