Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Centrist Dems: The Timing of Our Bullshit Is Everything

Although establishment Democrats say they're dipping their toes into the populist waters, they're not ready to take the plunge quite yet. It is simply too early to campaign on such policies as Medicare for All or enhanced Social Security.

After all, it's not the day-to-day pressing problems of their constituents that concern them. It's the optimal timing of their populist message to give them the best chance of winning more power for themselves in the 2018 midterm elections. If they demand too much for us too soon, their own personal chances might be damaged.

So right now, these affluent politicians are perfectly content to stand by and watch the Trump administration destroy itself, and by extension, the country and the entire world. Senate Majority Leader and career pol Chuck Schumer (D-Wall Street) blithely told Politico that there will be plenty of time to "hammer on" Democratic proposals next year. The fierce urgency of now simply does not apply within the smug Clinton/Obama wing of the party.
As the GOP suffers self-inflicted wounds on health care and Trump gets bogged down by an FBI probe of his ties to Russia, many in the party believe they should not risk getting in the way, at least not for now.
“It’s less important what our national message is right now, given that Donald Trump is sucking all of the oxygen out of the room,” moderate Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) told POLITICO.
“Quite frankly, the less we have to say about it, the better.”
Translation: let the oxygen-deprived masses eat Russian teacake as politicians feverishly fund-raise off all the fear they are instigating. Who needs to be socially or economically proactive at a time like this? Certainly not the oligarchs who profit every time there is a manufactured crisis. There's plenty of time for the next periodic onslaught of bullshit and empty campaign promises. 
The task ahead for Democrats, then, may be to bait Trump into swinging and missing on bread-and-butter economic issues just as he did on health care, while simultaneously plugging their own plan.
For now, Democrats are happy to stay on the sidelines while Republicans stumble through health care, tax reform and other red-meat issues.
Translation: the task ahead for Democrats is to act the part of good cops in the reality show which now substitutes for governance. Heaven forbid that they hoist their carcasses off the sidelines and enter the fray, demanding universal health care coverage. Heaven forbid they pay attention to the will of the people: liberals and conservatives alike are yammering for government sponsored single payer health care like never before.

The share of the US population saying that the government should be responsible for ensuring health care for everybody has increased to 60 percent, up nine points in just the last year. More than eight in 10 self-identified liberals believe that health care is a basic human right and should be guaranteed by government. And the fact that one in three Republican voters now believes it too is particularly striking.

As Ryan Cooper writes, 
The AHCA is extraordinarily unpopular because it takes coverage and subsidies away from people, and a majority believe that it should be the government's responsibility to make sure everyone is covered. Fundamentally, Medicare is very popular, a fact only partially covered up by generations of red-baiting and duplicitous austerian propaganda. If Democrats had simply bulled ahead with a single payer-esque plan in 2009, instead of the comlicated and heavily means-tested ObamaCare, they almost certainly would have done better than they actually did in the 2010 election.
But the heck with what's good for the American people, who are prematurely dying at near-record rates. Ask not what is good for you and your family. Ask instead what is good for the leaders of the Democratic Party.

And then ask yourself whether this exclusive party of wealthy lackadaisical spectators even deserves to exist any more.


Jay–Ottawa said...

Ah, I know about the DNC's timing. Their BS was the same yesterday (Obama time), it's the same today (Trump time), and it will be the same tomorrow no matter which right side of the Duopoly is flapping its wing. Will no Third Party ever relieve me of these turbulent liars?

Zee said...

I am starting to wonder if Donald Trump could not ensure his re-election in 2020 by completely abandoning his "mantle" of conservatism--as some have suggested he is already doing on various fronts--and allying himself with whichever members of whatever parties could assist him in pushing through some variant of "Medicare for All."

It is not only Pew Research that has concluded that a majority of American voters favor "universal health care." So-called conservative voters are increasingly coming out in favor of universal health care, as well:

And in the foregoing article there are links to additional articles on that same topic. It's not just a "one-off."

My fear would be that even if Trump initiated such a populist push, Democrats would sabotage him because (1) It wasn't their idea in the first place; and, (2) The lure of regaining "party power" is, as we all know, far more important than obtaining any real, bipartisan accomplishment on behalf of the American people.