Not so fast
Dems to run on ... the economy?
Democrats have decided that the way to win in November is -- I kid you not -- to make the economy the central issue of the campaign.
"We've got to go on the offensive," explained a senior Democratic aide, "and keep our eye on the ball -- and that's the economy."
"We're not going to win 15 seats on the war in Iraq," said another Democratic staffer, insisting it is the economy that will, in the words of Roll Call, "bring the party across the goal line."
Sen. Debbie Stabenow is quoted as saying the 2006 election "is all about jobs."
And, in a memo sent to Democratic staffers, the party's Senate leadership claimed "while Iraq may be high among the concerns of the American people, it is a distant reality in comparison to the day to day challenges many families face filing their gas tanks, paying for college, saving for retirement and securing a job."
A distant reality? Oh. My. God.
See, that's why I don't think we're going to win back the House or Senate. Because you can always trust Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
For the record, we heard this in 2002. We heard it in 2004. I gave the argument the benefit of the doubt those years. I think I actually bought it in 2002. But apparently our vaunted leadership in DC is incapable of learning lessons.
They obsess about 1968, yet they couldn't be bothered with the far more relevant years of 2002 and 2004. I don't understand it.
The 2006 election -- and with it control of the House and the power to investigate the Bush administration's abundant outrages -- is there for the taking... if only Democrats would put down the economy crack pipe and put their energy into hammering Bush and the GOP for their many tragic foreign policy and national security failures, which have combined to make America far less safe.
The numbers couldn't be any clearer. Seventy-seven percent of voters think that it's time to give new people a shot at running Congress. But while Democrats continue to hold a lead when voters are asked which party they plan to support in November, Republicans are making significant gains in convincing voters they are better able to handle national security and the war on terrorism. According to a new LA Times/Bloomberg poll, voters give the GOP a whopping 17 point advantage on the "who'll keep us safe?" question (nearly double the number who felt that way in June). At the same time, 56 percent of voters don't believe that America is making progress in Iraq. (What's more, Bush's numbers on the economy have greatly improved in the last three months).
Which is why Democrats can't take their eye off the real ball -- making the case that Iraq is not, as Bush continues to claim, the centerpiece of the war on terror, and has, in fact, compromised America's ability to combat terrorists and protect our homeland.
I'll be shocked if we wake up on election day controlling either chamber of Congress. If we do, it'll be because enough candidates decide to give those DC consultants and staffers the middle finger and run the race they know they need to run to win.
This isn't pure madness.
Ford just announced that they're going to buyout anyone who wants one and close plants. It may not be THE issue, but to the mayor about to lose his Ford plant, it's a massive deal. To those people who have that ARM coming do and their mortgage payments are going to jump one or two thousand dollars in a month are going to have real concerns. For Debbie Stabenow, facing the loss of thousands of good jobs, that's her issue.
Then, of course, Bush is going to talk about how the Dems are going to raise taxes
I don't think you cede the ground to the GOP on the economy. With all those zero down payment mortgages and low ARMs hitting market rates in the next three months, the economy is going to be more of an issue. The slow deflating of the housing bubble is clearly happening. People can't sell their homes and they can't pay their mortgages.
Oh yeah, ask the elderly how they feel about Medicare Part D. It's like a Hoover on the wallets of the elderly. And they are not happy about it.
Iraq is important, but so is losing your home. And if the Dems ignore it, the GOP will say everything is fine.
I think that you CAN win 15 seats on Iraq. The question is how many more do you win after that? Combine the economy and Iraq, you have two issues the GOP have no answer for.
There is a total mess lying out there between second mortgages, ARM's and unsellable homes and yelling about Iraq doesn't address that one bit.
posted by Steve @ 11:04:00 AM