Thursday, November 18, 2010

The great cave: How Obama and the Democrats are losing the battle over the Bush tax cuts (revisited)

(A follow-up to this post from last week.)

A new CNN poll shows that only about a third of Americans support an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (those making over $250,000 a year).

This is a winning issue for Democrats and it's already wrapped up with a nice big bow on top. Just fucking go for it!

So it continues to boggle the mind why they haven't jumped all over it -- especially now that so many of the Blue Dogs are on the way out, having been voted out in the midterms.

And what makes it so much worse is that Obama has been a complete failure on this issue -- as Slate's John Dickerson points out, inconsistent on his position and seemingly unwilling to take the fight to the Republicans, who remain firmly (because ideologically) opposed to anything short of a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy, which is obviously the #1 priority for them, not across-the-board cuts, not cuts for the middle class, but cuts for the rich, the Republican Party essentially being a party of plutocracy.

So why can't/won't Democrats message this for what it is? Have they lost any and all ability to try to frame a coherent narrative, even around a single issue that plays right into their hands? Are they really that pathetic?

Because it should be easy. Split the vote. Hold separate votes on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone else. Force Republicans to vote for the (unpopular) tax cuts for the wealthy and possibly but not likely against the (popular tax) cuts for everyone else. Make Republicans go on the record. Make them reveal what they really are, what they're really all about, on a high-profile issue that resonates with the entire electorate.

Why the fuck don't Democrats get this? And why the fuck is Obama waffling?

(Yes, I know. So much foul language in this post. But you know what? I'm pissed off.)

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