Concerns grow that Dems. are letting GOP take ‘human element’ out of budget debate

I think there’s truth to this article in The Hill:

A growing chorus of Democratic loyalists argue their party is losing the messaging battle over spending by failing to put a human face on cuts proposed by the GOP.

Instead of shining the spotlight on the programs slashed and the people affected, Democrats have let the debate revolve around the cumulative size of the cuts, the critics charge. That attention to an arbitrary figure — and not the underlying programs on the chopping block — has spun the debate into a fight over numbers that lacks a human element.

It’s a strategy, the critics warn, that gives Republicans a definitive upper hand as lawmakers joust over how to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year.

If only we had someone in the bully pulpit at the White House who could define and explain this debate to the American people. From what I hear — and hear often — the White House is sitting on the sidelines right now. Apparently, it’s the number one topic of conversation at the weekly Common Purpose (a.k.a. the “veal pen”) meetings. Last week, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley was asked when the White House would engage. His response was (and this is pretty much verbatim from what I’ve told) the White House will engage “when the fire gets closer.” Closer? There’s a hell of a fire burning now — and Dems. are being burned politically. Also, a lot of people who voted for Obama are going to get screwed.

Will they let the GOPers take the human element out of the debate on Social Security, too?


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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