Thursday, November 11, 2010

EJ Perspective

RealClearPolitics - After Setback, Dems Must Not Retreat

First, here is something that EJ and I mostly agree on:
The most politically potent attack on the health care effort was not on the plan itself. It was the argument that Democrats should have spent less time on this bill and more on job creation. Every moment the Republicans devote to destroying this year's reform opens them up to exactly the same criticism.
Republicans have to focus on JOBS FIRST and only repeal the most onerous aspects of the health bill -- fines to people not buying health insurance, reporting of every transaction over $600. Meet with chamber of commerce and business leaders and try to remove the most job killing aspects of the bill. Don't give in to just "kill it all" without having specific reasons for the parts killed and solutions that are better than the parts that are potentially salvaged.

Execute on a reasonable plan, be prepared to deal with even unfair charges of "ideology over people". Some will be unavoidable -- there really isn't any free lunch, and we can't have all that we might like. But be VERY clear -- on some of the aspects, "Would you rather have unemployment under 6% or would you rather have a lot of health care goodies"? Your job or provisions x, y and z? The persistence of high unemployment should be enough to clue in all but the true left ideologues on what the real trade-off is.
In 2008, the largest number of voters in American history gave the Democrats their largest share of the presidential vote in 44 years and big majorities in the House and Senate. 
How did Republicans react? They held their ideological ground, refused to give an inch to the new president, and insisted that persistent opposition would eventually yield them victory. And on Nov. 2, it did.
"Yes BUT" ... Democrats NEVER said what they were going to do. People voted for "Hope, Change, Yes we Can" and if you REALLY believe in fairy tales, "the end of Business As Usual politics". In some ways, the last was more true than many realized -- BO governed as "compromise is you doing it my way, otherwise, you are obstructionist". So the electorate was handed the hardest left turn since Johnson and told it was moderate. The electorates view and answer to guys like EJ was fortunately "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining".
Now on to EJ's summary:
Give Republicans credit for this: They don't chase the center, they try to move it. Democrats can play a loser's game of scrambling after a center being pushed ever rightward. Or they can stand their ground and show how far their opponents are from moderate, problem-solving governance. Why should Democrats take Republican advice that Republicans themselves would never be foolish enough to follow?
Egads. Bush was completely progressive rather than conservative. Remember prescription drug? remember the deficit spending? remember "uniter not divider"? The stupid thing is that he actually tried, where BO gave some options for some RINOS to sign on to exactly what he wanted and when none were available, he went to stiff arming the few remaining near-left vs far left Democrats to fall on their swords and go his way. Bush lost control of the Senate in his first term and barely eeked out a majority in '02 that held until '06. His administration was an orgy of compromise -- with his own party and recalcitrant Republicans, where BO's to date was an absolute fascist "my way or the highway" (although cleverly disguised with Nancy and Harry being the "bad cops" to BO's good act).
The "middle"? Where would that be? Germany? I think EJ sees the options as left of Sweden being desirable -- if not Cuba, Germany being "middle" and maybe Ireland  being "far right". What a difference perspective makes.

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