Learning Stupid "Lessons," Courtesy of the Washington Post

No, voters aren't moved by "bipartisanship."

Look, I think the “lesson” of yesterday’s election and voter discontent is pretty clear: Democrats badly underestimated how awful this recession was going to get and when they shifted their focus to health care reform they blithely assumed that the steps they had already taken, from the stimulus to HAMP to Geithner’s brilliant-still-to-be-revealed secret plan for fixing the banks, would start bringing unemployment down and would make for a more favorable political climate this year.

The Washington Post, as usual, gets this simple lesson completely wrong:

Voters, not just in Massachusetts and certainly not just in the Republican Party, are worried about government spending. Budget deficits and the national debt alarm many Americans, and rightly so. Voters also are disappointed that President Obama’s promises of pragmatic, bipartisan cooperation have not been fulfilled.

Sorry, but no. Without going into a Nate Silver-style poll projection, I think I can boil down voters’ concerns right now in the following order of importance:

  • I’ve been unemployed for a year.
  • My mortgage is underwater.
  • My small business can’t get money because the banks aren’t lending at reasonable rates.
  • The government is spending too much money.
  • My senators don’t hold hands and sing the theme from “The Get-Along Gang” while drafting legislation.

It’s damn simple — the economy sucks and the measures that the administration have taken have provided very little effective, immediate relief to the average person.

Brad Reed is a writer living in Boston. His work has previously appeared in the American Prospect Online, and he blogs frequently at Sadly, No!.
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Election 2018