Friday, July 09, 2010

Renaissance or Status Quo?

Josh Marshall, on the signs of a Republican resurgence in November:

In general, I think the big political tell over the last couple months is the mounting evidence of a stalled recovery coupled with the fact that administration is basically backed into a position of immediate fiscal retrenchment which means we may be tossed back into the water. But this time with our hands tied behind our back.

My own sense is that the first 19 months of Democratic control of the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government has been a missed opportunity, and an enormous one.

When Obama and the new congress took office, they had a country which was staring terrified into the abyss, angry at the oligarchs who created that abyss, and ready to be led in a new direction by the soaring rhetoric of Hope from their new president. The Reagan/Gingrich-Era conservative revolution was about played out, and people were ready for a change.

This was a shining, golden opportunity for a charismatic Democratic leader to begin a New Era in American political life. The story the Right had been selling for decades - that if only government got out of the way of business, it would boom and benefit everyone - was now easy to dismiss as the fairy tale it was: Between 1980 and 2010, the productivity of the average America worker increased by over 40%, while the median wage barely budged. All the benefit of those productivity increases went to the top of the wealth ladder, and stayed there. People were actually talking about things in just those terms.

The thing is, none of this has changed. The opportunity is still there, if only the Democrats will only seize it.

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