DR. DEMOCRAT'S (UNUSED) MAGIC BULLET
I saw a tweet from Talking Points Memo about a half hour ago:
Dem cave in 3, 2, ...
The link that follows goes to this story:
Dems Consider Dropping Demands As Republicans Risk A Shutdown
If it weren't for the filibuster, Democrats would have the GOP neatly over a barrel. But Republicans believe they've regained the upper hand....
Senate Democrats are now considering dropping their demand that a payroll tax holiday for workers be offset by imposing a small surtax on millionaires, according to Democratic aides -- resigning themselves to the fact that Republicans won't lift their filibuster if the surtax stands....
You know, I was told that the battle had really, really been engaged when President Obama delivered a fiery populist speech in Kansas last week. But do you know what Obama didn't do in that speech? Do you know what he never does? What no Democrat ever does? No Democrat ever explains the filibuster to the American public, with the goal of urging voters to demand that Republicans back down from their abuse of the practice, particularly on overwhelmingly popular measures like raising taxes on the wealthy.
I know, I know: it's hard to fire people up with a civics lesson. But it's the only way Democrats will ever win a vote on anything, ever. It doesn't matter if it's difficult -- the party has to try.
Dealing with the American people on this is analogous to practicing modern medicine while working in a less developed society and knowing that a devastating epidemic affecting that society can be stopped, or at least greatly slowed, by means of universal hand-washing, or cooking all food to a certain temperature, or using condoms during sex. The American people are like members of this less developed culture who may think the real solution is, say, an animal sacrifice to the gods -- yes, it's very difficult to communicate to them that their assessment of the problem is inaccurate, and that the real solution, which they regard as bizarre, is, in fact, what will work. But you have no choice. You have to figure out a way to communicate the truth to them. You have to get it across to them in a way they can understand, or things will just go on as they are forever.
The treatment exists. The Democrats just won't work at communicating its urgency to the public. And so the epidemic rages on.