The key revelation on why the Democrats walked away from absolutely crucial entitlement reforms is in this graph quoting an unnamed “Democratic aide:
“The worm has turned a little bit. The national conversation now is about income inequality and about jobs, and it’s not really about cutting the size of government anymore or cutting spending. 2010 gave one answer to that question. But 2012 will give another, and we’ve got to see what it is.”
This telegraphs the widespread Democratic belief that the political dynamic has changed, probably because of the massive Manhattan-Beltway media elite fixation on OWS which while it has simply not made a dent on the nation priorities list, which remains jobs, growth and security, has apparently given Democrats new hope for avoiding another wipe-out in 2012 because of their awful stewardship of the economy.
The Democrats are wrong about this, but the GOP leadership badly miscalculated the speed with which they had to move after the November 2010 vote. They tarried, moving at standard D.C. speed and according to the usual D.C. calendar, and their energy dissipated.
The GOP nominee, whether Romney, Gingrich or Perry, will have to spend time in the campaign assembling and empowering a team to work not just on transition issues of personnel, but on the legislative language they will need to present and demand in January 2013. That 100 days, devoted to slashing spending, rebuilding defense and putting out detailed entitlement reform as well as the repeal of Obamacare and all within the reconciliation process will have to move at the speed that the GOP didn’t in 2011. The effort should be transparent, part of the promise of a massive U-Turn from the Obama-Reid-Pelosi fiasco, but done with a real purpose to act rather than dither, decide and deploy, not merely debate.