GOP Obstructionism & “Stealth Campaigning:’ A Success Story

We’re still in the post-election post-mortem season, obviously. And while I’m devoting some time here this week to critiques of “takes” I am finding unpersuasive, let me hasten to endorse one from my Democratic Strategist colleague James Vega.

You should read it all, but Vega’s basic argument is that the GOP’s combination of scorched-earth extremist obstructionist tactics in Congress and a “stealth campaign” strategy based on exploiting media and voter reluctance to acknowledge that extremism has (a) succeeded in tilting the electoral landscape to the highly opportunistic Republicans, and (b) made a hash of traditional Democratic efforts to mobilize their own voters. In essence, Republicans have blown up government not just via the occasional shutdown but regularly through obstructionism, and then shifted the blame for poor results to the “party of activist government,” which in turn has little to show for its efforts.

It’s a rather depressing if persuasive argument, but Vega does offer some thoughts on how Democrats should adjust to this new and dangerous environment.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.