The conventional wisdom in Washington is that those who say the lesson from last week’s drubbing is that progressives should get a spine simply “don’t get it.” The explanation given by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and some others—that aside from stubbornly high unemployment, one contributing factor was the Democrats’ failure to explain their program and counter Republican misinformation—is seen by the conventionally wise as delusional.
But I’ve been meeting an awful lot of progressives around the country who share that delusion, if that’s what it is. They despair that their neighbors don’t know that it was George W. Bush who proposed the TARP bailout, not Obama—or that it worked, or that taxpayers are getting their money back. They wonder how health care reform came to be defined not as a moral issue or a way to slow rising costs, which it is, but as a “big government takeover,” complete with “death panels.” Which it isn’t.
What I’m hearing is frustration, and it’s getting louder. I’m hearing the view that the Obama administration, which has done much good, can do better—by speaking clearly, standing its ground—and, when pushed by bullies, shoving back. MORE...
Howie P.S.: I was really hoping for an answer.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Eugene Robinson on “Why don’t they fight back?”