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Getting Real About Congress’ Political Problems

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Getting Real About Congress’ Political Problems"

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I think this idea being promoted by Josh Marshall’s Hill staffer correspondents that the problem congressional Democrats are having stems from having staged an insufficient number of cleverly awkward votes for Republicans is a bit dangerous and delusional. Look out the window at the state of the labor market. Not the labor market for the Washington DC metro area or for the kind of college-educated professionals likely to be social acquaintances of congressional staff, but of the country as a whole:

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How on earth is the electoral situation not going to be bleak for the party in charge? This is the worst recession since World War II:

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Under the circumstances, there are two useful things a member of congress can do. One is to take actions that improve the economic situation. The other is to pass laws that tackle important long-run problems. But if you can’t do the first thing, I think you’re really fooling yourself if you think some kind of parliamentary hijinks are going to transform the situation.

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