Democrats Practice Some In Your Face Politics

Politicians, it seems to me, are as a collective lot some of the least intelligent creatures on earth. I’ve held that view for a long time and every now and then objective evidence presents itself to validate my belief.

Yesterday’s meeting of the Congressional leadership held to discuss the fiscal stimulus plan provided one of those moments. Evidently, as alternative plans were being bandied about, John Kyl raised the traditional Republican objection to tax credits to people who don’t pay taxes, citing the view that it wasn’t truly a tax credit rather it was welfare. President Obama noted that issue had been debated during the campaign and closed the discussion with two words-“I won”.

Things got a bit more in-your-face when James Clyburn, the House Majority Whip responded to complaints from Republicans that their ideas weren’t getting a fair hearing. His thoughts on the matter were, “We’re responding to the American people. The American people didn’t listen to them too well during the election.”

Now in all fairness, the Democrats not only won but to be a bit blunt about it, they kicked butt. Behind the scenes hardball and a certain amount of gloating are bound to go on and frankly, they earned it. But doing it in public is just, well, dumb. There is nothing so unattractive as a winner who publicly rubs it in. It just isn’t seen as particularly sporting.

There’s a bigger issue here, though, and why I have such a low opinion of the cognitive powers of the political class. The last thing the Democrats want to do is to establish sole and total ownership of the fiscal stimulus plan. If they truly have a magic wand that they feel they can wave and restore the country to 2004 overnight then ownership is great. They will be seen as heroes and can count on controlling government for a very long time. If it takes a lot of time and pain to get over this recession then ownership will become a very large burden indeed.

A wise person would look for some allies to share that burden.  Wisdom appears to be in short supply right now.

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