I have noticed that Democrats, especially the leadership and its apologists, are stuck in the 1990s. Paraphrasing what one commentator said of White House Chief of Staff Rahm, he's "an old general fighting old battles." I think that will be the party's epitaph if it does not heed the wake up call. We are no longer fighting the rise of Reaganism. We are at Reaganism's, or neoliberalism's, end.
I should point out that in writing this I am not claiming that the GOP has better ideas or will easily capitalize on progressive ideas coming into popularity. What I can say is that Democrats will remain static if they do not heed the call. Now, this outcome, a party that is perpetually not quite strong enough to pass progressive policies, may be a feature rather than a bug, but let's pretend for this diary that they really do want to pass progressive policy. Let's also assume that the real issue is that they are living in 1994 rather than 2009.
More bad consequences on the Republican's party's irrational war on taxes. Everyone knows the commonwealth of Virginia needs to raise taxes to build roads. A simple answer would be to raise gas taxes or cigarette taxes, which are among the lowest in the nation. McDermott, the Republican candidate offers to sell the ABC liquor stores and raise half a billion dollars. Without needing to address the merits of state involvement in alcohol sales; McDermott's approach would slay a dedicated revenue stream for a one time gain. Chicago, California and other places are already suffering from similar actions. Once the revenue stream is gone, it is gone forever; however, roads needs to be built and maintained in perpetuity. What happens in five years when we need additional new roads- shall we then sell Mount Vernon? After the parking privatization fiasco in Chicago, the eldermen are considering passing new rules restricting privatization plans. Here is hoping that Virginia, a state that prides itself in good governance, does not reduce itself to gimmicks.
I am going to make a prediction: If healthcare reform isnt passed by the day of the New Jersey and Virginia governorships, it isnt going to ever pass. Democrats are very likely to lose both of those races and when they do, Democrats in swing districts are going to panic. This is why budget director Orszag hopes that we can have reform done in six weeks.
I have been arguing for quite sometime that we are in the midst of a progressive revolution that I think is on par with the rise of Reaganism in the 80s and the subsequent rise of the Ginrich conservatism that took over DC in 1994. While we all think of President Bush- he was only the implementation of long held Republican goals.
Part of change from 1993 to now is that the GOP is following a now discredited movement. The playbook they are using would have worked extremely well in 1993. Indeed, the conservadems played their role then as they are trying to do so now: to stop healthcare reform by any means necessary. Indeed, they still could do so over the recess if steps are not taken to control the narrative by progressives.
But, something funny happened on the way to the forum. The progressive lion has awoken such that the farce that has been the DC political status quo is facing a challenge. With them, they bring a rising courage that I have not seen from the left in a long time. Some of their strength is growing out of the GOP's screwups, but some of it is growing out them begining to tenatively seize the day.
"You said you have created a hundred thousand jobs, but the truth is you haven't. You say you built five Virginia businesses, but the Washington Post said they were run out of your home and never created a single Virginia job. You claim you'll look out for people's jobs, but as a consultant to Global Crossing's CEO and as a Board Member of Telergy, you walked away with 20 million dollars while over 10,000 people lost their jobs."
Terry replied by preaching about how any discussion of his record was "divisive politics" and "personal destruction" to talk about his past.
Huh? It's his record! As Brian Moran closed out by saying: "We each have records that tell you not just how we will govern, but about our character as well."
The Moran campaign put out a PR backing up that quote with the facts about Terry McAuliffe's record mentioned above (in the extended).