Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why are moderates upset with Democrats/Obama?

I don't understand. I keep hearing how the election of Scott Brown is a referendum against the leftist agenda of Obama and Congressional Democrats. That would make some sense, except there hasn't been any leftist agenda. I would've LOVED for there to have been a leftist agenda, because I am quite liberal, but alas, there was not.

Instead we ended up with decidedly centrist agenda. We got a health care proposal that isn't a single-payer system, or even a public option, but rather one that benefits the insurance industry more than anyone else. We got a lot of tax cuts and are left with a tax schedule that Reagan was happy with. We got an escalation of the war. We got a market-based environmental plan that favors big business. We still have Don't Ask, Don't Tell and DOMA. We got a Supreme Court Justice that will never remind anyone of Justices Marshall or Brennan. We have 20 vacant circuit courts of appeal seats that could have liberal judicial butts in them. (that's ~12% of the total seats).

So no, this vote was not a referendum on the policies pushed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. This vote was a referendum on the Democrats' message. The Republicans opposed absolutely everything Democrats tried to do, labeling every Democratic policy as leftist, and the Democrats sat back and let them.

So here's an idea for you Democrats. Since you clearly can't beat the Republicans at the message game and moderates are going to hate your policies no matter how moderate they are, how about you actually pass a liberal agenda. Repeal DOMA. Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Raise the estate tax. Increase the progressiveness of the current income tax rate. Remove the cap on social security taxes. Pass sweeping universal health care reform. Repeal the federal death penalty. Repeal racist mandatory minimum laws. Appoint judges that make Brennan look like Clarence Thomas. Pass environmental laws that don't let corporations buy their way out of compliance. Approve public funding for abortion. Invest massively in local and long-distance rail. Pass sweeping immigration reform. Grant amnesty to illegal immigrants currently in the country. Repeal AEDPA. Repeal portions of The Patriot Act.

But no. We all know how this story ends. You'll just keep trying to save your jobs by passing centrist bullshit. And the Republicans will just keep opposing that centrist bullshit and shouting that it's a leftist agenda. And because you suck at the spin game, that label will stick to your centrist agenda and all vulnerable Democrats will lose their seats anyway and all that kowtowing to the moderates will have been in vain.

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