Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Democratic Disaster? or Democratic Sweep? I've been puzzled by a contradiction between what was being said a few months ago, and what is being said now. Not long ago, Liberal pundits were declaiming that Republicans have been so intent on pandering to their racist and reactionary base that they have antagonized every other part of the electorate, and thus risked total annihilation at the polls, as even conservative Democrats and independents turned away in revulsion. Then, starting several weeks ago with the victory of Tea Party candidates in Republican primaries, everyone started talking about the dangers Democrats face of annihilation at the polls. What gives?
The racist, reactionary Tea Party has somehow made the racist, reactionary Republican Party more palatable to Democrats and independents? I don't think so. Quite the contrary, it seems likely to me that the first analysis, that only the 25% to 35% of the electorate, mostly in the South and the more regressive parts of the Midwest, that constitute the Republican base, will vote Republican, and Democrats will be swept back into majorities in both houses of Congress unless an unprecedented proportion (say, half) of the people who voted Democratic in 2008 stay home. How likely is that?
Democrats need merely land hard on a few key issues, and they will obliterate the Tea Party and its captive, the Republican Party, at the polls.
- Republicans want to repeal "Obamacare". So far, only a few, popular pieces of that healthcare legislation have gone into effect, so Republicans appear to be saying that they want to undo those parts, not just the individual mandate. That means that Republicans will be seen as wanting to restore the right of health insurers to bar health coverage to people with pre-existing conditions; throw offspring of covered adults off their parent's healthcare policy at age 18; and impose lifetime limits on care, so that if covering a procedure would exceed those limits, the insurer can cut a patient off and let him or her DIE. That is not what Americans want. So why aren't the Democrats eager to confront this "repeal Obamacare" crap head-on? (Once re-elected, with a bulletproof majority in both houses, Democrats can themselves get rid of the unconstitutional individual mandate, and pass what we really want, single-payer.)
- Democrats can run clips of Republicans simply saying NO to everything, while offering no alternative programs. They can also say, or plainly imply, that Republicans are not the only people who can say NO, and if being The Party of NO worked for Republicans, such that Democrats are reduced to a minority, Democrats will become the Party of HELL No!, and the Government will come grinding to a halt, and no one will get anything they want.
- Democrats can point out that Republicans have blocked renewal of tax cuts for the middle class and poor because they insist that billionaires must also have tax cuts, and if megamillionaires don't get tax cuts, nobody gets tax cuts, but everybody will have to pay higher taxes under Republicans. The middle class and poor want low taxes for themselves, not for the super-rich.
- Republicans were opposed to restrictions on bank abuses. Tell American consumers that restrictions on bank-fee abuses were enacted by Democrats but opposed by Republicans. And that the fees the Democrats ended will come back under Republicans.
- Republicans are using foreign money to buy American elections, so that even more American jobs will be sent overseas, to the countries that foreign money comes from, including COMMUNIST China.
- Republicans have refused to do ANYTHING to save American jobs. They actively blocked a measure to bring jobs home from foreign countries. So Democrats should plaster, all over TV, billboards, and the Internet, "Democrats= Made in USA; Republicans = Made in China".
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