Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Would a Democrat Do?

From TPM, a chief of staff from a Democratic Senator writes what many (including myself) have been saying for a while now regarding the tax cuts for the rich:

In any event, the White House and the Democratic congressional leadership made a terrible political mistake by avoiding a fight with the Republicans on this issue before the election, when it could have clearly demonstrated the hypocrisy of the GOP's constant harping about deficits, as well as their most critical concern: the "plight" of the poor rich people.

Astonishingly, instead of pressing our political advantage--which was also clearly the right policy choice, as well -- we flinched (in truth, in response to the political concern of members from high-income states). Voters could have had a last and important impression about who was on their side and who wasn't, but gracious to a fault, we didn't want to anger anyone, and the result was predictably awful.

Now it appears that we may well make the same mistake again (unless you assume the HuffPo writer got it wrong, and I don't). If that's what we do, it will make President Obama's many comments about fiscal responsibility an utter joke -- how can we talk about decimating Social Security, raising gas taxes (which hit low and middle-income folks disproportionately hard), raising fees for veterans' health care, messing with student loans, etc., when we're going to blow a $700 billion dollar hole in the budget because of our concern for folks who make $250k and over, who are doing more than fine? Or because those bad Republicans are just too mean?

There is a prevailing view among many people that both parties are dominated by the rich, and that voting doesn't really make a difference. If we want low and middle-income Americans to think we don't have the spine to fight for them, then how are we going to convince them to vote for us? If David Axelrod has an answer for that, I'd like to know what it is.

So would millions of Americans. You don't lose elections because you were in the wrong, this mid-term disproves that theory. You lose elections because you lack the will to fight for what matters. You lose elections because you didn't convince the people who would benefit from your policy decisions the most. You lose elections because "People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

I would like to hear the President and the Democrats respond to Michael J. Fox. And tell me how I can take them seriously about the deficit or fiscal responsibility ever again.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

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