After two years of denouncing congressional Republicans for blocking President Obama’s agenda, the left is suddenly discovering the virtue of gridlock.
With Democrats facing minority status in both houses of Congress next year, gridlock is the best strategy for the party, liberal journalist Jonathan Chait says.
“In the near term of American politics, the enervating stalemate of the last four years is the best possible outcome,” he writes in a New York Magazine
article headlined: "The Democrats Have Two Choices Now: Gridlock or Annihilation."
Chait, a former top editor of The New Republic and The American Prospect, is one of the leading voices on the left, but his article reflects a crestfallen state from one who placed hope and change in Obama and the Democrat Party.
He still believes that American voters are “slowly and inexorably driving the electorate leftward” — except in midterm elections. Republican voters “turn out for elections reliably, not just in spasms of quadrennial excitement.”
Chait mourned for the “Democratic presidential majority,” an apparent reference to liberals who vote in presidential elections only. He called that majority a “fragile asset” that is “presently exhausted.”
“In the giddy wake of Obama’s 2008 election, Democrats almost immediately plotted ways to keep their army of newer, younger voters mobilized as a continuous standing force, exerting constant pressure on Congress to deliver the change they had demanded,” he wrote.
“There would be meet-ups, there would be emails, and there would be even more emails. None of it worked. The Obama movement melted away almost immediately, withdrawing from politics even before the new president had taken office.”
His eulogy to the Democrats sent social media into action, with some mocking his conversion to a basic feature of the American political system and its separation of powers.
“Chait recognizes that the Democrats’ best hope is to try to continue with business as usual as if nothing changed on Tuesday,” wrote Jazz Shaw on Hot Air
“Gee, it's almost like the minority party has some right to use the tools it's got to block what it regards as a destructive agenda,” wrote someone called “PandaWoman.”
Alux added that “when saintly progressives gridlock government,” liberals “call it a brave stand on principle and cheer.” But when Republicans do it to “protect against a far-left president and Senate, progressives call it the worst travesty in history and whine about thwarting the will of We the People!”
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