Monday, December 30, 2013
Americans Against Americans Against Obamacare
It's a bumper sticker. A few minutes ago I almost tossed the envelope it came in, thinking it was just a solicitation. I'd forgot ordering it some time back, by making a $5 donation to the national Democratic Party, during the height of the Obamacare Trouble, I guess it was.
I look at it now, and think about it being on my bumper as I drive around Albuquerque. Obamacare sums up President Obama. They way he approached getting it passed was to go for the middle, not the top. He ruled out single payer and the "public option." He always does it that way. He goes for what he can get, that doesn't cost him politically.
I've read convincing articles that portray him as a political genius, that with what he's been up against, the economy, the entrenched interests in and out of government, the racism, he has deftly achieved remarkable feats. And he has gotten himself elected president of the United States twice.
But I heard someone quote him once as saying, when he was deciding what he could get in a certain situation, "The electorate just isn't there."
In other words, you have to figure out what the public mood is and design your strategy around it.
This to me represents the central flaw in, and the failing of the Democratic Party. Instead of trying to move the electorate, they adjust to where the Republicans have moved the electorate. They've been doing this since Reagan. It's why the political center is far to the right of where it once was. It's why you hear people say a Republican like a Reagan, a Nixon, an Eisenhower, couldn't win a Republican primary now. It's why you hear people say Obama and Bill Clinton are what "moderate Republicans" used to be.
It's why we're losing ground in wages and living standards. It's why in many measures, in things like education and child health and overall poverty, the US is becoming a third world country. It's why big business and the wealthy pay almost nothing into the pot while working Americans, who are paying almost all the tax burden now, are struggling to help each other get by and why we are turning on each other in many, many ways, large and small, and it's why the American Dream is almost dead.