Bruce Bartlett in the New York Times:
In a courtroom, justice requires that both sides be equally well represented. If one doesn’t do its job properly, the jury cannot be blamed for a wrong result. If Democrats are going to accept Republican premises, they shouldn’t be surprised if a majority of people eventually conclude that Republicans ought to be in charge of government policy.
True. One of my biggest frustrations about the state of the nation is that the President has proved so reluctant to challenge many of the Tea Party’s core assumptions about the proper role of government. In contrast to Ronald Reagan, who took his role as educator-in-chief seriously, the President has not done enough to explain why more stimulus is needed, why shifting to fiscal austerity too soon costs more money than it saves, why a strong central government is essential to our future, why Social Security is both essential for the middle class and, with very minor adjustments, actuarially sound, etc. It’s as though he sees public opinion as a fact of nature, rather than something he can (and should) try to shape and mold. Kevin Drum concurs:
Years ago, it was conservative Republicans who pointed out that if the choice was between a Democrat and a Democrat-lite, voters would most likely just vote for the real deal. . . . If you concede up front that deficits are our biggest problem, that tax increases are bad for the economy, that we can’t afford any further stimulus, and that regulations are job killers, that’s not going to win you many votes. After all, if this kind of thing appeals to you, why vote for a Democrat who only kinda sorta believes it? You might as well vote for the real deal instead.