Social Security benefit cuts are on the table.
These are both obviously bad policy positions.
These are both obviously bad political positions.
Many of us have asked why Obama and the Democratic leadership are so deeply committed to these obviously bad policies, even to the point of risking the House majority, not to mention increasing rather than reducing American human misery.
Eventually you have to consider the possibility they are getting the policies they want to get.
When Barack Obama made his famous remarks about Ronald Reagan being transformational, it was misinterpreted as being political, an attempt to reach out to the other side. It actually was, as some feared, philosophical. It really did mean, sincerely, that except around the edges, he thought that Reaganism-Thatcherism was irreversible. Just as Bill Clinton does, just as Tony Blair does.
The Third-Wayers are serious about this. Seriously deluded, perhaps, but dead serious. There was never an attempt to triangulate the "independent center", those who still believed in Reaganism but were distressed by the partisan cultural meanness. That was sincere.
(h/t Stuart Zechman)