The Enthusiasm Gap: Why Obama and the Democrats are Losing

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Are the White house and the Democrats really so isolated that they don’t realize that no matter how well they say they have done the American voters don’t agree? From the sinking economy, lack of jobs, the ineffective health care and financial regulation bill, the Cat Food Commission to the weak support of GLBT and Women’s Reproductive Rights, the  lack of strong support for Progressive/Liberal issues is affecting Democratic candidates in key races.

It is not a “profound mystery” that the Democrats and the President have sold out on core Democratic principles and have failed to get the job they were elected to do done.

The Economy is the biggest problem and will need some really bold moves by the President and Congressional Democrats, even if the Republicans and Blue Dogs object. It is well part time that the the administration embrace the Congressional Progressive/Liberals and throw the conservative Democrats under the bus.

From Paul Krugman:

Lately, the hysteria over deficits in the United States has definitely brought back memories of that march to war. In a recent opinion piece about the current enthusiasm for fiscal austerity, Chris Hayes, Washington editor for The Nation, wrote: “From one day to the next, what was once accepted by the establishment as tolerable – Saddam Hussein – became intolerable, a crisis of such pressing urgency that ‘serious people’ were required to present their ideas about how to deal with it.”

If the Iraq parallel is any guide, and deficits become intolerable for everyone, years from now, when the American economy is mired in a deflationary trap – long after most people will have conceded that austerity was a mistake – only those who went along with the mistake will be considered “serious,” while those who argued strenuously against a disastrous course of action will still be considered flaky and unreliable.

This is the biggest reason for the President to end the Cat Food Commission and distance himself from Alan Simpson and conservative Democrat, Erskine Bowles, as well as the conservative bias of the rest of the commission.

From Robert Reich:

Many big American companies have been showing profits because they’re doing ever more business in China while cutting payrolls at home. American consumers aren’t buying much of anything because they’ve lost their jobs or are worried about losing them, and are still trying to get out from under a huge debt load (the latest figures show more consumer debt delinquent now than last year and a surge in personal bankruptcies). The U.S. housing market is growing worse, auto and retail sales are dropping, and the ranks of the jobless continue to swell.

Why are companies making huge profits sending jobs to China? Because like the failure of Congress to truly regulate Wall St, the President has backed away from his promise to close the tax loop hole that makes it more profitable for these companies to ship jobs overseas. The proposed bill died in Congress this past May along with extending unemployment for the “99ers”.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

h/t Glenn Greenwald @ Salon

Laurence Lewis sums it up best:

Some may wonder why there is such a gaping enthusiasm gap, with the Republicans, in all their insanity, looking to make large gains, most likely in the House. It’s not very complicated: the Democrats are abandoning core Democratic principles. Another issue on which we were told to trust that the president knew what he was doing was the economy. Krugman and Stiglitz and Roubini were saying the stimulus wasn’t nearly large enough, but every slight apparent improvement in economic data was sold as evidence of the grand turnaround. Even as the same people who had predicted the economic collapse kept telling us that the recovery wasn’t what it seemed. For which even many former supporters on the left criticized them. We now know they were right. But at the beginning of this year, rather than making the case that Republican economic models had proved complete failures, while a Keynesian approach was the only answer, we instead were handed the Republican rhetoric of deficit reduction, right in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression. And we were handed it by Democrats.


We need Democrats to stand for core Democratic values, and to fight for them as if all our lives depend upon them. Because many lives do. And many Democrats’ careers do. For many, it already may be too late. Because in January 2009, the Republican Party seemed on the verge of extinction. The Republicans lacked the issues and the skills to resuscitate themselves. They still lack the issues and the skills; but by ignoring their liberal base, while buying into Republican framings on key issues, the Democrats have revivified a political opposition that should have been left for dead.

(emphasis mine)

1 comment

    • TMC on 09/03/2010 at 20:22

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