Democrats suck. They do not learn that good policy is good politics.
The Democratic reaction to losing Kennedy’s seat will be to do exactly what voters were punishing them for.
From a perspective of operant conditioning or other theories of what constitutes rational behavior i.e., the theory of learning to “earn rewards” and “avoid punishments,” the behavior of Democrats is what behavioral learning theorists refer to as “misbehavior,” because it doesn’t fit their theory of what rational behavior should be like, dammit!, assuming, of course, that behavior is rational in the first place. In plainer, descriptive language this behavior might more simply be called “working for pain” or “earning pain.” Earning pain is a real phenomenon in both rats and humans. And can be downright amusing to watch in the human case.
Struggling against a sea of troubles, a once-in-a-lifetime president having a once-in-a-lifetime mandate for real change, Barack Obama, has made the counter-intuitive and unpopular decision to stay the course.
On war, health care, the economy, on justice and accountability, on the rule of law itself, Barack Obama, and Democrats more generally, have opted to stay the course. They view staying the course as the safe option. Freeze when Republicans are in power, and run to electoral safety when they are out. Just like rats irrationally yet repeatedly running between electrified grids and freezing after each shock, in various states and fits of fear, if I may deign to notice.
Following an epidemic of fraud, a tsunami of foreclosures (with a second tsunami in short order), and record gambling losses transferred to the public balance sheet, former Fed vice-chairman Alan Blinder is scared:
My fear is that a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a sturdier and safer financial system is slipping away.
There will be no consumer protection legislation. No clawbacks of ill-gotten gains. No regulation of on- or off-balance sheet financial instruments. And no prosecutions of fraud.
Scott Horton’s expose of obvious war crimes will also go unheeded.
Barack Obama will not be content to simply re-arrange the deck chairs, he’ll say. Americans do not run from their troubles, but take them head-on, he’ll say. What he means is,
All ahead flank!
And all ahead flank it will be.