Robert Reich writes Why Washington Isn’t Doing Squat About Jobs and Wages:
The silence is deafening. While the rest of the nation is heading back toward a double dip, Washington continues to obsess about future budget deficits. Why?
Republicans don’t want to do anything about jobs and wages. They’re so intent on unseating Obama they’d like the economy to remain in the dumps through Election Day. They also see the lousy economy as an opportunity to sell Americans their big lie that government spending is the culprit — and jobs will return if spending is cut and government shrinks.
Democrats, meanwhile, don’t want to admit the recovery has stalled. They worry such talk will further undermine consumer confidence or spook the bond market. They don’t want to head into the election year sounding downbeat. And they don’t think they have the votes for anything that will have much effect before Election Day anyway.
But there’s a third reason for Washington’s inaction. It’s not being talked about — which is itself evidence of the problem.
The unemployed are politically invisible. They don’t make major campaign donations. They don’t lobby Congress. There’s no National Association of Unemployed People. ...
Well, that's certainly true.
But the politically invisible are supposed to have a champion in Washington. That champion, the elected Democrats, who are worried about votes in 2012 if the economy is still only anemically "recovering," ought to be taking every single opportunity there is to speak and act for those invisibles. Every day. And they ought to realize that more and more Americans have become, are becoming, invisible. Middle-class Americans.
This doesn't mean the gains achieved in the past couple of years should go unmentioned. President Obama was on the mark in his speech in Toledo last week in this regard. But it also means Democrats should not sugarcoat the very real problems faced by 25- to 30-million unemployed and underemployed Americans. They should speak for and about them boldly. Take responsibility for them. And point fingers. Otherwise, the fingers will inevitably, justifiably, point at them.
They should absolutely take note that the economic situation in January 2009 was a disaster inherited by the new administration. It was an acute disaster that can be laid mostly at the feet of the Bush administration, and a chronic one with its roots in voodoo economic theories and policies embraced over several decades. Every public chance they get, Democrats should point out the obstacles to fixing this acute and chronic economic disaster.
Not just the obvious obstacles on the floor of the Senate and House, the stubborn extremists who now run the Republican Party. But far more crucially, they need to inform the nation of the obstacles put up by plutocrats who have constrained regulatory agencies and concentrated the media into a tight little cabal committed to the distribution of baloney and bullshit. They should not pretend that if they don't mention this reality it will go away.
Some Democrats are already on the case. And huzzah to them for not having to have this stuff coaxed out of them by Rachel Maddow and a handful of other reliable people in the media. But more Democrats need to stand up. They should be making the plight of invisible Americans visible. Every day. They want to win elections? That is the way to do it.
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At Daily Kos on this date in 2007:
James Carville, Scooter Libby defender, via his wife:Though my husband James Carville, a Democratic Strategist and Clinton supporter, shares neither political nor philosophical views with Scooter, he has deep respect for his intellect, his integrity, and joins me in the sentiments expressed here.
Among those sentiments are pablum like:One of the many enduring and endearing memories of Scooter is his universal love of families.
Except for the Plame/Wilson family of course. And those of our soldiers stuck in Iraq...
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