FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
‘The Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality.’ …Wait, the acronym is PAtCII?
As in, 'patsy?' Talk about truth in advertising...
If you’ve ever wondered whether a basic lack of empathy for, and understanding of, one’s political opponents can be a problem, wonder no further. Progressive Democrats will be happy to demonstrate the flaws in that strategy. MSNBC: “Dozens of progressive elected officials, labor leaders, policymakers and economists will gather outside the Capitol in Washington Tuesday afternoon to lay down a marker on a progressive economic vision they hope the Democratic party and its next leader will adopt.”
The conference is at 3 PM: last week Politico called it “the left’s answer to the Contract with America.” Or, more accurately, Politico opined that Bill De Blasio (whose baby this is) hopes that this will be the left’s answer, etc. etc. etc. – which has certainly not been disputed by anybody involved. Although possibly they should have, because there’s a glaring problem with comparing “The Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality” with “The Contract With America.” To wit: progressives are going to look like idiots when this Agenda of theirs goes nowhere.
And nowhere it will go. You see, the Contract With America was, at bottom, a promise. In that it is like this Agenda thing; but one significant difference is that it was a promise that had teeth. Republican House candidates – both incumbents, and people running against incumbents – signed the Contract en masse, and it was clearly understood at the time that the people who signed on understood that they’d have to follow through on that promise. It meant something, in other words.
In contrast? This Agenda thing is conspicuous in its lack of candidate support. To be fair, the Contract with America was revealed well after the primaries were done; but you would think that if the Agenda was really equivalent to the Contract then the Democratic party would have gotten its sitting politicians to sign off on it. But they obviously haven’t, and they just as obviously won’t. That’s because what the Agenda is is just another example of the progressive fringe trying to impose from afar their legislative vision on a political party that, while it has no vision of its own, is still half-consciously aware that the progressives’ take on the matter is bad political news. There’s no angle in merely liberal Democrats getting on board, and nothing ever gets done in the Democratic party until all the angles are calculated.
The funny part? If progressives would just look at the way the GOP insurgents did things back then, then maybe this Agenda of theirs wouldn’t be coming shrink-wrapped in its own failure. But that would involve taking conservatives seriously, and we can’t have that…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: I really, really want the Democrats to run on income inequality. Alas, far too many Democrats can see the pitfalls involved. Such a pity…