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Could Democratic 2012 Attack Plan Backfire as did similar plan in 1980?

In recent weeks, with increasing evidence of a sputtering economic recovery, it’s become abundantly clear that the Democrats see their path to victory in the 2012 elections in attacking and marginalizing the GOP.  Because the Democrats have made their intentions abundantly clear, Republicans should have an easier time running against the president’s party.

That said, failing an effective counteroffensive, the Democrats’ attacks could work.  Yet, it remains a high-risk strategy for the party currently in power.  Instead of offering hope for a less-divisive, shall we say, post-partisan politics, the president and his party will attempt to label the GOP as the party

  1. reluctant to tax “millionaires and billionaires,” refusing to ask the superrich to pay their “fair share” of federal income taxes.
  2. of extremists out of step with middle American, particularly the “middle class”, and
  3. the party of “No,” unwilling to compromise and failing to offer a jobs plan of its own.

Republicans should be able to counter the 3rd line of attack, if the House passes a jobs bill and Republican leaders remind voters of the details of the plan–and if the Republican nominee offers a plan of his own.

Over at the Washington Examiner, Philip Klein reminds us that Democrats have tried a similar attack strategy in the past, smearing the Republican nominee in order to distract voters from an incumbent Democrat’s record.  “With his ratings in the tank, President Carter [in 1980] attempted to raise fears about Ronald Reagan.”  Remember, the left did not always see the Gipper as a genial conservative pragmatist, indeed, Carter’s team that year hoped the California Republican would win the GOP nomination as many thought him too much a right-winger to win a general election.

The attacks on Reagan were actually effective in keeping the race competitive until the very end – and that’s when the two candidates debated, and Reagan came off as reasonable, informed and likeable, which was a contrast with the way he was being portrayed. Everybody who follows politics knows about Reagan’s famous “there you go again” retort to Carter during the debate, but few remember what Reagan was responding to. As it turns out, it was a similar line of attack that we’re now seeing against Perry. (more…)

A reminder: Obama helped secure his victory in 2008 by running against George W. Bush’s big-spending policies

A number of conservative and libertarian bloggers have linked this video of then-candidate Barack Obama calling it “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” for his predecessor to add $4 trillion to the national debt:

One of those bloggers, Ed Morrissey, quipped that the Democratic candidate “questioned Bush’s patriotism for the same policies that Obama accelerated as President himself“.  The 2010 CPAC blogger of the year reminds us that a phrase Obama used in the clip, “Credit card from the Bank of China”, was one of his favorites “during the campaign.  A quick search shows that he used it in an April 2008 debate, this June 2008 appearance, and others as well, usually tying it to tax cuts.”

This clip (which I daresay won’t be played that often on any of the major networks during the 2012 campaign) reminds us how the Democrat co-opted certain conservative constituencies in the 2008 campaign, casting himself as an opponent of the big-spending George W. Bush.  He helped pad his margin of victory with the votes of Republican-leaning independents who read such rhetoric as a commitment to cutting the budget.

He won’t be winning their votes back in the upcoming contest.

Governor Brown’s Jobs Plan Not Cure for CA Employment Woes

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:40 am - August 26, 2011.
Filed under: California politics,Democratic demagoguery

Given the way California’s Governor unveiled his jobs plan, it seems he’s taken a page from the playbook of the President of the United States, seeking to use the issue to score political points against Republicans rather than repeal laws which increase the cost of doing business in the Golden State.  The “news conference,” the LA Times reports, “at times seemed more like a partisan rally than an attempt to reach across the aisle. Democrats used the governor’s announcement to rap Republicans’ knuckles for favoring out-of-state companies at the request of conservative activists who oppose changes in the corporate tax structure.

The governor contends that California’s current “complex tax formula . . . allows a tax break for companies that move jobs out of state. He wants to eliminate that ‘outrageous and perverse’ incentive.”  To fix that, the Democrat . . .

. . . wants to change the state’s tax code in a way that would reap more revenue from some companies that employ the bulk of their workers outside California, while creating new tax breaks for firms that hire in the state or buy business equipment here.

Problem is is that such changes might spur those companies which are based in California and employ workers in other states to join those companies that have already left the state.   The intention may be to bring jobs back to California; the result would be for more firms to leave the state. This proposed change basically just imposes another burden on California employers.  Firms would avoid that burden by leaving the state.

In short, Brown’s plan would only succeed in making the currently complex tax formula even more complex.  He’d be wiser to simplify the formula and cut regulations. (more…)

Looks like the Japanese Prime Minister is resigning

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:03 am - August 26, 2011.
Filed under: Politics abroad

On Yahoo!’s home page, there are currently four headlines referencing the matter: