One of the reasons artists have lost power is they no longer lead.
It’s kind of like our President. He’s so busy appeasing people that
even his natural constituency is turned off.
There are other things that, at best, don’t help. But President Clinton survived “welfare reform“—even though the inevitable consequences were well-noted at the time—because he vetoed bills that were worse than doing nothing.
Clinton’s immediate successor threatened to veto bills that were not to his liking, and went five and one-half years before having to veto one.
Barack Obama often threatens to veto legislation, but no one takes that claim seriously. Indeed, he has done it twice so far, one a procedural play, the other (much to his credit) the Bottom-Fishing and Robo-Signing Retroactive Legality Act of 2010.
A record like makes it rather difficult to run on a “they’re keeping me from doing good things” platform.
UPDATE: Mark Thoma sums up the effect of the Obama negotiation/”leadership” strategy on voters:
I really don’t like that my choices in the upcoming election will be between one candidate who will betray the things I believe in, civil liberties, progressive taxation, etc., etc., etc., and a crazy person from the other side (take your pick) who will be even worse.