July 21, 2009

Is Obama's Overreaching Overrated?

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David Brooks in the NY Times today levels strong criticism against President Obama, interepreting recent poll numbers as an indication that the country is losing faith in him and his fellow Democrats:

Liberal Suicide March


"...It’s not that interesting to watch the Democrats lose touch with America. That’s because the plotline is exactly the same. The party is led by insular liberals from big cities and the coasts, who neither understand nor sympathize with moderates. They have their own cherry-picking pollsters, their own media and activist cocoon, their own plans to lavishly spend borrowed money to buy votes.

This ideological overreach won’t be any more successful than the last one. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday confirms what other polls have found. Most Americans love Barack Obama personally, but support for Democratic policies is already sliding fast..."

But Matthew Yglesias begs to differ


Overblown Overreaching

...I think the straightforward reading of this survey data is that congressional Democrats ought to ignore congressional Republicans and pass the ideas Barack Obama has proposed...

I have to say that I think the general phenomenon of “overreach” — and especially of “liberal overreach” — is wildly overblown. It’s not as if what happened in 1994 was the congress passed Bill Clinton’s big health reform package, then the public didn’t like it, then in revulsion they turned against Democrats. Nor did congress pass the proposed BTU tax, then the public didn’t like it, and then in revulsion they turned against Democrats. The noteworthy thing about the first two years of the Clinton administration was the lack of ambitious progressive programs put in place. And you could say the same about Jimmy Carter. Whatever it is people reacted against in 1978, 1980, and 1994 it wasn’t actually existing left-wing governance...

Whose side are you on?

Posted at July 21, 2009 2:59 PM

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