Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Amy Dean on Democrats' Self-Created Trap

Amy Dean on the trap the Democrats keep creating for themselves, when they campaign on hope and vision and then govern according to a pragmatic "transactional" agenda that back-stabs members of their base to whom they've made promises they never intended to keep: 

From health care to financial reform to economic stimulus, President Obama has tried to earn a reputation as a "bipartisan" moderate, avoid being labeled "anti-business," and put forward compromise proposals that end up pleasing no one.    

Every time the Democrats are too timid to promote a policy solution that the party's base actually wants, they walk into a trap. They end up passing something that is too insignificant to actually deal with the problem at hand but that nevertheless prompts hysterical denunciations from the right. Despite their efforts at moderation, they are vociferously condemned as "tax-and-spend liberals." At the same time, they have nothing to show for their efforts that might make them proud to have earned the label.
As Dean notes, Clinton invented this style of politics.  Once in office, the current president dusted off the Clintonian playbook, and the result is the mess we see down the road with the fall elections.

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