Monday, November 19, 2012

Post election: Help! What was the Dem spin?

As I said before, the GOP had much more to explain or spin away with this election. That doesn't mean that the Dems don't have some of their own spin. Nonetheless, I haven't seen a lot of Democratic crowing and breast-beating. Even Pelosi is equivocal. On the one hand, she won't accept a tax plan without a rate increase for the wealthy. On the other hand, she says "it's my role to go to the table with some ideas, to be receptive to what we can come to agreement on." That sounds plenty flexible to me.

Bottom line - I didn't find a Dem leader who had an inviolable list of must-haves. So if Dems aren't claiming a mandate for specific policies, what is their reaction to their win? Please help me suss this out by sending examples.

To get you started, these are from Kevin Drum of Mother Jones:
This was not a historic vindication of liberalism, and it doesn't mean that we can suddenly decide that demography will sweep us to victory for the next couple of decades. The plain truth is that although an increasing number of voters are turned off by what Republicans represent, that doesn't mean they've become lefty converts.--11/7/12
But if Obama spends his next four years presiding over nothing more than the implementation of laws already passed, ... then Democrats will look pretty good in 2016... It could be that doing nothing is about the best strategy the party could follow.-- later on 11/7/12
So, will the Dems restrain their crazies and make a generally acceptable deal? They kept their whackos fairly quiet during the election season. Perhaps the Dem base are finally toilet-trained enough to follow their smarter leaders and not turn this win into an orgy of partisan spending. Dems with discipline--what on earth will happen next?

It worked for the Dems.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please spell out for me what has constituted the "orgy of partisan [Democratic] spending" in your mind in the last 20 years. Sure, Medicare has gotten more expensive, and that was/is a Democratic program at its heart, but the GOP also embraced it with, say, Medicare Part D under Bush/GOP Congress.

One could argue that Obamacare is an "orgy" of spending, but mostly it was shifting costs around and adding a little revenue from high-income earners to support the difference. The GOP tried to call it the equivalent of an orgy of Democratic spending, but in the end the voters decided it wasn't.

On the other hand, the GOP has pursued its own orgy of spending, mostly in tax cuts but also in wars and defense, and then with the Wall Street bailout. While none of these are, technically, "partisan" spending since many Dems went along or faced awful future electoral consequences, the salesmen and promoters for these orgies of spending were all Republicans, if I recall.

The simple fact is we aren't spending as much as it looks; only the deficits due to gross undertaxation (again for partisan political gain) make it look that way. Take away the wars and the tax cuts and our fiscal house would have been in order.