Matt Yglesias thinks we need a Reality Check:
Something I find incredibly puzzling is the strange determination many progressive have to diagnose what the “problem” is with Democrats that makes them so “bad” at electoral politics. They actually seem to me to be fine. Look at the 30 year span from 1980 to 2010. The Democratic candidate won the popular vote in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2008 (4 times) whereas the Republican candidate won in 1980, 1984, 1988, and 2004. It’s true that in the real world the poor ballot design in Palm Beach County, the Supreme Court, and the Electoral College put George W Bush in the White House but none of that is the fault of Democratic Party messaging tactics.
Democrats controlled the House for 18 out of those 30 years, and controlled the Senate for 14 out of 30 years. In the new year, they’ll control two out of the three branches of government. None of that sounds to me like a political party that’s having trouble persuading people to vote for it.
Check it out, Bill Clinton is a Democrat again! Okay, to be fair I’ve never seen MattY accuse the Big Dawg of being a DINOcrat Republican but plenty of his Creative Class pals do it all the time. I wish they would be consistent with their memes.
MattY’s numbers are kinda tricky though, since Bill won in 1992 and 1996 with pluralities and Gore “lost” electorally in 2000 with a popular vote majority thanks to Jeb Bush and 5 SCOTUS (in)justices. His definition of “winning” is fairly narrow, confining it to the outcome of elections and not having anything to do with accomplishments in terms of policy and legislation.
True! But here’s another lens to look through, one that I’ve mentioned before. It’s liberal-centric rather than Democrat-centric.
Over the past century, American liberalism has mostly progressed in three very short, sharp spurts.
But the last one of these spurts ended 40 years ago, and the Obama Era, such as it was, lasted a mere 18 months. That’s despite the fact that Democrats had big majorities in both the House and Senate, George Bush had seemingly degraded the Republican brand almost beyond salvaging, and conservative policies had produced an epic financial collapse that should have provided a tremendous tailwind for substantial progressive reform. And yet: 18 months. That was it.
So yes: Democrats have done OK over the past few decades. And it’s fair to say that conservatism has made only modest strides during that period. Triumphalist right-wing rhetoric to the contrary, America obviously doesn’t have any burning desire to turn back the clock to the 1950s. But actual, substantial liberal progress? We haven’t seen so much of that, and after 18 months of modest achievements we’re obviously not going to get any more for quite a while.
So what happened?
Awww, so close but no cigar.
Does Kevin really not know what happened or is he just not allowed to say it? At least he isn’t trying to convince us that Obama had the most awesomest first two years of any POTUS ever.
You-know-who did another Facebook fireside chat in response to the latest ginned-up PDS fauxrage:
A Thanksgiving Message to All 57 States
My fellow Americans in all 57 states, the time has changed for come. With our country founded more than 20 centuries ago, we have much to celebrate – from the FBI’s 100 days to the reforms that bring greater inefficiencies to our health care system. We know that countries like Europe are willing to stand with us in our fight to halt the rise of privacy, and Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. And let’s face it, everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment, and ah, a breathalyzer, or an inhalator. I mean, not a breathalyzer, ah, I don’t know what the term is in Austrian for that…
Of course, the paragraph above is based on a series of misstatements and verbal gaffes made by Barack Obama (I didn’t have enough time to do one for Joe Biden). YouTube links are provided just in case you doubt the accuracy of these all too human slips-of-the-tongue. If you can’t remember hearing about them, that’s because for the most part the media didn’t consider them newsworthy. I have no complaint about that. Everybody makes the occasional verbal gaffe – even news anchors.
That’s it for now, yesterday was a quiet news day but I’m sure there will be more stuff to talk about later so keep checking back.
My big project for today is putting up my Festivus lights outside. What will you be doing?
Have a great Friday!
ONLY 27 MORE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT UNTIL FESTIVUS!
Filed under: Democratic Party, General, Palin Derangement Syndrome, Sarah Palin | 60 Comments »