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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 07:57 PM
Original message
Epitaph for an election
What might it look like? If it comes, it will come in the form of articles by Dana Milbank and David Brooks, detailing how voters can't seem to remember all the good and sensible things Obama and Democrats have done. They will be very puzzled, as they were in 2010 when voters thought Obama and Democrats had raised their taxes or kept them the same. They will lament the lack of nuance and technical detail in voter arguments, which will resemble something like "he promised to raise taxes on the rich, then he didn't," or, as looks increasingly likely, "he cut Social Security and Medicare."

Obama will not have done these things lightly. He will always face enormous obstacles and pressure, and, as displayed in the tax cut debacle, he must deal with a supine and timid delegation in Congress. But his compromises all are weak. To pass nonpartisan necessities, he gives in to hyper-partisan and reckless GOP demands. If it can happen on tax cuts for the rich, what's to stop it happening on cuts to the New Deal? Folks like Brooks and Milbank will revel in the inside baseball of the politics behind such forced compromises, while voters will simply remember the broken promises, the anemic policy, and the pain of a guttered economy.

The argument "we're less badly off than we might have been" has no force. Raising taxes engenders anger, but extending existing cuts does not engender a commensurate gratitude. People will notice if their services are cut, or if their taxes are raised. They won't notice a fight to maintain their current levels of despair.

What are the big ideas, the big pushes for change, that the average voter can hold in her mind and say "goddamn right?" We need this more than we need "well, if you look at the details and consider the nuances and the situation...." One turns on voters. The other turns on David Brooks.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. The average American has no time for nuance...
...and, in any case, nuance often turns into a shell game.
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travelingtypist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. Ewwww, that last line is killer.
In a good way.

But now I need eye bleach.


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