Let me take you back for a moment to 1995, just after Republicans swept into power. A couple of months after Republicans took control of Congress, a group of right wingers – William Kristol, Frank Luntz, James Pinkerton, Ralph Reed and David Frum – came together to discuss what they believed would be the best way for the Republican Congress to make inroads that would ensure a future for a neoconservative economic agenda. Their views were published in “A revolution, or business as usual?” at Harper’s Magazine.
Here’s what Frum had to say:
Here’s how I think we should do it. Instead of cutting incrementally – a little here, a little there – I would say that on a single day this summer we eliminate three hundred programs, each one costing a billion dollars or less. Maybe these cuts won’t make a big deal of difference, but, boy, do they make a point.
Now fast forward to 2010, today, and marvel at the genius of President Obama, preparing to make a promise in the middle of a recession to freeze discretionary government spending on domestic programs for three years beginning in 2011. As reported by CNN:
President Obama will announce in Wednesday’s State of the Union address that he’s proposing to save $250 billion by freezing all nonsecurity federal discretionary spending for three years, according to two senior administration officials.
Yes, in the wake of a major electoral defeat last week in Massachusetts, President Obama’s team has decided to appeal to Independents and win over Republicans by throwing neoconservative types a bone.
But the Republican didn’t win the Massachusetts special election last week because Americans love what Republicans have been doing or want what neoconservatives want.
The Democrat lost because Americans know that Democrats have not delivered on the change we need or on the change that Democrats promised them.
In 2010, Democrats will not win by listening to Republicans. Nor will Democrats win by having Obama try to court Republicans with a big announcement during the State of the Union address Wednesday night that serves no purpose at this time other than to
take a shot fail at appealing to the right in an effort to make them happy. Democrats will not win by governing like Republicans.
Republicans will shout that Obama and Democrats are “socialists” and “big-government loving liberals” no matter what Democrats do. That’s exactly what Republicans did during the debate over health care reform as the Democrats moved step by step toward the fulfillment of every corporate supremacist ideologue’s wildest dreams with the Senate Democrats’
health care bill bad joke on the American people.
Obama doesn’t need David Plouffe to tell him the obvious.
Mr, President, stop compromising. Stop cutting deals. Stop caving in. You don’t need to appease Republicans or act like one in order to appeal to Independents and regain momentum in your base. Just govern like the Democrat you promised to be during the campaign, and 2010 will be a great year for all Democrats.