In just a few days as soon as Republican voters in my adopted home town choose a candidate to run against 28-year Washington veteran Barbara Boxer, that hyperpartisan Democrat with few accomplishments for her near three-decade service in Congress will do what she always does, attack, attack, attack and then attack some more.
And she’s not alone. The Democratic President of the United States continues to attack the GOP as if this party with barely enough votes to muster a filibuster in the Senate and fewer than 180 seats in the House has enough votes to block his initiatives and is responsible for the nation’s current woes.
Obama’s Democrats are still running against George W. Bush. Guess they figure that what worked in the last two electoral cycles is certain to work in this one. Michael Barone finds that well, these Democratic “tactics are predictable“:
Running against George W. Bush (who?) is not likely to get them very far, though Obama can’t resist attacking him wherever her goes. But emphasizing local issues (as in Pennsylvania 12), banking on intraparty Republican splits (as in New York 23) and disqualifying Republicans as wackos or on personal grounds can salvage some seats that otherwise seem lost.
Still, the fact that Democrats are reduced to such tactics underlines their problem: The policies of the Obama administration and congressional Democratic leaders are deeply unpopular. And those policies have swept into politics hundreds of thousands of previously apolitical citizens symbolized by but not limited to the Tea Party movement.
Given the fact the memories of the big-spending Republican Congresses are still fresh (even though the congressional Democrats’ current spending makes said GOP congressional sessions look parsimonious by comparison), Democrats may be able to score some points in their attacks on the GOP. Some voters still don’t trust the GOP to hold true to its Reaganite principles.
That said, Barone gets at the real problem that ails the Democrats: their policies aren’t popular with the American people. If only Republicans could convince our fellow citizens that they learned the lesson of ’06 and ’08, ’10 and ’12 would be banner years for our party.