Skip to comments.Dems Leaderless, Rudderless
Posted on 02/08/2002 5:21:09 AM PST by coder2
The saying "war changes everything" could be considered an understatement in the world of politics. Just five short months ago, Democrats were united behind the "soft-spoken," hyperpartisan Tom Daschle and beginning to tear at George W. Bush and his policies. Both parties were gearing up for battle, looking for an edge in the 2002 elections. Now Bush is untouchable, hovering high over Congress' head with incredible approval ratings on everything from the war to the economy.
Part of the problem for Democrats is that while Bush has risen, gobbling up headlines and blotting out the political sun like an eclipse, Democrats have failed to find anyone capable of rising with him. Since 9/11, Bush has connected with the American people in a visceral way, reflecting the public's feelings and earning their trust with simple, straightforward talk. Democratshave made no such connection. Without a charismatic, forceful, and sincere leading voice, Democrats are suffering in comparison to the President and losing ground with the American people on a whole host of issues.
By most accounts, Tom Daschle is a smooth operator in the Senate. But recent attempts trying to take on the President have been abysmal failures. Just before Christmas, Daschle tried to played hardball with Bush over the economic stimulus bill. Bush outfoxed Daschle by declaring a compromise with enough votes to pass both chambers of Congress, and when the bill died Daschle was effectively tagged as an obstructionist. Then, in a highly publicized speech on Friday, January 4, Daschle tried to take on Bush over issue of taxes, declaring that Bush's tax package was responsible for the deficit and implying it should be repealed. By the time Daschle arrived at his office on Monday, Bush had swatted him down publicly with his "over my dead body" pledge and Daschle had split his own caucus in two.
Other Democrat "leaders" are not faring much better. Dick Gephardt's high profile of late (rebuttal to the State of the Union, Fox News appearance, speech to the DLC) has done little to help remake him as a "moderate." John Kerry's signature issues, opposing national missile defense and drilling in ANWR, don't carry much weight with the public post 9/11. Even Joe Lieberman can't make news by going to Bush's right on military tribunals and invading Iraq. Nor is the former "Conscience of the Senate" ringing up much political benefit from his Senate Enron investigation.
These men simply do not have the "star power" to take on a President, let alone a War President with an 85% approval rating. It's not an easy job. Still, Democrats have to be disheartened by the fact that they have failed to isolate any policy issue on which Bush is truly vulnerable. It looks increasingly like Democrats will be forced to bide their time and pray that the economy takes another dip this summer.
With generic polls showing Republicans running well above their historical average, Democrats need to find an issue and a leader who can connect with the American people and lead them through the mid-term elections. They need someone who can generate headlines, unite their caucus and be a standard bearer for the '04 Presidential race. It sounds crazy, but the answer might lie in a bearded man roaming the mountains of Tennessee muttering about a "lock box."
Thanks for the morning laugh !!!!
Meanwhile, the public has taken notice that the only strategy of the Demos is to keep the economy down for the 2002 congressional elections.
Don't worry, Demmycrats. You always have Al Sharpton available to lead you out of the wilderness.
Look, if Democrats told people what they really want, they'd get 30% of the vote. Therefore, to win elections, they have to LIE, LIE, LIE. It's no accident that the only DemocRAT elected President since 1980 was the greatest LIAR of a generation. You can't have true charisma and lie. You can't be truly forceful and lie. Obviously, you can't be sincere and LIE. The solution is for DemocRATs to change their policies. The chances of that approach zero. Therefore, DemocRATs will continue to suffer and bring suffering to the rest of America.
As usual, jabba; right on the money.
..."...tell 'em lies, pretty little lies..." William "Bubba" Jefferson Clinton
What? I thought their killer issue was extending social security benefits to same sex couples. This isn't connecting with the American public post-September 11th?
Say it isn't so, Tommy!
Pray for GW and the Truth
Whether or not Daschle allows a vote on it, Bush and the Republicans will have gone on record as trying to do something for the economy and regardless of what the economy does between now and November, it will be seen as Daschle's fault.
Bush has already done this to some extent, but this needs to be a call to the public instead of an exhortation to Congress.
Compared to the competition, he probably does look good. If you were faced between choosing Daschle or Gore, which would you take?
Actually, I think the Democrats are merely reaping the returns of the Clinton era. How many bright, motivated people in this country looked at the Democrats of the 1990s and said "Hey, lying, perjury, demagoguery... yeah, I want to be a part of that!"
That bears repeating.
The Demos are like wolverines; extremely dangerous animals who attack your neck from behind, and never let go until you bleed to death.
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