It cannot be emphasized enough. Of the three issues under discussion, the polling data on two of them simply could not be clearer. The American people want taxes raised on the very wealthiest among us, and the American people do not want Paul Ryan’s clammy hands anywhere near the Medicare program. Public opinion is (distressingly) ambivalent on the detainee provisions, but it’s not overly popular with the people who have to implement it, and it has retired Marine generals throwing bricks at it, and, dammit, the president taught constitutional law, or so we are told repeatedly.
None of these “compromises” will solve a single one of the country’s critical problems. None of these “compromises” will create a single job. All they will do is toss away almost every one of the major political advantages the Democratic party has going into the 2012 elections. My god, six months ago, Paul Ryan was a squawking albatross around his party’s neck. (Remember how he said he’d “given up fear for Lent,” and then proceeded to start charging people a fee to come to his town meetings, and setting the cops on constituents who showed up at his office while he was on vacation? Ah, thim was the days.) The “Ryan Plan” was well on its way to being an anchor. Now, thanks to the Democrats, and to a preposterously compliant elite political press, Ryan’s rehabilitation is nearly complete. Nice work, fellas.
Here’s a tip, gang: The American people are not angry at government because people yell at each other and nothing ever gets done. The American people are angry because people yell at each other and nothing the American people really want ever gets done. They want higher taxes on billionaires. They want Medicare kept out of the hands of the vandals. If they think about it a little, they even like their jurisprudence with a little habeas corpus sprinkled on top. Instead, they get endless platitudes, and the steady, futile placating of an insatiable political opposition.