A Democratic leader has criticized his own party for responding like Herbert Hoover to the unemployment crisis when it should have responded like FDR — signalling again that a major soul searching is going on within the Democratic part on how they managed to blow the significant support it got from voters in 2008 in just two short years:
The Democratic Party’s Herbert Hoover-like response to high unemployment cost them their majority, a member of the House Democratic leadership team said Tuesday.
Rep. John Larson (Conn.), the House Democratic Caucus chairman who is expected to keep his position in a vote on Wednesday, said that his party did not do enough in the eyes of voters to help bring down the nation’s 9.6 percent unemployment rate.
“We never did enough in terms of that area for us to have the kind of success we would have,” he said on MSNBC. “We had a Roosevelt moment and responded like Hoover.”
Larson’s comments are a stinging assessment of his party’s efforts to help create jobs during the 111th Congress. Voters, who swept Democrats out of power in the House two weeks ago, consistently named the economy and jobs as the top two issues during the midterm campaign.
Democratic leaders, from President Obama to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have primarily blamed their party’s losses on the large number of people out of work. But they have argued that while Democrats moved major legislation to help create jobs, they failed to communicate to voters the benefits of their policies.
Republicans, on the other hand, argued that Democrats drove up the deficit by pushing through an $814 billion stimulus package that failed to create jobs.
But is this a matter of communications? It could be argued that other factors involve:
–Poor evaluation on the part of the Obama adminsitration on what was needed. It this wasn’t sufficient, then why didn’t the administration pull out all political and power stops to get it felt was vital?
–Poor anticipation on the part of Obama’s political team. There is no way, shape, or form that the kind of politics coming out of the White House resembles rough and tumble Chicago style politics. Part of politics is anticipating and be ready. Team Obama was not.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.