The New York Times sends out a Democratic SOS this morning, as confused as the party it hopes to message:
Democrats are divided. The party’s House and Senate campaign committees are resistant, not wanting to do anything that smacks of nationalizing the midterm elections when high unemployment and the drop in Mr. Obama’s popularity have made the climate so hostile to Democrats. Endangered Congressional candidates want any available money to go to their localized campaigns.
Late Sunday night, White House advisers denied that a national ad campaign was being planned. “There’s been no discussion of such a thing at the White House” or the Democratic National Committee, said David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser.
Proponents say a national ad campaign, most likely on cable television, would complement those individual campaigns and give Democrats a chance to redefine the stakes….
So far, Mr. Obama has largely limited his campaigning to fundraisers and small events. That will change soon as he plays a bigger role to rally the flagging faithful, officials said.
To mobilize younger voters who supported him in 2008, Mr. Obama will hold four big campaign-style rallies…
So the Congressional candidates don’t want the president’s help, but the president is planning big rallies which may or may not be occurring in the middle of a national ad campaign…
Sounds like a plan.
Democrats fear a growing tsunami, not a cresting one. There is the possibility that disgust with the president’s incoherent economic policies combined with the arrogance of Team Obama’s approach to everything will start not just a trend but a stampede in the closing six weeks of the campaign.
Having failed to turn natty John Boehner into a national ogre –who thought up that gambit?– the White House, with the open assistance of the MSM, will now try and turn Tea Party activism into a sort of rightwing Red Brigade-in-the-making. That’s the plan: Turn a candidate or two or three into a reason to stand with the economy-destroying president and hsi partners on the Hill. It is sure to work inside MSNBC, which increasingly appears to be Team Obama’s only source of news and inspiration.
Though there are some big vulnerabilities on the Tea Party front —especially if the for-profit exploitation of the movement becomes widely known among its participants— those vulnerabilities in no way help the Democrats, but merely lead to some nasty internal fights among the Tea Party groups after November.
The Dems are stuck defending a “stimulus” that led to 10% unemployment amid a pervasive sense that the president’s placebo economics have stalled out the economy, throwing the sand of fear and uncertainty into its gears. If they had read Amity Shlaes’ The Forgotten Man they would have understood the impact of capriciousness on growth, but too late now. When they aren’t defending Pbama’s placebo economics, they have to defend Obamacare, which even Bill Clinton now admits is an anchor around Democratic necks.
Now they are facing an electorate that knows a Democratic win would spell chaos in the markets and another likely blow to tattered retirement accounts and credit markets.
President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid have become symbols of economic malaise, a Kingston Trio of bad economic news. The public has internalized the message that the only way to escape this recession is to get rid of the Democratic Congress whose election in 2006 ushered in the era of panic, profligacy and petulance in D.C.