White House Learning Exactly the Wrong Lessons from the Midterms
Here’s a really scary passage from an equally troubling piece in today’s New York Times about Peter Rouse, the new White House Chief of Staff.
Underlying the thinking is the conclusion that the electoral thrashing had more to do with larger economic forces and strategic decisions about health care and stimulus than with the particular operations of the White House. In other words, as Mr. Rouse and his colleagues analyze the criticism, what they are hearing is not that the White House did things wrong, but that it did the wrong things.
As Krugman helpfully points out today, this exactly backwards.
The White House did the stimulus wrong by making it too modest and diluting it with too many tax cuts. The White House did the health care bill wrong by allowing the process to drag out over a year, stripping it of its most progressive elements, and crafting it so that it doesn’t kick in until 2014. The White House screwed up FinReg because people don’t believe it does much of anything. The White House screwed up HAMP. The White House screwed up offshore drilling. The White House screwed up Afghanistan.
And that’s just off the top of my head.
“If we’d had our druthers,” Mr. Rouse said, “starting out with a $787 billion spending program that people don’t think benefited them, that reinforced the idea of big-spending liberal, isn’t the option we would have chosen, but it was what was called for.”
For crying out loud, no one cares about “spending”–they just want jobs. And way to reinforce right-wing frames there, Peter.
Geebus, this is depressing.