Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Go On Offense, Dems: Blame Repugs

Right now, conservadem consultants all over the country are telling their Democratic candidates to run away from Obamacare, because Alex Sink defended Obamacare and lost.

But the lesson is not that she defended Obamacare, it's that she defended Obamacare. When she should have gone on offense and blamed republicans for everything imperfect about Obamacare, and everything else in the country that's gone wrong.

Steve M. at No More Mister:

I think the president overestimates the usefulness, especially at this point, of "focusing on his economic policy message." BooMan talks about "pitching populist policies, even if they aren't immediately achievable" -- but that's just the problem: they aren't achievable. Voters know that. They voted to reelect Obama in 2012 in the hope that he'd be able to get some of his policies enacted in a second term, and now they see he hasn't done it. I think restating the Democratic wish list, or even adding some of the items BooMan recommends, isn't enough. Voters just think Democrats make a lot of empty promises.

So what can Democrats do? I think they have to start talking about why popular Democratic policies don't get enacted. The reason is that there are too damn many Republicans in Congress.

I think they have to say, "When you elect Republicans, they block any increase in the minimum wage. When you elect Republicans, they block every bill that would put people to work. When you elect Republicans, they block immigration reform. When you elect Republicans, they insist on trying to get the budget under control by cutting programs that people really need because they refuse to allow the taxes of the wealthiest Americans to go up by even one dime." And so on and so on.

Maybe you even need to explain the filibuster -- yes, on the campaign trail. Don't you think Bill Clinton could pull that off in a speech and still keep an audience's attention? Well, why should that be a unique skill? The president is a pretty good speaker, too, isn't he?

According to a recent New York Times/CBS poll, 59% of voters are at least somewhat "disappointed" in the Obama presidency, including 24% of Democrats. Why is that? Partly it's because people thought he could do more. Well, most voters don't have a clear picture of why he can't do more. They need some Civics 101 so they'll understand. And they need someone to explain what the solution would be, even if it's highly unlikely to be attainable.

Why is it so difficult for Democrats to say that Republicans are the problem? Republicans have no problem blaming Democrats, and they're not punished at the polls for "divisiveness," at least in non-presidential elections.

Assess the blame where it belongs. Otherwise, voters just think that ineffectual Democrats are the real problem.
 Mitch McConnell is attacking Alison Lundergan Grimes on coal. Instead of bleating "me, too, I love coal," she should attack back twice as hard, demanding that Mitch force Senate repugs to restore unemployment benefits and approve the American Jobs Act and pass President Obama's budget.

Everything Kentucky voters are angry about right now are things that congressional repugs caused. Repugs are to blame. It's the repugs' fault.  Mitch leads the repugs - why hasn't he fixed this?

Just keep repeating that over and over and over again.  It's how the repugs keep winning. Playing defense is how dems keep losing.

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