fresh voices from the front lines of change







Now is the winter of Democratic discontent. And the knives are out. Liberalism, the Wall Street Journal tells us, has cracked up once more.

Obama, sobered by trying to govern from the left, is said to be tacking to the center, going bipartisan, convening a commission on the deficit, a bipartisan fest on health care.

Funny how liberals get the rap for the failure of policies THAT LIBERALS WARNED WOULD FAIL.
Here’s what I posted on Politico on this question:

What’s the great backlash about? Put aside the racial venom, the right-wing fury, the Palin faux populism. Why are Democrats discouraged, independents angry and conservatives on the march? One central reason: The government ran up trillions in debt, bailed out the banks but not the economy. Wall Street’s “savvy businessmen” are cashing million dollar bonuses, and 25 million Americans are looking for real work.

This was not a liberal failure. It was a failure of the so-called “moderates,” who having driven us into this mess are now making it harder to get out. Moderates forged a recovery plan that was clearly too small. Moderates in the Senate, led by the redoubtable Evan Bayh and Ben Nelson, made it smaller and weaker. Moderates in the administration preferred continuity in the Wall Street bailout, rescuing the big investment houses and banks rather than reorganizing them. And worse, moderates are now turning their attention to deficit reduction – just as the economy desperately needs a new jobs program and more government borrowing to sustain demand.

At present course, moderate policies will lead to the double dip recession just in time for the November elections.

Conservatives look to gain from this failure, pursuing their policy of obstruction. But their stated positions – against government spending, for top end tax cuts, and against any serious banking reorganization – offer no answers to the economic mess.

Perhaps then liberals may have their shot. But for that to happen, Democrats will have to understand just how conservative and moderate policies have created and sustained our crisis.

The irony is that, under Nancy Pelosi, the House Democrats are closer to common sense. If the Senate had just followed the much derided Pelosi’s lead, we would have had a stronger stimulus and a second jobs program, a health care bill with a public option paid for by top end tax hikes, a flawed but completed energy bill, and the first step to banking regulation, with an independent agency in the works to protect consumers from getting fleeced by the predators. I’d sure as hell rather run on that record than the record racked up by the Blue Dogs, New Dems and bipolar bipartisans.

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