Taking the long view-- building the right memes for future, playing the refs

Taking The Long View

by digby

Greg Sargent notes that the right wing is building a silly hissy fit over the beyond the pale left wing rhetortic suggesting that the Republicans are sabotaging the economy for political gain. It seems that such accusations are completely outrageous attempts to smear fellow Americans and should not be tolerated in any decent society. (There's a lot of this leftist misbehavior going around these days ...) Greg rightly points out that the Republicans had no problem calling liberals who opposed the war "terrorist loving traitors" repeatedly, so their pearl clutching over this style of argumentation rings just a tad hollow.

But he says something else that's worth discussing a little bit further:

To be clear, I happen to think the "economic sabotage" argument is not going to work. Dems tried variations of this case for two years, and there's no evidence they bore any fruit. I just don't think voters will buy it, or if they do, they won't particularly care about it.

Also: At a certain point there's little percentage in making variations of the same old lament again and again that Republicans are out to defeat Obama politically at all costs and that it's folly for Obama to keep seeking bipartisan compromise. It seems like the better argument to be having at this point is over what Obama specifically should do to adjust to this new reality.

Certainly, discussions of what Obama needs to do are important and hopefully he's listening to people other than the usual suspects who always insist that Democrats must run as far to the right as they possibly can. But I think there's value in repeating this meme even though it isn't bringing immediate results. The Republicans have an unearned trust on the economy through years and years of propaganda that portrays liberals as irresponsible, profligate spenders, even as their leaders are on record saying things like "Reagan proved deficits don't matter, this is our due." It's important for liberals to stay the course on these memes over time as well, in order to counteract this ridiculous notion.

The fact is that the Republicans are not just irresponsible stewards of the economy, they are at the moment, totally batshit insane. Somebody has to call them out on this and be willing to do it repeatedly, even if the Miss Manners Villagers get upset about it. I don't expect that the Democratic politicians will take as hard a line (not that Republicans would be so polite) but it needs to be done regardless of whether or not it helps Obama and the Democrats in the short term. This is something that has to be done relentlessly over time or we really are screwed. They're winning this war.