Message To Dems: Whining About "The Left" Is Bad Politics

Yesterday, the NYTimes ran an article titled This Time, Voter Anger Is No Surprise to Democrats. In the article, Barney Frank is quoted as follows:

“Some people were taken aback by the anger [. . .] We’re professional people who are used to affection. It’s almost disorienting.”

Used to affection? Pols? Dem pols? Why? In any event, here's some advice - get over it. So far, Dems are still whining about it:

It is a point of frustration to Democrats that much of the public seems unimpressed by the litany of legislation signed into law in the first two years of President Obama’s term[.]

Leaving aside the merits of the whine, who in their right mind thinks whining from pols is a good political strategy? Especially whining about elements in your own Party? This is stupid politics. Here's a dose of reality for the whiners in the Dem Party from Chuck Schumer:

“People are sour now,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate. “Times are bad, and people are worried about the future. So they say, all these things are good, but are they making my life better?”

Whining about how hard it's been for pols in the Democratic Party is just plain stupid politics. Whatever you did (whatever your opinion of what the Dems have done) times are bad and the constant and unending whining from White House flacks and Dem operatives is helping no one - not even those folks looking for cover from blame for the coming defeat.

There will be nowhere to hide. Get to work. Do the best political work you can. No one is gong to feel sorry for pols and their flacks. And no one is impressed by attacks on the Left from the Democratic Party. Not now.

Speaking for me only

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    If attacks on the left were the (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 09:25:08 AM EST
    magic solution for the Dems, they would be gaining seats in 2010, not losing big time.

    More of the "Professional Left" :-) not impressed with Obama and the Democratic Congress accomplishments:

    Only 32 percent of those citing no allegiance to either major party say they want Democrats to keep control of Congress in this November's elections, according to combined results of recent Associated Press-GfK polls.
    Independents voice especially strong concerns about the economy, with 9 in 10 calling it a top problem and no other issue coming close, the analysis of the AP-GfK polls shows.
    Ominously for Democrats, independents trust Republicans more on the economy by a modest but telling 42 percent to 36 percent. link

    A.bill.is.not.a.result,to.the.public. (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by observed on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 09:36:39 AM EST

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 09:41:54 AM EST
    I thought about writing a post about that, but I decided to concentrate on the whining.

    And Substance Does Matter (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by The Maven on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 10:12:41 AM EST
    By their utterances, the White House and Congressional Democrats expect that the public (and their base, in particular) will give them credit for passing laws in critical areas, without any regard as to the substance of those laws and how meager they really are.  They fail to believe that we would hold them to a standard where it's more than about appearances, and merely saying that they've tackled the hard problems facing the country, such as economic stimulus, health care, financial reform, etc., doesn't actually make it so.

    Americans are not all dummies, and veal pen or no, the Washington crowd can't quite get that all most people need to do is take a look around and see that this Administration and this Congress have failed to live up to their claims.  Maybe a heavy dose of anecdotal evidence during this recess will open their eyes, but I fear that the time remaining might be too short to rectify matters.


    Ha. I'm trying to teach that (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 04:32:38 PM EST
    right now to students who, despite all of my attempts to inculcate them on process (even using ye olde "How a Bill Becomes a Law" video), are utterly convinced that when they read that Congress passed a Constitutional amendment, it became law.

    They are reading about the ERA.

    In a women's history course.

    And such students are just as utterly convinced that I must be wrong.  WhaddaIknow?  

    Well, I know what's on the final exam. . . .


    I'm just a bill. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by masslib on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 05:59:52 PM EST
    Yes, I'm only a bill.  And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill....

    I love that song!


    To quote Mark Twain - (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Untold Story on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 10:19:23 AM EST
    "If you don't read the newspaper, you're unimformed.  If you read the newspaper, you're misinformed."

    Wonder what would he say about the extremes of today's reporting!

    Wonder how Twain would react to this: (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 12:15:11 PM EST
    waitress asked what I was reading.  I sd., bio of Mark Twain, as I want to finish it before his Twain's autobiography is released in Nov.  She sd., who is Mark Twain?  In her defense, she grew up in Brazil and recently graduated from state university here.

    Maybe they "like" (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Edger on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 10:34:47 AM EST
    being the underdog. They do everything possible to be self-defeating, after all.

