Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Chuck Reed

That is the man Democrats need to look to - the San Jose Mayor who is trying to bring 'sanity' to public employee pensions which are 'eating out' city budgets. May be when President Obama is visiting Bay Area, he should ensure that he talks to Reed and have few photos with him flashed around.

Else as Douthat has painted, 'electoral losses' are going to stay with Democrats. Seems like American Public is moving ahead when it comes to Unions and consequently possibly ready to accept 'tough entitlement cost controls' as well. Question is whether Obama wants to be with American Public and guard their entitlements in a sustainable way or by simply not talking anything on this topic he gives complete opening to GOP. Democrats in Senate need not move, it should be synchronization between Dems in Senate and White House that Obama talks about entitlement curtailment while Dems in Senate hold tight till a right deal comes on the table. As is, Dems in Congress are likely to go into Minority after November 2012 so they can use 'filibuster' to stop GOP on reckless entitlement reforms (unless Sen. McConnell removes 'filibuster' upon capturing Senate since that will be consistent with late GOP policy of playing 'hardball'!). 

Current political cycle in USA is clearly on the side of Republicans with their ideas of 'breaking unions and curtailing entitlements' winning with Public. On the fertile ground of Bush mistakes, Obama has not been able to 'cultivate any progressive environment'. At best he can hope to hold it for a while even if he wins White House; which means continued GOP ascendancy. So the best bet for Obama and Democrats is lay the ground by seriously committing 'entitlement reforms'. Until it happens Dems now risk to loose dramatically in 2012 political cycle - not just elections but any remaining safeguards for 'have-nots' in American Society.

Few would argue that 'entitlement reforms' have nothing to do with 'taking on Unions' and in any case 'entitlement reforms' are not in itself popular with American Public. That is true, but it is about 'establishing bona-fide of leadership' by being able to tell 'virtues of eating spinach' to public at large and in the process also exposing your political opponent in terms of how 'misguided' they are. That is the opportunity and possibly only opening for Democrats in coming years.

No comments: