It's really not a great time to be a Democrat. The economy remains, for the most part, as depressed as the millions of Americans who cannot find work, while scandal has engulfed the Party, with key, ranking members under indictment. Taking fire from both friend and foe, the president is mired in trouble, primarily of his own making. And probably most distressing of all, the latest Rasmussen Generic Congressional Ballot poll has them nine points behind their rivals. Things are so glum that they're even begging George W. Bush -- noted liar and warmonger -- to come to the aid of his successor and make peace. No, things are not looking good for Barack Obama and friends.
So, faced with all of this adversity, what is the donkey party to do, you ask? Well, unless you have been in a cave for the last two decades or so, you know that their game plan calls for them to go on offense. Now in the past, Friends of Bill gathered in the War Room to plot their forays; sometimes vicious character assassination against mild-mannered targets like Henry Hyde or Ken Starr, while other events caused the bimbo eruption squad to swing into action to defame historical figures, pointing out that "everybody does it." More often than not, though, the playbook called for a few simple talking-point salvos aimed at the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to do the trick.
But since the last election cycle, a new device has made its way into the left-wing arsenal. They give advice to the enemy. Yes, out of the goodness of their socialist little hearts, they seek to help us poor conservatives who have so lost our way that we may soon control Congress again. To be fair, this worked so well for them in 2008 that they somehow managed to select for us the only candidate who could be defeated by the teleprompter-reading empty suit who has become our 44th president. And so they continue.
Over at Time, Mark Halperin, the notoriously fair and balanced political analyst, kindly advised the GOP not to use "President Obama's measured words" in support of the Ground Zero mosque against him and his party. Why? Because -- I'm not making this up -- if they do, the terrorists will have won. If all of this sounds familiar, that's because it is. The Democrats' continued confusion of religious tolerance with a declaration of war by violent ideologues is not an invitation to make peace, but a suicide pact. My advice to Halperin: try and sell the Islamists on the concept of separation of church and state.
Another little ditty, from Steve Benen in the New York Daily News, nearly made me choke on my ham and eggs at a diner the other day. It most clearly demonstrates the twisted way in which the left views the rest of the country. The gist of the piece suggests that after losses in 2006 and 2008, Republicans -- much to the dismay and bewilderment of liberals -- have moved "aggressively to the hard right, while catering exclusively to a reactionary, right-wing base." Translated from Columbia J-School speak, this means that the GOP has finally decided to run on their platform, one that aligns itself with the views of a more and more conservative nation. More of the piece, with interjectory comments by yours truly:
It wasn't supposed to be this way. Parties seeking comebacks after devastating failures invariably follow a model with a strong track record: push the ideological envelope, lose, tack back to the middle, reap the rewards. [This only works when moving from the left to the middle, as when Democrats successfully ran "conservative" candidates like Bob Casey and Heath Shuler.]
To wash off the stench of failure, the GOP would have to distance itself from a discredited agenda and reconsider the value of the mainstream. [The value of the mainstream media, I suppose; from which wafts a considerable stench of its own.] Republicans chose to do the opposite. Ideas and tactics that have long been considered beyond the pale, even for Republicans, are suddenly an integral part of the party's election-year message. [Woe be to those whose tactics include reflecting the values and desires of the electorate, and telling the truth.]
On areas of public policy, the approach has been even more dramatic. Many GOP leaders have inexplicably vowed not to deviate from the failures of the Bush-Cheney era. [Here he must be referring to five per cent unemployment and no post/911 terror attacks on our shores.]
If that happens -- if their bad behavior is rewarded -- Republicans will interpret the results as exoneration. [As did the Democrats in 2008.] Winning by backing away from the ideological cliff will be seen as a quaint, antiquated ideal. [Hopefully, the demolition of this quaint idea will send a few more folks over the edge.]
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