Here’s Digby, the first this:
Greg Sargent has been making the argument for a while that GOP obstructionism is helping them at the polls because people actually blame the majority Democrats for failing rather than blame the Republicans for succeeding.
Yes, well, no shit. Or to put it another way, NO FUCKING SHIT!!!! But, you know, whatever. Maybe the expectation that the party with a president backed by a massive Congressional majority will deliver something is a whole new phenomenon. I don’t know. I mean, fuck. Whatever. The really poignant part is that “actually blame the Democrats for failing … [emphasis mine]”. It is to fucking weep. She’s about my age, Digby is. It’s to weep.
And here’s Greg Sargent, the second this, to which the first this refers, with a not really stupid but really fucking obvious point:
As you know, I’ve been arguing here that the GOP strategy of obstruction is paying off for Republicans — big time. The public is blaming Democrats, not Republicans, for the government dysfunction that has resulted from Republican obstructionist tactics, because Dems are in charge.
The most visible example of GOP obstruction yet has been the blockade of an extension of unemployment benefits. The poll shows the public overwhelmingly supports this extension — and it also shows the public is deeply frustrated with the workings of Federal government. Yet despite these two facts, Republicans are now leading in the generic Congressional matchup.
Well yes, yes the public are doing that. That’s because Democrats are the party with a president backed by a massive Congressional majority, and they can’t get shit done. Is that supposed to benefit them? or the people who aren’t them? Because this is about as close to a zero sum game as one gets in real but nonviolent life. I mean, you know, fuck. Whatever.
I like Digby. She’s a good writer and she went out of her way to help me on several occasions when I was about to fall off the edge of the world. So I feel somewhat bad saying mean things about her. But, fuck! Digby again:
Similarly, the party in power is expected to do what’s necessary to pass its agenda. If it can’t, it is held responsible for the failure, not those who stopped them from doing it. This is particularly true in the present circumstance. The president blaming the “do nothing congress” only works when the congressional majority is of the opposition party. When it’s your own party, you just look like a weak leader and people think the underdog Republicans are simply “playing the game” better and so deserve to “win.”
What? What? Wait, what. What am I missing here? Is this surprising? Is it new? Is it somehow unfair of people to think that the party with a president backed by a massive Congressional majority should get shit done? I mean, come on. There are two reasons people think Obama is a weak leader, and both of them are that he appears to be a weak leader.
Okay, so there’s that, where we have two smart people seemingly thunderstruck by the reaction to Obama’s failure to deliver, and, at least in Digby’s instance, genuinely peeved by the unfairness of it all.
Since he ran explicitly on the promise to end the bickering, change Washington and create a post-partisan consensus, people see the failure of those things to materialize as a measure of his failure to deliver on his promise. This president is more hampered than most in making the (legitimate) argument that the Party of No is to blame for the nation’s troubles. I didn’t subscribe to the “personal magic” theory of the presidency, so I had no illusions about Obama’s ability to keep this promise. But I think a fair number of people believed it and the rest think it’s the job description to beat the opposition with hardball politics.
Yes! Yes! Hardball! Get shit done! A little chin music, if you please! Oh, wait, is that bad? I guess that’s bad. No hardball in politics. Hardball bad. Well, fuck. Whatever.
Okay, so there’s the monumental unfairness of it all, but that’s not the worst thing. No, there is worse to come. Digby again:
Update: Chris Bowers has an interesting post today that runs along a related track. It turns out that the non-ideological among us — the vaunted independents — vote their personal pocket books. So blaming it on Republican obstructionism — or appealing to “moderation” for that matter, isn’t going to do the Democrats any good with those folks.
Oh, yeah, wait. Fuck. Whatever.