Words of wisdom

I think that where a lot of progressive political junkies go wrong is that they think “blame Republicans for failing to pass plan to fix the economy” is a close substitute for “fix the economy.” In reality, the evidence that fixing the economy would help Democrats politically is overwhelming, while the evidence that the plan/block/blame strategy would work is non-existent. People like me and Atrios would feel better about President Obama and his team if they made public statements that indicated that he roughly agrees with our take on what ideally should be done, but people like me and Atrios are neither swing voters nor marginally attached voters. Our emotional state has very little political relevance.

What’s more, there’s unfortunately a real tension here. The things you would do to outline a bold progressive approach to fixing the economy are very different from the things you would do to try to get the GOP votes you need to pass economy-fixing legislation. In particular, the reaction red state (or district) Democratic members of congress to those things would be very different. The fact of the matter is that the mistakes of 2009 in terms of the stimulus and the Fed can’t be easily undone.

That is from Matt Yglesias.


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