No matter how the debt ceiling non-crisis kabuki ends, President Obama and congressional democrats will get the blame. That's because repugs know how to play the game.
Steve M from December, regarding the repug victory on extending the bush tax cuts:
(Repug slogans are) simple and digestible -- who cares if it doesn't make any sense? It sounds as if it does. And, of course, it doesn't have to persuade everyone, or even be fully believed by everyone who takes it seriously -- as long as you float the idea that, for instance, Gingrich (or even Reagan) was responsible for the economic recovery in the Clinton years, you reduce the chances that Republicans will be thoroughly discredited during those years even among people inclined to give primary credit to Clinton. And then if, years later, the economy is bad in a Democratic era (as it is now), you pull this argument off the shelf and, to some in the middle (in addition to the usual folks on the right), it actually starts to sound reasonable.
The point is, Karl Rove is already thinking about what GOP messages will be two years from now -- or whenever the economy recovers. He's already laying the groundwork. I'm not sure there are any Democrats who are thinking yet about what their message is going to be next month.
Later, he wrote:
That's harsh, but I think there's truth to it -- that and the fact that we seem to believe that all we have to do is pick a hero (or set of heroes) and an enemy (or set of enemies), and if we can achieve victory for the good guy(s), everything will just fall into place. We won't have to keep fighting and keep persuading. All good will flow from a rider or riders atop one or more white steeds.
I saw this mindset in 2000 among Naderites. The two-party duopoly is hopelessly corrupt! Elect Nader! And if you had elected Nader, my Underpants Gnomes, what's Step 2? Wouldn't he be working with 535 legislators who were all (or nearly all) from the two-party duopoly? I also saw this mentality, with less pure heroes, in the great Netroots/50-State Strategy/Ned Lamont moment of 2006 and, needless to say, with Obama in 2008.
Of course, Obama did very little to disabuse supporters of the notion that he was, in fact, a messiah -- a good electoral strategy, perhaps, but it gets you in trouble when you can't deliver. Not that he tries very hard to engage the public. Atrios yesterday:Meh
I guess that's my reaction to the budget Deal Or No Deal. The economy does need more stimulus and it does provide more of that than expected (recognize expectations game). But if the economy needed more stimulus, why haven't they been making it the case? I understand that stimulus has become a dirty word because, well, I have no idea why, but they could have called it Magic Ponies or whatever.
"Stimulus" has become a dirty word because Republicans never stop messaging and Democrats never start.
It's odd that we now have the sneering term "the professional left" because, literally, there is no professional left -- no set of institutions that effectively promotes progressive ideas (rather than liberal or people-we-hope-are-liberal politicians). There sure as hell is a professional right; every day it grinds out effective propaganda and gets right-wing ideas even more deeply embedded in the national consciousness. This is what progressives have to do -- sell the ideas. Sell them to people who aren't Democratic Underground commenters and Kos diarists. And think of electoral victories as won battles, not won wars.
Liberals don't let repugs get the rhetorical high ground, and don't let them get away with lies. Liberals call out the motherfuckers for lying about fucking their mothers.