Mark Halperin seems to be saying in not so many words that the 2010 elections were another "Game Change," similar to his best-selling semi-fiction novel/book a couple of years ago. Halperin and Heilemann wrote a lavishly annotated devotional manual regurgitating much of the PC CW that passed for news coverage during the election, but dressing it up in a fast-paced Tom Clancy style with some very implausible conjectures.
Now he recants to a point, and admits that the always disorganized Demonrats are now simultaneously throwing hysterical s-fits while slowly stewing in their own juice---only wrap your brain around such a dysfunctional metaphor and you'll see what Mark seems to be saying.
Is it hyperbolic to say the Democratic Party is in the midst of a nervous breakdown? I have been covering national politics since 1988, and I don't remember a situation quite like this. The signs of a crack-up are everywhere. Democrats still think they can somehow win a news cycle by demonizing John Boehner. Chuck Schumer goes on the Senate floor and suggests Democrats are getting the same political mileage out of "millionaires tax" that Republicans have gotten over the years from using "death tax." Politico has a story with blind quotes from Hill Democrats who are furious that the White House isn't using some sort of mythical leverage over Republicans to extract concessions in exchange for extending all the Bush tax cuts -- including continuing to try to trade for DADT and the Dream Act (rather than things dealing with jobs). Two members in good standing of the Professional Left -- moveon and the PCCC -- are spending its members' money on TV ads demanding that the president exercise this same mythical leverage to stand up to the GOP.
Of course, the Demonrats are all about style over substance, so Halperin has to blame the current tizzy on GOP rhetorical craftiness. Ah, yes. The Dems control the alphabet networks and the "Gray Lady" with her attendant pilot fish, but a guy like Boehner steals the rhetorical high ground and rains sarcasm like "chicken squat" down on the Demons from the commanding heights? Really, Mark. And of course, he blames it all on Bush!
Democrats are understandably -- and largely justified in being -- frustrated that they lost an election based on Republicans defending tax cuts for the wealthy that are only expiring because of a budget gimmick championed by George Bush -- and based on criticism of their apparent lack of concern over the deficit, by a party that has shown no past or current seriousness about deficit reduction and the hard choices involved. Losing those political fights was as inexplicable as it was hard for the Democrats. Maybe that's why Thursday seemed to have donkeys melting down all over the place.
Yeah, Mark. More fiction or perhaps docudrama from the guy who brought us Game Change. Actually, aside from DeLay's short pig-out under Hastert's inept leadership, the Republicans have shown far more "seriousness about debt reduction and the hard choices involved" than the Donkey penchant for raising taxes and gradually moving us to a nanny-tyranny.
I wonder why Mark didn't mention John Podesta's call for Government by Executive Order, surely the most zany and unconstitutional policy proposal since Lenin and Trotsky outlawed elections in 1917 after the Soviets lost to the Provisional Government in Moscow and St. Petersburg. That's the only parallel that comes to mind, but perhaps Adolf's "Enabling Act" in 1933 and Mao's Little Red Book might be other policy agendas the Dems might consider in their current deranged state of mind.