Fear Factor

So yesterday we saw in real time the panicky Institutional Democratic strategy of scaring the “professional” Left into Clapping Louder! LOUDER!!! unravel before our eyes.  Yet this lefty among others was oddly unmoved.  Why is that?

Perhaps it has something to do with an analysis like this-

Why Should I Care? Leaders Lack Good Reasons to Vote For Democrats – or Against Republicans

By: Jon Walker, Wednesday September 8, 2010 6:45 pm

For the past two years, Democrats have at every turn repeated the completely fictitious “you need 60 votes in the Senate” myth to duck accountability and justify their wasteful corporate giveaways. Even if the Democrats do manage to hold on to the House and Senate, they will have only tiny majorities in both. With only 53 Democratic senators, there is no hope that Democrats can pass anything substantial-things on which they have already failed to act -as long as they are committed to giving the Republican minority some sort of quasi-parliamentary veto power.

On the flip side, there is no way Republicans can win the House and a 60-seat majority in the Senate (let alone the 67-vote majorities they would need to override an Obama veto). I’ve been told for two years a mere 59 Democrats in the Senate are powerless due to the filibuster; by this same logic, we have nothing to fear from Republican gains because they will never be able to get anything through a Democratic filibuster, and even if they do, Obama can veto it.

Given the Democrats’ Congressional paralysis of the last year, and Obama’s veto power, the fear mongering over sweeping Republican changes is baseless. I’ve heard only two legitimate policy cases for why a Democratic base would really not want Republicans to take the House this year. The first is that Obama is a secret conservative who will happily join a triumphant Speaker Boehner in passing the Republican platform. (Note: claiming your president is secretly excited to work against the party’s own platform is not a good way to increase base enthusiasm.) The second is that if Republicans control the House, Obama won’t be able to take a piss without Darrel Issa subpoenaing the urinal, making it impossible for Obama to get anything done. Sadly, this argument would resonate better if Obama had used his powers during some part of the current session to bypass Republican obstruction and advance progressive goals (like quickly putting Elizabeth Warren in charge of the CFPB, for instance).

Rahm’s golden parachute is insufficient.  We need heads on pikes and changes in policy.


  1. Jon Stewart: “”I don’t think ‘they suck worse’ is a great campaign slogan.”

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