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.
Completely sapped of power in Washington, top leaders of the Democratic Party now believe that the best way to fight a president who penned â€œThe Art of the Dealâ€ is with an economic agenda that they plan to call â€œA Better Deal.â€ …
…Democratic leaders shared few details to preserve suspense around the plan, which is scheduled to be unveiled Monday at an event in Virginiaâ€™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 â€œa living wageâ€ 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 whatâ€™s in it is whatâ€™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 Clintonâ€™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 doesnâ€™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.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also told the newspaper that Democrats areÂ not looking for a “course correction,” but rather a “presentation correction.”
Sweetums, you need the course correction. Trust me.
To quote Jeb Bush:Â please clap.
If this rather anodyne phrasing sounds familiar, itâ€™s because it recalls two successful slogans of presidents past: Theodore Rooseveltâ€™s â€œSquare Deal,â€ back in 1910, and, of course, FDRâ€™s â€œNew Deal,â€ which he rolled out to great effect in 1932. (Youâ€™d think there might have been advances in political branding technology in the intervening 85 years. Youâ€™d be wrong.) It also may work as a foil to the supposed â€œdealmaker in chiefâ€ who currently occupies the White House.
Both of the Roosevelts focused with laser-like precision on economic security for Americans, and todayâ€™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.