Obama & The Overton Window

There are all sorts of post-mortems on the Massachusetts Senate race today and what it means for health care reform. But Peter Daou, former Clinton internet operative, has a must-read post on the larger questions of how the Obama administration has failed to achieve its goals after one year. Daou concludes:

Progressive bloggers have been jumping up and down, yelling at their Democratic leaders that the path of compromise and pragmatism only goes so far. The limit is when you start compromising away your core values.

This is really key. Compromise is not a path to victory, nor is bipartisanship. Going out and starting a panel to cut social security and entitlement programs is not what the doctor is ordering. Passing health care reform, improving it immediately through reconciliation, and then moving on to a strong jobs and infrastructure package, on the other hand, is what is needed. The administration and Congressional Democrats need to show America what successful Democratic governance looks like…and that answer can’t be “similar to Republican governance.” They have to draw contrast, move the Overton Window to the left, and find new ways to make this country work.

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