William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Democrats set to adopt Republican “Always vote against Democrats” strategy

    As someone who has spent a great deal of time perusing the American political landscape, I can say that my political prognostication skills have improved likewise. And I can say with complete certainty that I can clearly see the next move the Democratic Party will be making.

    You see, after the recent elections that saw Democrats take a horrifying defeat by only gaining two seats in the House of Representatives, many Dem factions have already started practicing making their best mealy-mouthed faces in bathroom mirrors. With Health-care reform, Afghanistan, unemployment and other things on the table, this is a time when historic actions are demanded. And if there’s one thing Democrats don’t do much of these days, is historic actions.

    No, the time is to flee. There are the 2010 elections of being the party that tried to solve things never solved anything at the ballot box. And with President Barack Obama’s popularity numbers ominously falling and rising willy-nilly (but generally within the polls’ percentage for error considerations), it’s time to find respite in rhetoric rather than reform.

    On this, the Democrats will be using a popular Republican tactic - always vote against the Democrats.

    You see, Republicans have long been students of percentages. And not silly percentages about how the public overwhelmingly desires government-run health care. But real numbers. Like the fact that there’s technically a 94 percent chance they’ll get re-elected. Right off the bat, they have a big ace-in-the-hole long term and the freedom to spend their time reacting to daily popularity polls.

    One wouldn’t imagine that - strong appearances to the contrary aside - a President with an approval rating of 56 percent would worry much if that number dropped to, say, 55 percent. Over at the GOP, it’s a commencement of synchronized circle-jerk of hyperbole. And they’ve done it for so long, every player knows their part.

    Drudge gets a tip from Zogby about a 1 percent drop in Obama’s popularity. Drudge runs in under the banner-long headline of “The Obama Dream is Over!” (A quote he got from an “unnamed political campaign advisor.”) Then, simultaneously, 14 billion conservative bloggers post various themes on it, 38 percent of them with a theme of “America finally noticing Obama’s a Black guy.”

    From there, every elected Republican spends the day answering every question with the Drudge-created quote about Obama, and how obviously America approves of a his work stalling or filibustering everything that comes to his desk. Democrats then spend the day answering questions from reporters like “Some are saying the Obama Dream is over, is it?”

    Texas is a stunning example of how well Republicans band together under the banner of “No!!” In the House vote on the health-care reform bill, every Republican from Texas in the House stood up and said “No!!”

    And here’s the thing, I’d have a better chance of winning a Nobel Peace Prize than of most getting the chance of getting decent health-care insurance in Texas. OK, bad example. I’d have a better chance of receiving a Nobel Prize for Physics than of most receiving the chance of getting decent health-care insurance in Texas. You see where I’m going with this.

    But that’s one stubborn stand for ideology - regardless of whether that ideology changes the moment Rush Limbaugh says so. Mostly, though, it’s a stand handed down by the Party Elders (such as Limbaugh). If something would represent a Democratic victory, it must be stopped, at all costs. And that decree is followed with little or Cao exception.

    Basically, if you’re representing a state where 25 percent of the population is without health insurance, you vote yes on whichever reform plan has the best shot of passing. And you do that if the only thing you get out if it is some syringes and band-aids. To vote otherwise is a complete dereliction of duty.

    But it’s a strategy. And removing all human emotion and compassion from the equation, it’s a stunningly powerful tactic. Democrats can never really commit to the overall evilness of shoving it right down voters’ throats, which really makes it all that much worse. While Democrats hold a knife in one hand, they hold a lollipop in the other while apologizing profusely. Republicans have knives in both hands and tell everyone listening that it was the damned liberals that brought them to this.

    This is the plan many Democrats will go, however. With Village People like David Broder and Peggy Noonan shrieking for a liberal shift to the right like teenaged Jonas Brothers fans, many Democrats will desperately fight for the mythical middle-of-the-roaders - the same ones who said they were undecided the night before the Obama-John McCain Presidential election. And Democrats will court that vote by voting against Democrats.

    It’s going to happen. It’s not like I’m Kreskin, here. So if it’s going to happen anyway, why not make it look like a plan?



    Great post. Love the lollipop imagery.

    It's time for Democrats to show and prove.  The GOP never had better than 51 in the Senate, but that train kept a-rollin'.  Either the Dems will make good and do something meaningful for Americans with their political power or they won't.  Whatever ends up happening, one thing is for certain: Obama's 2012 campaign slogan will not be "Change you can believe in."

    BTW, that WP article you linked on Congressional stagnation is fun.  You quote a figure of 94%.  I'm not sure where exactly that came from, but I do see this:

    Specifically for the 2000 election, incumbents spent 92.8 percent of total money and received 67.3 percent of the vote.  In the elections from 1992 to 2000, there were 1,643 contested House seats in which there was a challenged incumbent. In 905 of these (55 percent of the total), the incumbents spent 84% or more of the total spending. These elections resulted in 904 victories for the incumbents, and one loss.

    So for incumbents who spent 84% or more of the total, their re-election rate stood at 99.9%.  The system works!

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