No one is selling it. The Democrats are simply AWOL. All I see on my tv are Republicans talking about wasteful spending, as if they have any credibility on that topic. I would pay to see Barney Frank matched up against a Republican opposed to the stimulus bill, because every Democrat has an easy retort- “If you have so many good economic ideas, how come you never passed any of them along to the last President?”
It isn’t so much that Obama is losing control in the debate. The Democrats just aren’t participating, and this isn’t so much a debate as a Republican monologue. We all know, given our “liberal” media, how that is going to play out in the long run.
That's exactly right, and I find it extremely disheartening. I don't know if Democrats just don't want to look the way the Republicans looked the last eight years -- rubberstamping everything from the White House without giving it one whit of thought beforehand -- or if they're simply assuming that the natural rightness of their position will eventually win the day or if they're simply stupid or gutless. It doesn't matter: they need to quit trying to live up to this lunatic notion of "bipartisanship" and mix it up.
I'm reminded of something Toby Ziegler said in a first season episode of The West Wing, after they decide to not pursue a policy they all believe in but know would be politically difficult:
it's the ones we don't suit up for
Isn't that the truth.
Look, folks: "bipartisanship" is, and ought to be, right now, a dead concept. Seriously: it should be as dead as old Marley. For one thing, the current definition of "bipartisan" in Washington is that whether they're the majority or the smallest minority in a generation, the Republicans get what they want. I say, screw that. We've just come through a period in which Republicans got whatever they wanted just about all of the time, and the results are crap. Piss on what the Republicans want, for God's sake.
But for another thing, really, what's wrong with partisanship, anyway? What's so bad about it? The reason we have parties is that people have different ideas as to what direction the country should take. That's the way it works: people tend to group politically according to the kinds of policies they would like to pursue, and right now, we've just had an election where one party's ideas were strongly endorsed (or, if you'd prefer, the other party's policies strongly rejected). Democrats, and the national media, need to stop acting as though the Republicans still get to control the debate.
In other words, Democrats need to suit up. It's too important now.