"Sometimes when I watch the Washington Democrats in action, my mind goes back to the tragically incompetent British general staff of World War I, ordering assault after gigantic assault, only to see their armies annihilated one after another. But still they kept at it, ordering up another round of the exact same thing, playing by the gentlemanly rules of combat, never doing anything remotely clever, and always completely surprised when the other side introduced them to twentieth-century warfare in some brutal new way."
"It is that same blindness, that same fixed thinking, that we see in the strategizing of the Washington Democrats. No one among them seems to have wondered if bailouts might be done in a different way, or foreseen that Republicans might not play by the debt-ceiling rules. They try what Clinton tried; they are astonished to see it fail. And so they try it again. The Washington Democrats will no more acknowledge the possibilities of other tactics than they will abandon Georgetown and move en masse to some burned-out quarter of Baltimore. . . . ."
"It is not hard to think of ways that Obama and Company could have stopped the resurgent Right in its tracks, had they wanted to. To begin with the most obvious, Obama and Company could have put themselves at the forefront of populist anger against Wall Street rather than making themselves the embodiment of the cronyism the public despises. They could have captured the outrage of small business by promising to break up the big banks or resuming antitrust enforcement. Another tactic might have built on the well-known facts that Tea Partiers hate NAFTA, and that they're hardly alone; why not announce that it's time to reexamine the nation's disastrous free-trade deals? Still another: As everyone knows, the newest Right has enjoyed amazing success spreading fears that liberal economic moves will automatically erode basic freedoms. Why not undercut this silly idea instead of allowing it to fester? End the Bush administration's domestic wiretapping program. Demand the reregulation of Wall Street and the repeal of the Patriot Act."
-----Thomas Frank, Pity The Billionaire