Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wrong Lessons

The Left is, quite predictably, being blamed for the woes of the Democratic Party.  Evan Bayh, typically, in an op-ed in the Times argues that Democrats need to move to the center.  Think Progress does a nice job of showing that Bayh's argument is not "popular among the country as a whole or moving towards any sort of mythical 'center,' but merely benefits the rich and appeases Republicans."  As Paul Krugman explains: "major Democratic losses were guaranteed by the failure to deliver a significant improvement in job markets. To have avoided these losses, Obama would have had to have a stronger economic program — above all, a bigger stimulus."  In addition, Krugman calls it "mind-boggling" the way "the White House deliberately shut down the whole network of grass-roots organizing that helped put Obama there in the first place. All that idealism, all that energy — and they were told to go away and let Rahm Emanuel do his deals in peace."  As noted in an earlier post, many liberals kept their seats while more than half the Blue Dog incumbents lost, which as Glenn Greenwald, points out "accounted for close to half of the Democratic losses."  Greenwald asserts that  "Rahm-engineered dependence on Blue Dog power is one of the many factors that has made the Democratic Party so weak, blurry, indistinguishable from the GOP, and therefore so politically inept, and would thus be stronger and better without them."  More Greenwald:  "the worst possible choice Democrats can make is to run as GOP-replicating corporatists devoted above all else to serving corporate interests in order to perpetuate their own power: what Washington calls "centrists" and "conservative Democrats."


lonbud said...

As you pointed out in one of your very early posts, Progressives in America have often been at the root of Democratic failures in both congress and the White House, and I suspect the same is similarly true in the present case.

However, had Obama and his Democratic congressional majorities opted to govern from Center-Left instead of turning rather hard Right-center, I believe Democratic losses would have been fewer. Krugman is correct - to a point: jobs are the most important thing; but wages, too, will tell the tale of whether we can expect the famously fickle American electorate to remain fed-up with being ground under the heel of corporate rapacity in years to come.

Post a Comment