August 5, 2010

Democrats roll out their tired Greatest Hits package for the election

Over at National Review, Jim Geraghty has a piece today about how you should expect a lot of talk about health care between now and the November mid-term elections. The stunning thing from through the goggles of a 2008 perspective, is that nearly none of that chatter will originate from the Democrats. While it may be their signature piece of legislation - narrowly beating out that crack cocaine fix - they sure are busy trying to bamboozle the voters (to borrow an Obama catch phrase) into looking elsewhere.

Republicans will be coming hard with a trifecta of talking points:

(i)   jobs and the economy
(ii)  the stratospheric national debt
(iii) Democrats' misplaced emphasis on a burdensome health care initiative.

How are the Democrats going to counter? They are not going to fight old battles. You know, how the health care bill will be job positive and economy positive and national debt positive. That's so 2009. Actually, it's also so ineffective. Instead, the Democrats are going to fight an even older battle – with “it's all Bush's fault”. But that's so 2008.

It reminds me of a band that releases a ‘greatest hits’ CD/album but puts one or two new songs on it in the hopes that you'll buy their offerings again for that extra morsel - the one that is actually pretty bad and doesn't belong on there in the first place. It's lazy, it's offering nothing new and it's relying on nostalgia to make the sale. The same is true for the Democrats this year. It's as if they have given up already, at least on putting in the effort. Let's hope they stay that course.

Don't get me wrong, I do like nostalgia - when it comes to music. But when you’ve got nostalgia only to offer politically, when you’ve got the results of an aggressive agenda to campaign on – it says something about your lack of faith in your own message and/or agenda. I’m sure the Democrats realize that re-fighting the health care fight and the stimulus fight are losing causes in both the realm of proving their value, and more importantly in terms of winning back voters. Those swing voters have been written off. What the Democrats are doing is trying to rally the base with this greatest hits tour. Even that prospect seems somewhat dubious. After all, the Republicans have a powerful message and they will talk about it. The other chatter is coming from the public. That in itself is the biggest story of this Presidency – bigger than health care itself. People are paying much more attention. That’s bad news for Democrats and for their blame Bush message. But really, what else are they going to do?

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