A hostage strategy works well when the hostage taker makes it clear that killing the hostage is a perfectly viable option.And it's worth adding in the paragraph from Matt Yglesias that Benen omits:
I hope people remember this year next time large Democratic majorities produce an inadequate stimulus bill, a not-good-enough health reform bill, a somewhat weak financial regulation bill, and fail to deliver on their promises for immigration and the environment. It’s easy in a time like that to get cynical and dismissive about the whole thing. But there’s actually a huge difference between moving forward at a slower-than-ideal pace and scrambling to reduce the pace at which you move backwards. Now we’re moving backwards.I'll further point out that this is the budget for the 2011 fiscal year, the year we are more than six months into.
That means, unfortunately, that those who want to return to the golden days of the robber barons, child labor, and health care for those who can afford it will have two more bites at the apple. Or at the populace. That will be when they steel themselves to destroy America's financial credibility in the world by voting against raising the debt limit and when the budget for fiscal 2012 is considered.
The only way we can stop this rampage toward feudalism is to vote the lackeys of the upper 1% out.