Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Obama's State Of The Union Theme: Time To Move Past Reagan's Vision

TPM reports:

Twenty-five years after the Ronald Reagan era ended, Democrats are anxious to move past his conservative vision that is premised on the evils of government. The mentality has continued to permeate the national debate even as Republicans have lost four out of the last six presidential elections, aided by a Democratic Party that has admittedly ceded it too much ideological ground.

No more, they say. The American economy remains in a slump, middle class incomes have stagnated, social mobility is in decline and income inequality has soared to unprecedented heights. Democrats' prescriptions to heal these wounds were again thwarted by Republicans in Congress last year despite their defeat in the 2012 election. If Democrats can't make a compelling case for government to play a larger role in solving these problems now, then when?

It'll be a crucial subtext of President Barack Obama's sixth State of the Union speech Tuesday night. A desire to fight back against the Reagan-era mentality, which is alive and thriving in the modern tea party movement, was also the subject of a lengthy speech last week by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the third-ranked Democrat.

"Since the progressive and populist eras, Democrats have believed that without a strong, smart, and forceful government, the people suffer. With government, society can advance," said Schumer, a top Obama ally. "Republicans generally believe the opposite. But since the days of Ronald Reagan, we have been quiet, defensive and even ashamed of our view."
Check out the Gallup results on trust in government.