Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

6 Mistakes That Cost Democrats Dearly?

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Via @zunguzungu, here’s the list from Paul Jay of the Real News Network:

6. Not investigating Bush and Cheney for criminal actions while in office.
5. Bailing out bankers and not the banking system.
4. Not using the GM/Chrysler bailout as an opportunity to build a green economy.
3. Not defending the public option for health care reform.
2. Not bringing a promised new mindset to US foreign policy.
1. Allowing Republicans to rebrand themselves as populist behind the skirts of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

As I mentioned in the strikes and gutters post I tend to think that most of these didn’t “cost” Democrats dearly in the sense that they could have won the midterms if they’d done all six. The primal mistake is still #0: the too-small stimulus.

That said I wish they’d done all of these, because they were the right things to do and because the tiny window 2009-2010 was the best chance we’ll have for a good while. #6 diminishes the country and arguably makes Obama a party to Bush’s crimes; #5 and #4 were huge missed opportunities that will cost the country dearly in the long run; #3 was a big mistake in its own right as well as part of the larger health-care-reform supermistake that offset most concrete improvements in the health care system to 2014 and beyond; #1 would probably have helped us in some important races at the margins of the wave (though the centrality of Palin and the Tea Party definitely saved us elsewhere).

Only #2 seems truly irrelevant to the midterms. People don’t care that the U.S. has spent the last few decades waging a endless series of little wars and open-ended occupations; they seem to like it that way. The most terrible thing about contemporary U.S. politics is that Broder’s atrocious plan to win re-election by starting a war with Iran would actually work.

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