These days, Republicans may be losing politically and resorting to increasingly anti-majoritarian means—gerrymandering, filibuster abuse, voter suppression, activist Supreme Court decisions, legislative terrorism—to nullify election results. But on economic-policy matters they are setting the terms. ...George Packer, New Yorker
And will be until we stride past them. Most Americans, including Democrats, blame Obama for not leading. I'd take issue with that. Obama is energetic, remarkably impervious to slings and arrow, and tough. But Democrats in the House are nearly invisible and not that much better in the Senate. To many of the rest of us roar at inaugurations and then sit back, sometimes cowed by the sheer brutality of the screaming coming from the right. Or we bicker with Obama over compromises. We need to set the terms. Loudly. And those terms must give Obama some flexibility. We need to be behind Obama just as visibly as the loons are behind Ted Cruz. And we need to make sure our representatives and senators are no less tough than we are.
In the meantime (and it is mean!):
The dominant argument in Washington is over spending cuts, not over ways to increase economic growth and address acute problems like inequality, poor schools, and infrastructure decay. "The whole debate over the last couple of weeks is playing against a backdrop of how much to increase austerity, not to invest in the economy," Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, said last week. ...George Packer, New Yorker