The editors at The Nation make a good point in the magazine’s latest issue. While in many ways, Republicans in Congress “lost” much in this latest attack on Obama and his priorities, Democrats are now forced to work with a budget where sequestration levels are the new starting point. In other words, Republicans did lose this battle, but they continue to be successful in the larger war by pulling the government and the country further and further to the political right.
We have to give kudos to the President for standing firm in this latest showdown, but he has already conceded too much to Republicans and there is nothing to keep the Tea Party anarchists from resorting to extortion in the future to get what they want. For a variety of reasons, some good and many bad, before this week, Obama never drew a line in the sand in regards to the budget or anything else for that matter, and demanded that Republicans work with him on his terms. I’ve said this many times in the past, but Democrats continue allowing Republicans to set the parameters of the debate.
As Democrats, we should be the ones setting priorities on national issues. We need far more angry progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Alan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich in leadership roles and far fewer establishment rollovers like Pelosi, Reid and Feinstein. We need our own Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz, passionate politicians (who aren’t clinically insane) willing to fight for progressive causes and not be cowed by the childish, name-calling haters on the Right.
The one great hope to come out of all of this is that Republicans have damaged themselves enough for Dems to keep the Senate and take back the House in the next election.