Via RCP. Don’t misunderstand: This is 100 percent nonpartisan criticism, he insists. It could have been written at any point in the last 10 years.
Funny how he decided to write about it this year, though, huh?
According to polls, Americans are in a mood to hold their breath until they turn blue. Voters appear to be so fed up with the Democrats that they’re ready to toss them out in favor of the Republicans — for whom, according to those same polls, the nation has even greater contempt. This isn’t an “electoral wave,” it’s a temper tantrum…
In the punditry business, it’s considered bad form to question the essential wisdom of the American people. But at this point, it’s impossible to ignore the obvious: The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.
This is not, I repeat not, a partisan argument. My own political leanings are well-known, but the refusal of Americans to look seriously at the nation’s situation — and its prospects — is an equal-opportunity scourge. Republicans got the back of the electorate’s hand in 2006 and 2008; Democrats will feel the sting this November. By 2012, it will probably be the GOP’s turn to get slapped around again.
The nation demands the impossible: quick, painless solutions to long-term, structural problems. While they’re running for office, politicians of both parties encourage this kind of magical thinking. When they get into office, they’re forced to try to explain that things aren’t quite so simple — that restructuring our economy, renewing the nation’s increasingly rickety infrastructure, reforming an unsustainable system of entitlements, redefining America’s position in the world and all the other massive challenges that face the country are going to require years of effort. But the American people don’t want to hear any of this. They want somebody to make it all better. Now.
Geraghty compares and contrasts this piece with the piece Robinson wrote two years ago about the transcendent enlightened majesty of a people that could elect Barack Obama president. (Watch conservative Matt Lewis echo that point at around 7:40 in the clip.) I’m actually torn on how to react to this. On the one hand, when it comes to dealing with entitlements, Robinson’s right about voters’ reluctance to make hard choices between higher taxes and less spending. On the other hand, when the Democrats took back Congress in 2006, I don’t recall much op-ed blabbage about a “temper tantrum.” Temper tantrums are spontaneous and hysterical; the big blue wave, on the contrary, was a predictable reaction to Bush’s second term having gone miserably, from Katrina to security conditions in Iraq deteriorating to Republican ethics scandals and on and on. Anyone want to try explaining why 9.6 percent unemployment plus a failed, nearly trillion-dollar stimulus plus the utter arrogance of passing a health-care package heavily opposed by most voters at the time shouldn’t generate a similar, entirely predictable reaction? In fact, weren’t Democrats warned repeatedly during the ObamaCare debate — not by their own pundits, of course, who were willing to sacrifice anything to pass universal health care — that this is precisely what would happen? They saw it coming from miles and miles away and did it anyway. They got their bill passed, now we get this. Nothing spontaneous or hysterical about it.
But get used to this, needless to say, for only two things can explain Democratic defeat to the lefty commentariat: (1) Poor “messaging,” which Robinson naturally alludes to in the clip, and (2) the feral, juvenile instincts of anyone who votes Republican against their better interest. As Ace notes, we’ve heard this rhetoric before, haven’t we?