An article in Saturday's WaPo here describes a strategic shift in the Obama administration's rhetoric on income inequality. It seems that speaking of "inequality" has upset the Wall Street overlords, and so some careful polling, likely by Third Way, now magically documents that the American people don't like all this divisive talk anyway - I guess all that "we are the 99%" stuff was just media hype...
Now it seems that President Obama has decided to fall into line with the Third Way conventional wisdom, and thus the literal Democratic "party line" is officially set for the 2014 mid-term elections and beyond. The decision was to in effect paper over a profound difference as between core Democratic versus Republican principals - and believe it or not this is thought of as a winning strategy.
Well, it's not in 2014 and it won't be in 2016 either. I need to be blunt here - it was this kind of cowardice that handed a version of the populist mantle over to the Tea Party four years ago - there was, and still is, no popular voice on the Democratic end to counter it (except to say they are simply crazy). There is no positive messaging with teeth from the Democrats anymore - talk of "increasing opportunity" is the same old weak tea they've been selling as the numbers continue to decline. Anyone with a pulse knows that there is a populist groundswell in US politics and it is squarely about inequality - to decide to ignore this is a horribly short sighted approach.
If Democratic voters think that making nice and trying to extend the big tent far enough to include the plutocrats that have taken all of the economic gains in the last six years, then the party is dead.
I would love to see the twisted polling questions that gave rise to the conclusion that the American people don't respond to talk of economic inequality, but at this point it doesn't really matter. Obama seems to have made his decision, and to those progressives out there, it feels once again like Lucy has yanked the football right before Charlie goes to kick it.
May there be a strong progressive challenge to Hillary. May courageous people emerge to shake up this ossified sclerotic politics we have!! May they find the tools to pick the lock of the corporate media, and broaden the communication. May potential voters find the inspiration to respond to people who actually tell the truth, and inject more compassion into our public policy.