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View Diary: What Congress and Obama can do now to create jobs (46 comments)

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  •  Yeah, there was the non-austerity option. (0+ / 0-)

    It was in the primaries. Example: progressive Bill Halter primaried Blue Dog Blanche Lincoln. In the Dem primary runoff, fewer than 5% of the population of Arkansas voted for Halter. Lincoln beat him, then lost the general to a GOPer.

    I'm sure there are other examples from other Dem primary races.

    When less than 5% of people vote progressive, you don't get progressive government. I hate that, but them's the facts.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 04:30:14 PM PDT

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    •  Like I said (0+ / 0-)
      In politics, you have to fight for votes, you have to mobilize your supporters. The Democratic Party failed to do that in terms of both policy and campaigning, and the results were foreseeable.  The only solution is to change the party so that it does.

      I think you have politics backwards. Voters don't self organize.  Turnout is driven by organizations, not by individuals. Arkansas was a good small start, but conservatives did that for decades in order to achieve their successes. The solution isn't to blame voters for those facts, it's to organize. And you can't do that while you are attacking the people you have yet to reach.

      One more thing - the Republicans never dared say what they were going to once in office, and Democrats never bothered to tell people.  People didn't vote for this.

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

      by David Kaib on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 04:57:10 PM PDT

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      •  I think we're both right. (0+ / 0-)

        1. People are stupid. Tell them they can have something for nothing (i.e., tax cuts will create jobs! most problems are the fault of immigrant gay brown terrorist liberals!) and a large % will believe you. Another large % will give up trying to tell the shit from the shinola, and will just drop out of the political process.

        2. It's a well-known fact that people are stupid. Thus the Dems should've prepared for that. The Dems should've passed an agenda that delivered tangible, significant change well before the Nov '10 election. They didn't. Instead they delivered economic stimulus that merely(!) kept things from continuing to get worse, and healthcare reform that mostly doesn't kick in till 2014. The Dems should've known this just wasn't going to cut the mustard with a public that spends more time studying the marriages of Hollywood celebs than politics or economics.

        Failure to prepare for stupidity is stupid.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 09:17:07 PM PDT

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        •  People don't want (0+ / 0-)

          something for nothing. Polls have repeatedly shown that people  think that jobs is the most important problem (elites are the ones who deny this) and that they are willing to raise taxes, including on themselves, for the right purposes (things like education, heath care, etc.) - again, the aversion to taxes is an elite phenomenon.  It doesn't mean majorities never believe foolish things, of course, but too often they get blamed for elite beliefs.

          Merely is a fair word. The stimulus was designed to make sure unemployment stayed above 8%, which is intolerably high.  It certainly helped prevent it from going higher than 9% or so.  The Admin falsely believed that a short term infusion of stimulus would right the ship.  That people weren't jazzed doesn't make them stupid, just human.  'We won't try to fix it, but we will mitigate it' has none of the flair of your sig.

          That said, we do agree that the Dems could have done better by delivering more earlier, and things may well have turned out differently.  And that seems like the thing we can change in the future.

          Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

          by David Kaib on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 09:41:50 PM PDT

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          •  Something for nothing... (0+ / 0-)

            ...has been the GOP platform since Reagan. You can have all the government you really need, and pay a lot less for it. It's worked pretty well for them, most of the time. A large % of people are eager to believe what they want to hear.

            Certainly there are many people who realize that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But as Adlai Stevenson said when told he had the support of "every thinking man"--"Thank you, but I need a majority."

            I completely agree that the majority of Americans are now upset about jobs, and willing to raise taxes to do something about them. The problem is that too many of these people didn't bother to vote last November. Poll after poll last year showed the "enthusiasm gap" killing the Dems--a majority of people agreed with us, but the minority who agreed with the GOP were much more determined to vote.

            Thus a minority of Americans was a majority of voters.

            I hope the 2012 election will be like 2006 or 2008, when things were so fucked up that the GOP nonsense could no longer hide reality. But the difference now, of course, is that the Dems are the incumbents in the White House and Senate. I strongly suspect a large % of the voters will be in knee-jerk punish-the-incumbents mode, and will not take the time to figure out that while the GOP is in the minority, its control of the House and ability to hold a filibuster in the Senate gives it the power to prevent any meaningful action, and that's been the problem. That, and the Blue Dogs, which gets me back where I started.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 07:15:20 AM PDT

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          •  Yup. can't rec because the rec button isn't (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            smiley7

            showing up, but I would if I could.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 06:17:58 PM PDT

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