Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, July 23rd, 2017.

Why the Democrats Will Not Take Back Congress Next Year

Trump Maladministration

As badly as Republicans are screwing up, expect them to maintain control of Congress next year. Because the Democrats can’t lead an opposition out of a wet paper bag.

Ed O’Keefe and Dave Weigel write in WaPo:

Completely sapped of power in Washington, top leaders of the Democratic Party now believe that the best way to fight a president who penned “The Art of the Deal” is with an economic agenda that they plan to call “A Better Deal.” …

…Democratic leaders shared few details to preserve suspense around the plan, which is scheduled to be unveiled Monday at an event in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, where the party hopes to defeat incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock (R). But some lawmakers, aides and outside advocates consulted on the new agenda said that it is expected to focus on new proposals to fund job-training programs, renegotiate trade deals and address soaring prescription-drug costs, as well as other issues. It is also expected to endorse long-held Democratic principles, including “a living wage” of $15 per hour and already unveiled spending plans for infrastructure that would expand broadband Internet access into rural counties.

In other words, instead of a vision for the future, Dems are once against trotting out a laundry list of programs that most voters will never hear about anyway. It’s not bad, but it’s not enough; more blah blah blah. And note no mention of health care.

How did they come up with this tepid gruel? Dana Milbank provides a clue:

As important as what’s in it is what’s not. Democrats jettisoned social and foreign policy issues for this exercise, eschewing the identity politics and box-checking that has plagued Democratic campaigns in the past, most recently Hillary Clinton’s. This will be purely an economic message.

They also resisted invitations to steer the party toward the center (as pollster Mark Penn advised) or in a more progressive agenda. This is meant to be a populist manifesto that doesn’t conform to the left/right debate but instead aims to align Democrats with ordinary, middle-class Americans fighting powerful special interests.

I think they forgot the “manifesto” part. The Democratic Party is like your unhip parents trying to be cool, and failing.

And then there’s this:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also told the newspaper that Democrats are not looking for a “course correction,” but rather a “presentation correction.”

Sweetums, you need the course correction. Trust me.

Benjamin Hart writes at New York Magazine:

To quote Jeb Bush: please clap.

If this rather anodyne phrasing sounds familiar, it’s because it recalls two successful slogans of presidents past: Theodore Roosevelt’s “Square Deal,” back in 1910, and, of course, FDR’s “New Deal,” which he rolled out to great effect in 1932. (You’d think there might have been advances in political branding technology in the intervening 85 years. You’d be wrong.) It also may work as a foil to the supposed “dealmaker in chief” who currently occupies the White House.

Both of the Roosevelts focused with laser-like precision on economic security for Americans, and today’s Democrats are attempting to follow suit.

I wrote yesterday in despair of Democrats’ seizing the opportunity on health care that the GOP has handed them. Yep; they’re going to blow it.

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