    Excellent. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 12:15:34 PM EST

    What's most disheartening (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by NYShooter on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 12:30:04 PM EST
    to me is that our Founders, with clear eyes and minds, knew what the Government's #1 goal would be.......corruption. The checks and balances they installed were fine, if they simply feared that the Representatives might become corrupted. But coming from disparate, mature, regimes, naïve they were not, cynical, to a power of ten, they were.

    Enter the fourth branch: our guardian, our sentry, our free, independent, and unfettered Press.

    It took 200 years for our leaders, having exhausted every nook, cranny, and vestibule that could be defiled and corrupted, to eradicate our final defense. Having succeeded in morphing journalism into stenography, its no wonder Gibbs, Obama, et al are so frustrated with these new upstarts, the Blogs, after having pulled off the greatest flim-flam in our history.....Obama's nomination & election.

    They're all we've got now.

    The "affection" Frank is talking about (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by scribe on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 12:37:09 PM EST
    is the close-range sycophancy from supporters most Congresscritters are surrounded with wherever they go.  If any of you have ever spent any time around congresscritters - particularly those from a solid color district (like, for example, Frank), the one uniform yet distinguishing feature of everything that goes on around them is how everyone and I mean everyone spends all their time sucking up to them in the most affectionate way.  People fall all over themselves to be polite, to be nice and to seek even a nod of the congresscritter's head.

    It's like being a rockstar, only moreso.

    So, when some of these same people stop being sycophants and say "hey, you screwed up" or have an angry edge to their voice, it's really disconcerting to the conresscritter.  It's not that they don't have people angry at them all the time, but they usually have staff to get in between and shunt the ugly off to the side.  And, FWIW, the angry folks are usually never contributors or supporters or friends of long-standing.

    It feels nice to have people bend to suck your backside all day every day and it's really disconcerting when those people stop and tell you it's not ice cream.

    As to the Dem legislative accomplishments they are all so proud of, that they cannot understand why we're underwhelmed (at best), it's a similar problem.  They think they've accomplished something because the sycophants in their bubble and the President and the press have told them it's an accomplishment and it's great and it's a real triumph.  Since they don't read what they are passing before voting and don't understand it if they do read it (because they know how to get elected but almost surely don't know what a synthetic credit default swap is, let alone how it works), and are in league with the industries they are legislating to regulate if they do understand it, it's not surprising they think they've accomplished something great.  It's like someone who plans a great building on paper and maybe draws it out, without any understanding of how buildings work or how soil supports foundations or anything like that.  They could plan anything, but try to build it and it's likely to never get out of the ground.  Or, to fracture another analogy, it's like a war plan.  "Every plan is great until it first hits reality/the first shot is fired" appliesto legislation, too.  And the industries regulated have spent no small amount of effort and time getting things set up the way most profitable to them, regardless of what they've told the critters doing the actual voting.

    And when people who actually understand how these things work look at the bills and say "this is a piece of garbage and here's why", is it any surprise that the congresscritters are offended?  Some DFH is telling them their great project will come crashing down in short order.  Cold water to the face is never pleasant.

    Cliff notes version: (none / 0) (#17)
    by BTAL on Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 07:36:43 AM EST
    535 afflicted with Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome.

    The left... (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by mexboy on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 04:04:18 PM EST
    is the only thing left from what the Democratic Party used to be.

    Affection? (none / 0) (#11)
    by masslib on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 12:45:19 PM EST
    Are you sure Frank is not being facetious?  Maybe he is making fun of his thin skinned colleagues.  I hope so, he's my representative.  I would hate to think he is that daft.

    But you nail it exactly.  It's simply we don't think the legislation will work.  

    Oh, boy (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 03:04:54 PM EST
    where do you even start with this kind of thing?

    The biggest clue that I have seen as to exactly how clueless the people in Washington are is watching the Real Housewives of D.C. It's odd that a TV show would give such insight to that whole crowd but it does.

    This to me is just another variation of "you have nowhere to go" and Obama just checking off things off a check list.

    A friend of mine who is a big Obamafan simply can't understand it. She's much like the blogging crowd. She said "don't people remember who caused this?" I said at this point people DON'T CARE who caused it. They are just downright desperate for jobs, housing, food etc. They are willing to listen to anyone.

    unimpressed? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 10:22:41 PM EST
    It is a point of frustration to Democrats that much of the public seems unimpressed by the litany of legislation signed into law in the first two years of President Obama's term[.]

    That must be willful blindness.  A strong impression has been made, but the problem for Democrats is that it is a strongly negative impression.