Over at Contentions Jennifer Rubin has a nice take on the Democrats’ refusal to face the reality that their dilemma is not a “communications problem” but rather a policy problem. She points to the opinions of Susan Estrich (the former Dukakis campaign manager who learned first hand that it’s all about policy when voters pull the lever) and pollster Charlie Cook.
It’s not a communications problem. What’s gone wrong is that people see the country swimming in debt, see the jobs recovery lagging, see friends and neighbors who are not even hanging on, and they just don’t know how this administration is planning to pay for a massive health care reform effort. The appointment of a bipartisan commission on the deficit only underscores the problem and makes it seem that the administration has no answer for it except another new spending program.
Finally, a Democrat that gets it. Take note of her comment about “friends and neighbors who are not hanging on”. That is, in a nutshell, the gist of the anger and frustration that has gripped the electorate during the past year. Americans intuitively understand that real job growth comes from the private sector and no public spending program, absent a world war, can create enough jobs to significantly alter the joblessness that is crushing this economy.
And here’s Cook’s read on the situation:
This is a reality problem. And I think they just made some grave miscalculations and as it became more clear that they had screwed up, they just kept doubling down their bet. And so I think, no, this is one of the biggest miscalculations that we’ve seen in modern political history.
This begs the question, why do Democrats keep doubling down on an obviously poor hand? I’ve always believed in the political maxim that, at the end of the day, all politicians do what is in their own best interests. But not these Democrats presently in power. Put another way, will seventy or more Democrats in the House of Representatives and seven or more Democrats in the Senate fall on their sword for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi?