Washington has never been held in lower esteem by Americans than it is today. Yet those in control of Washington—President Obama and congressional Democrats—are bent on enacting a series of sweeping domestic policy changes this year that have one thing in common: They are unpopular, in whole or in part.
This is unprecedented and a bit weird too. A revival of civility and an end to the ugly political polarization in Washington—goals stressed by Mr. Obama in his presidential campaign and again last Saturday in a speech at the University of Michigan—won't be furthered by passage of an unpopular agenda. A more likely result is years of partisan resentment and bitter fighting over efforts by Republicans to repeal the unwanted policies.
Mickey calls this a 'mad duck' kind of situation, and while I give him points for partisan consistency (Mickey's solution is to limit Republican wins, in order to keep the Democrats from being too insecure) he is nonetheless displaying partisan thinking. To put it simply: any Democratic Member of Congress who signs off on this in 2010 after winning re-election will have a very miserable 112th Congress. Any Democratic Senator who signs off on this while being up for re-election in 2012 will have to explain that to the voters, more or less constantly.
Are you paying attention to that, Jeff Bingaman? Sherrod Brown? Bob Casey? Kent Conrad? Amy Klobuchar? Herb Kohl? Claire McCaskill? Ben Nelson? Bill Nelson? Debbie Stabenow? Jon Tester? Jim Webb? - Because we are.
*Just business, Mickey. Nothing personal.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.