The same old story happens again and again. Dems in the House pass reasonable legislation, and Senate Dems dicker with centrists and Republicans over "compromises," weakening the legislation step by step over many weeks, only to find zero Republican support in the end.
The public has no idea what is going on, and just blames Democrats, who appear to be in charge in DC. Now it is happening gain with vital public spending for national economy recovery — state aid, unemployment relief, and adjustments in taxes and Medicare payments. This legislation is not just important to this or that group. It matters for keeping any semblance of national economic growth going, for creating and saving hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The President, Congressional leaders, and Democrats of all stripes should be yelling day in, day out, that REPUBLICANS ARE SABOTAGING NATIONAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY. AND PREVENTING JOB GROWTH, JUST FOR POLITICAL ADVANTAGE. That should be the message all the time, led by the President. Stop the murky compromises and the whining about "helping the unemployed." Stop pretending this is about the deficit — nothing will hurt the deficit more than delayed economic growth. Say what it happening in terms of the national interest.
Skocpol's argument is sound enough when taken at face value. Its deeper mistake lies in her apparent belief that the politicians of the Democratic Party care about unemployment and the unemployed more than they care about the deficits and financial capital and her belief that Democratic Party politicians prefer reelection to crossing their moneyed personal and institutional supporters. With a catastrophic real (as opposed to the official) unemployment rate of approximately 20 percent, one would expect a party and a president who considered mass unemployment a problem to act decisively to resolve the problem. This has not happened, though. On the other hand, America's country debt is considered a significant problem, one that might become a pretext for the destruction of the Social Security System. I believe Obama has already made his priorities clear enough.