‘Did the Democrats fiddle as the Reaganauts conquered Washington?’ documents the actions of the Democratic party during the Reagan administration. In 1981 Democrats criticized Reagan on the fairness of his cuts. The recession of 1982, which forced Reagan to introduce tax hikes, allowed the Democrats to make big gains in the midterm elections. However, the economy recovered enough for Reagan to be re–elected in 1984. Democrats were able to hold their own in terms of political power during the 1980s, and most of the social advances made since the 1960s were embraced and therefore institutionalized by Reagan.