Democrats ceded the moral high ground in the budget deal negotiated last week. Democrats likely believed that the responsible thing to do was to take a minimal deal and live to fight another day.
Democrats never seem to understand that their policies if articulated without fear will be supported by the poor and the middle class. Republicans are masters at making Democrats doubt both their inner morality and electoral reality. That doubt generally has Democrats cowering to some mean, cowering to some center.
Who can forget that Al Gore squandered what would have been an insurmountable lead had he used President Clinton to campaign for him. Republicans had the Gore team cower from using the best and most popular weapon by invoking the long forgotten sting of Monica Lewinsky.
Is the Democratic acceptance of the budget deal the same? Absolutely. Democrats could have gone on every TV station, radio station, and the Internet to preach. They are standing up for the middle class. They are ensuring that the military; those that have fought for our freedoms are taken care of. They are providing extended unemployment compensation to families that will ensure mom and pop grocery stores and sandwich shops are not closed down as the economy heals. Along with the Presidential bully pulpit, they would have won.
Past is prologue. The GOP tanked in the polls during the last government shutdown. They think they want all attention on Obamacare. They could either tank in the polls again for certain defeat in 2014 or capitulate.
Instead Democrats stole failure from success. They ceded the moral high ground in the budget deal. Republicans are making them pay for it. Paul Ryan(R-WI) was willing to sacrifice the American soldier, unemployed workers, and the middle class. However, his party’s Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are all over the networks opposing the deal and defending the American soldier.
Kelly Ayotte said, “Our veterans who have given the most, who have taken the bullet for us, … their cost of living will be cut. Our military veterans, the working age veterans, are the only ones targeted in this agreement.” Lindsey Graham calls the deal dysfunctional for stripping some military benefits.
Most upsetting however is Paul Ryan bragging about whipping the Democrats on the Hugh Hewitt radio talk show. He said, “They insisted on turning off all the sequester and getting rid of it entirely. For the next year and a half, we keep 70% of the sequester. So they got 30% of what they wanted, I got 70% of what we wanted. … No tax increases, no stimulus spending, no 13th extension of the emergency unemployment provision. Ryan was proud to stiff those takers.
The reality is simple. I wrote about this last week. Democrats were conned by the Republicans as they ceded middle class values in the budget deal.