IOKIYAR Thought Experiment

January 27th, 2011at 07:30am Posted by Eli

I think Brad DeLong is mostly right that President Obama hasn’t really been all that different from Hypothetical President Romney, although I’m skeptical that Romney would have bothered with sweeping (but crappy) healthcare reform.  The more interesting part of his thesis is that Republicans and the media would be praising the exact same policies as Pragmatic Bipartisan Compromise instead of Liberofascist Socialist Overreach.  Which is probably mostly true, especially for the media, but I think DeLong underestimates the right’s loyalty to Romney and willingness to mindlessly carry water for him.

Still, the broader points are worth remembering:

1) Party affiliation is more important than actual policy.  Most Republicans will defend any other mainstream or conservative Republican’s policy and attack any mainstream or progressive Democrat’s, while most Democrats will (very timidly) do the same for mainstream and conservative Democrats and against Republicans.  Which is why Democrats would fight to the death to defend Social Security from a Republican president, but will roll over and play dead when Obama goes after it in the name of deficit reduction and fiscal “seriousness”, and why Republicans suddenly care about the Constitution and deficits after 8 years of looking the other way for Dubya.

2) The media is far more likely to approve of Republican actions and disapprove of Democratic actions than vice versa.  Because America is a center-right nation that doesn’t approve of any Democratic or progressive policies at all.  And Republicans are oh so serious and responsible, and so much stronger than Democrats on family values and economics and security and foreign policy.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Romney


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