Matt Miller: The Primaries Prove the Voters Like Enablers
In the Washington Post, Matt Miller asks “What do the primaries mean?”…and then he responds “Beats me.” But Matt reveals a lot more than he takes credit for, when he leads off with the following (emphasis added):
I know I could lose my pundit’s license for saying this, but I have no idea what Tuesday’s elections mean. Yes, of course, they mean “incumbents beware” — unless you’re an incumbent like Ron Wyden of Oregon, who skated easily to victory. Or maybe they mean voters want Washington to get serious about our out-of-control deficits — except that Tea Party poster boy Rand Paul opposes cuts in Medicare, the biggest source of our spending woes, and Pennsylvania victor Joe Sestak says we can fix the budget without raising taxes on anyone but the rich, which isn’t true. Which also cuts against the theory that voters want “answers” from Washington.
What these candidates seem to have in common is their talent in perpetuating the delusion of many Americans that the budget deficit is the fault of “the establishment” in Washington–and has nothing to do with what they themselves have demanded from that “establishment” in terms of tax cuts or government programs, or their unwillingness to pay for those desires.
Matt concludes that whatever is going on right now, it’s a familiar pattern that we tend to see every two years or so, as voters repeat the familiar, “not my fault” script:
What these trends portend is lasting voter frustration as it dawns on a widening swath of Americans that the perquisites of middle-class life, and the prospects of upward mobility for their children, may elude them. These strains won’t change in the two years before the next election, or in the two years after that, or the in two after that, unless policies are introduced that go radically beyond the boundaries of current debate. Instead we’ll see a cycle in which voters take stock every two years and say: “My insurance premiums are still going up — we still can’t save enough for college, let alone for retirement — and you people in charge haven’t fixed any of this!”
Yep. Americans sure love those politicians that enable them to shun personal responsibility and remain in that state of dysfunctional denial where nothing is their fault and everyone else is to blame. I think that’s a big part of what these primaries tell us. That doesn’t bode well for getting a new crop of politicians who will actually improve the very situation the voters claim to be complaining about.