AdNags reaches up to the February Narratives Binder, flips open the tab marked “Wave Election” and selects the first page, and goes to the  Savvy Analysis graf:

But in the view of officials from both major political parties, Republicans may be risking the same kind of electoral backlash Democrats suffered after they were perceived as overreaching.

As often happens with articles built from a Narrative Binder template, this one doesn’ t happen to be true, unless you add in a word or three:

But in the view of officials from both major political parties, Republicans may be risking the same kind of electoral backlash Democrats suffered after they were perceived [by the Beltway]  as overreaching.

The reason the Democrats lost control of the House in the last election was not because they went way too far:  delivering way too much health care reform; sticking it to the fraudulent banksters who wrecked the American Dream; and using whatever means necessary to get the economy back to 5 percent unemployment.  Instead the Democrats did just what the Beltway perceivers told them to do. They listened to the overreach narrative.

Obama and the Senate worked to minimize both the scope, and effective date of health care reform.  Politically, they managed this so badly that people who still get health insurance were just getting their enrollment packages, complete with increased premiums, reduced coverage and higher co-pays on the week of the election. Not only was there, at that point, no relief for the uninsured, but the people who were insured discovered that all this talk of “Obamacare” meant they were gonna be out of pocket still more money in 2011.

They let fraud go unpunished, and left $50 billion in HAMP money on the table that could have ameliorated a still growing foreclosure crisis.  And they decided that there was really no pressing need for an aggressive jobs program, despite idle capacity, work force involuntarily idled and a bond market screaming to be used for long term infrastructure projects.*

This was not “overreach.”  As Marcy says in the clip above, the reason the Democrats lost so badly is they failed to deliver. They particularly failed to deliver to precisely those whom had voted for the first time, expressly  for Obama’s message of change. They were thirsting for something new, something better,  after eight years of shrinking take home pay, terrifying insecurity about health care and collapsing values of both homes and investments.

What they did not get was “overreaching.”  What they got was “not nearly enough.” So they stayed home.

AdNags would prefer to feed the overarching narrative of the need for Beltway centrists to tame the animal spirits of the willful base. So now the GOP is not being extreme–they are just engaging in the behavior typical in a party following a major electoral shift.

Underlying this commitment to the narrative template  is AdNags’ role as the self-anointing priest in the Church of the Savvy–from his lofty, objective distance he can see historical patterns invisible to the players caught up in the sweep of their movement.  His sneering is not, of course, limited to the politicians–he is also talking about the little people swept up in these pointless attempts to change anything.  It is, after all, just something of a game.


*What you do when financial capital is cheap is take advantage of low interest rates to convert borrowed dollars into income generating physical capital–repairing bridges, building new rail systems, creating a  more efficient electric grid, pulling fiber to post offices and libraries.  This investment in physical capital raises economic growth–and the time to create those public sector job opportunities to improve the US physical plant is precisely when interest rates are low and unemployment is high.

2 Responses to Binder

  1. The Raven says:

    The people who *are* overreaching are the Republicans. With luck it will cost them the next election, though it is likely to be eight years to clean up the mess they are making.

  2. jayackroyd says:

    That’s true, yes. But the GOP strategy is different. They’re employing a ratchet strategy. Even if it costs Walker reelection, he will have broken the public workers’ union. Even though the GOP lost the presidential election, they have eight years of Bush judicial appointees impeding progress–and a senate minority blocking changes in the judiciary.

    Moreover, if all they do is make things worse, they end up advantaged, because they blame the government for being ineffective. Obama’s unwillingness to embrace government action reinforces this message. So even if people do get pissed off, and throw the GOP bums out, they’ll have accomplished much of what they wanted to.

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