The Democratic Temptation


Chait is running around like a chicken with its head cut off telling the Dems to stop panicking. And it's working!

He notes how a ten percent unemployment rate in a race for a seat that seemed owned by one party is not exactly a recipe for electoral continuity. He notes that Obama's popularity remains remarkably stable and high for this kind of recessionary backdrop (especially in Massachusetts). But his strongest point is against the delusion that somehow Obama did not try for bipartisanship and that the polarization is his fault and that a more moderate stance on the stimulus or healthcare would have helped.

Look at the fricking stimulus plan, a good faith effort to stop the economic bleeding, of which one third was composed of tax cuts. How many GOP votes did he get after just being inaugurated? Zero. Scott Brown argues that it did not create or save a single job. This insane position is rebutted by ... AEI.

For Rovians, the entire game of politics is just that: a game. And it's a game we all have to resist being sucked into (excitable moi especially).

You create reality by spin and hysteria and a 24-hour propaganda channel. The actual reality - the anachronism of Reaganomics in our current moment, the need to cut spending and raise taxes, the enmeshment of the previous administration is war crimes, the crippling burden of a broken healthcare system, the role of carbon in unsettling our climate - is too complicated for them to grapple with. So they create a game and they play it, with no accountability for their own past, fear-mongering on terror, denial on torture, and recitation of the same bromides that were very relevant in 1980 but are part of the problem now.

Obama will stay cool, get his Senate health bill through the House, and move on to financial re-regulation and economic revival. If the Democrats in the House balk at this, they have to be nuts. They will be buying into the Rovian psych-out. And I don't believe that so many worked so hard for Obama so recently in order to restore the logic and priorities of Rovian cynicism. Sprung has more thoughts here.