Skip to contents

Surely Democrats Can’t Be This Stupid

Their monumental miscalculation on Neera Tanden's nomination is part of a very old pattern.

neera tanden
CBS News

It’s time to play one of our favorite games, “Surely Democrats Can’t Be This Stupid.” I like this game because sometimes you read about things that Democrats are saying and doing and you think, surely they cannot be this stupid.

Let’s run through some items from the past day. See if you can see a link between them.

ITEM: Democrats are scratching their heads about why the Biden administration’s nomination of Neera Tanden to run the Office of Management and Budget has gone so badly. From a Politico report on Tuesday night (emphasis mine):

For a while, the White House felt Tanden would avoid her current fate. She atoned for her now infamous Twitter behavior and put forward her personal story of a hardscrabble life, living on food stamps and raised by a single mother. And allies like former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who consults frequently with the White House, predicted that both parties would get on board due to the historic nature of her nomination: Tanden would become the first South Asian woman to head up the agency. Inside the White House, endorsements from the Chamber of Commerce and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — an ex-OMB chief himself — were pushed out in hopes that they would give Republicans cover to back her.

Elsewhere, there was a belief that the Trump years, in which the Senate confirmed Mick Mulvaney and Russ Vought as OMB directors after long careers in conservative politics, would make it difficult to oppose a nominee because of the tenor of her tweets.

A Democratic administration thought that the Republican Party would feel chagrined enough about the Trump era to care about not looking like hypocrites by opposing someone for her bad tweets? Lord what is wrong with these people? How many times do Republicans need to show that they do not care about this kind of thing before Democrats get the message?


It’s Good to Know What You Can Get Away With in Washington

ITEM: Democrats have a golden opportunity to oust Louis DeJoy, the Trump-appointed Postmaster General whose attacks on the U.S. Postal Service turned him into one of America’s top villains last year, and replace him with someone better. But they won’t do it! Why? From a Wednesday CNN report (emphasis mine):

On Wednesday, DeJoy will be back in the hot seat on the Hill, fielding questions before the House Oversight Committee, a panel where Democrats grilled him last summer and demanded his immediate ouster amid the tense final weeks of the presidential campaign. But this time, Democrats are not speaking with one clear voice, with some pushing for a brand new slate of governors who could immediately fire DeJoy, while others are taking a more moderate approach, hoping they can instead work with the controversial USPS leader and cut a deal on a long-awaited bill to overhaul the postal service.

In the latter camp is House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat who is working behind the scenes with DeJoy on a potential reform bill that has eluded Congress for more than 14 years, according to multiple Democratic sources. Her goal: Secure backing from DeJoy and win over Republicans whose support they’ll eventually need in the Senate to push the bill into law. But taking that tack has caused unease among Democrats who don’t trust DeJoy and worry that keeping him in the slot will solidify his standing and give him a fresh chance to restore his reputation.

So the Democrats are presented with a chance to get rid of someone whose overt, primary mission has been to gut the Postal Service, but one of the key people isn’t into it because she wants to…work with DeJoy and Republicans on Postal Service reform. (Maloney told CNN that if DeJoy was a CEO of a private company, he would be gone, but since he’s not, she wasn’t going to be “deterred” from working on the bill.) That makes sense! Better to work with the bad man you don’t actually have to work with on vital legislation than to send him packing.

And now for our final ITEM. Let’s let the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent field this one:

Now technically what we have here is a very old Democrat and a very old Republican being dumb together, but still, this is the kind of thing that Democrats are clearly susceptible to, so I’ll include it. There are precisely zero Democrats—even ones who have been off the scene for ages—who should be indulging the fantasy that Republicans will ever play ball on a serious investigation into the events of January 6. Republicans have demonstrated, including on January 6, that they don’t give a shit! Just mind-boggling stuff.

You will surely have noticed the link between all of these things. Democrats continually refuse to see what is in front of them: a Republican Party that is only interested in power and will not lift a finger to assist Democrats in any way. Despite decades of evidence that this is the Republican M.O., Democrats cling to their most precious belief: that the American political system is fundamentally sound and can produce good and decent results; that the Republican Party is a noble venture, even if it sometimes goes astray; and that policy that broadly winds up on the center-right side of the spectrum is preferable to anything else. That is how you get moves that are this blinkered and self-defeating.

Surely the Democrats can’t be this stupid? Yep, they really can.

Update, 3:10 p.m. ET: Naturally, 30 minutes after this blog goes up…

Is this proof that calling Democrats stupid a lot works and gets them to be less stupid from time to time??? I’m going to say…yes.