With midterm elections approaching and polls showing Republicans set to make gains in both the House and Senate, Democrats are moving to counter conservative momentum. These strategies may remind voters why the party is in such trouble in the first place.
While George W. Bush left office nearly two years ago, don’t expect Democrats to let the former president become a distant memory anytime soon. Bush is set to be a primary focus of struggling Democrats, who saw gains in the last two elections, but are now struggling in polls.
Meanwhile, the White House desperately searches for new villains by adding John Boehner to a list that includes Joe Garton and Mitch McConnell as obstructionist Republicans. Garton made headlines when he said BP was owed an apology from the government in the early days of the disaster. Months later, the White House continues to use his name to conjure up bad feelings for the minority party.
While tarnishing the names of political foes, Democrats have also decided to harness the power of a deep and thoughtful countermovement propaganda campaign. The Agenda Project, a progressive organization, has announced the “F*** Tea Project,” an organization whose purpose is “to dismiss the Tea Party and promote the progressive cause.”
The group symbolizes the disconnect between elitist Washington liberals and the growing populist and libertarian backlash to all things incumbent. The group’s name alone symbolizes the arrogance Democrats have shown toward their own constituents, and just how badly out of touch Beltway liberals are. This isn’t a grassroots group, or a collection of 14-year-olds with bad language. This is a serious political group whose founder, Erica Payne, is a former National Democratic Committee official who helped found Democracy Alliance. The group was responsible for at least $100 million in fundraising for Democratic causes.
Between the profanity and negative campaigning, conspicuous by its absence in these election strategies is the Democratic legislative record. After two years, the party should be able to tout cap-and-trade, Wall Street regulations, health care reform, the auto bailouts, and the stimulus as grand accomplishments. But it can’t. Because most of these policies are deeply unpopular.
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