Winning the Public’s ‘Hearts and Minds’ But Losing the Progressive Pundits’: The ARRA Edition

In response to the claim by Ryan Cooper, a Washington Monthly writer, that people don’t like the stimulus and don’t want to hear about the ARRA (‘stimulus package’). According to Cooper, one progressive colleague said:

“People don’t want to hear about more government spending to hire a bunch of bureaucrats,” he replied. “Trust me, they just don’t.”

However, Robert Waldmann confronts pundit pseudoreality with actually reality. Guess who wins? Waldmann (boldface mine):

United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Sept. 7-9, 2012. N=1,012 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.7.

Asked of those who have heard about the program:
“From what you have seen or heard about the stimulus program do you think it was the right thing to do for the country or the wrong thing for the country?”

Right Thing 55%
Wrong Thing 36%
Unsure/refused 9%

We are not talking about losing a debate. We are talking about winning a debate and not noticing….

Many other polls show majority support for fiscal stimulus. Somehow while the very serious elite was focused on austerity, the general public accepted Keynesian macroeconomics. And the elite didn’t notice.

This isn’t surprising, since policies are judged by whether people like this crap. And people like jobs, while, despite claims to the contrary, they don’t care about deficits.

While this head in the sand attitude is expected from Republicans and deficit chickenhawks, ‘progressives’ are, once again, their own worst enemies. Stop buying into conservative talking points and be more confident in your own programs.

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