Thursday, November 04, 2010

Broder's Ignoring the Republicans' Actions Even As They Run Things

As usual, the media's advice is singularly unhelpful. It's almost certainly because they know that the Dems got beat because the public is impatient and always blames the party of power for economic trouble, but can't say it for fear of the reaction.

(And they call us Internet people "cowards".)

The justifications they get up to to try and AVOID saying that, though, are really funny. Take Broder. He's babbling his usual nonsense about how the Dems aren't centrist enough. That shit should be a non-starter in an election season where the Republicans have clearly and obviously moved to the right. The objection to "centrism" has always been the problem of goalpost-moving. Now that we've seen goalposts getting moved right in front of our eyes, it should be discounted out of turn.

Broder has no better ideas to offer. So he offers the same 'ol, same 'ol anyway.

Still, here's a good example of how far down that rabbit hole he goes:

Somewhere along the way, Obama lost sight of his campaign pledge to enlist Republican ideas and votes. Maybe they were never there to be had, but he never truly tested it. And the deeper he became enmeshed in the Democratic politics of Capitol Hill, the less incentive there was for any Republican to contribute to his success...
...What lessons should Obama draw? The worst mistake would be for him to abandon or reject his own agenda for government. If health care is to be repealed, let it be after the 2012 election when he will have a chance to defend his handiwork - not now.

Instead, he should return to his original design for governing, which emphasized outreach to Republicans and subordination of party-oriented strategies. The voters have in effect liberated him from his confining alliances with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and put him in a position where he can and must negotiate with a much wider range of legislators, including Republicans.
Folks, you know and I know that the Republicans were "never there to be had". They were NOT interested in working with Obama and the Dems. They were NEVER interested in working with Obama and the Dems. And since they won such a handsome electoral reward for obstructionism, they're not GOING to work with Obama and the Dems. They'd have to be idiots. Unlike Broder, they aren't.

It comes down to agency: Broder is taking it away from the Republicans and handing it all to Obama. Obama DID try to reach out to Republicans, over and over again. He did it so much that his legislation was arguably weakened beyond recovery in the attempt. Half the reason why the health care bill is as weak and corporate-friendly as it is is because of all the attempts to bring Republicans onside. Broder knows damned well that the problem was that the Republicans were never going to do it He even implicitly acknowledges it what that "never there to be had" line! What more could Obama and the Dems have done? Maybe they could have simply let the Republicans write the legislation FOR them. But three-quarters of the reason for this election debacle was because Obama's core supporters STAYED HOME!

Broder is doing everybody a disservice by not granting responsibility where it's due. The reason why the Senate didn't pass sweet fuck-all is because the Republicans exploited the filibuster. The reason why they did it is because they guessed, correctly, that the public would punish the Dems, not the Republicans, for the inability to pass decent legislation. That has nothing to do with "left" or "right". It doesn't really have anything to do with the Dems, either; Senate Dems tried to reach out and were rebuffed over, and over, and over again, by an opposition that was never interested in working with them in the first place.

All that opposition wanted to do, from day one, is set up what happened on Tuesday. It wasn't about legislation, it wasn't about "freedom", it wasn't about bullshit linear political scales, and it wasn't about the American People. It was about creating the conditions to revive their lifeless party from the dead. it was political necromancy.

Yet somehow, with that accomplished, it's people that Broder that sound like zombies.

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