Pot, Meet Kettle
How many times have we heard Republicans resorting to their trusty talking point of, “the Democrats have no ideas”? Well, it seems that Republican attempts to tar and feather the Democrats as lacking in ideas, is in fact proving to be a bad case of projection. One good thing about having Republicans on the run, is that they are so busy trying to shake the labels of “corrupt” and “incompetent” and “out of touch” that they are unable to formulate a strategy for winning in the upcoming mid-term elections. This would seem like good news if we weren’t so uneasy about how the Democrats will handle this little bit of luck. They have become masters at squandering opportunities and failing to capitalize on Republican missteps. Let’s hope they realize that now is not the time to sit back, relax and enjoy the break from getting beat up on, and instead recognize that it's time to keep hammering away and even up the ante each step along the way.
Perhaps it is time to co-opt the most effective conservative rallying points that most liberals have come to accept. With a debt raging out of control, most agree (except Republicans in Congress and in the White House) that it is time for some good old-fashioned conservative fiscal policy. Not the trickle down crap that doesn’t work, but reigning in spending and shifting money away from corporate welfare and towards long term investments in education and in creating a healthcare system that works. Time to stop throwing good money after bad in an un-winnable war and humbly ask for the world’s help in solving the problems in Iraq that Republicans only manage to make worse with each passing day. It is bad foreign policy for sure, but it is also bad fiscal policy to continue funding what is so clearly not working.
Democrats need to talk about the difference between a robust economy based on corporate profits and stock prices that benefit few, and an economy that provides more family wage jobs that benefits all. A strong educational system and a thriving economy is the best solution to rampant poverty, not higher corporate profits that raise stock values and dividends for the few that hold them. Conservatives used to believe in this idea, but Republicans today prefer corporate welfare to good old-fashioned hard work. Hard work used to be rewarded in this country and the Democrats need to show that they can bring that back.
The best news for Democrats is that the American people trust them to deliver the goods on education and healthcare and the great majority have come to realize that we are at a crisis point with both. The corruption and cronyism labels have already stuck, so let’s apply them to the healthcare crisis as well. It’s not a stretch for most people, all the Democrats have to do is connect the dots and then repeat, repeat, repeat.
Another winner is talking about wasteful spending. Remember how galvanizing this issue was when Reagan used it to vilify the welfare moms? That was a load of crap, but it resonated with voters, so too will corporate welfare. The average American has had at least one bad experience with a big corporation and the anger at the rising profits of oil companies and energy companies at our expense, along with the obscene salaries pulled in by CEO’s at a time when most of us can’t even manage to save for retirement, is still an untapped resource. Being nice and meek hasn’t served the Democratic Party well, it’s time to get real and start talking in the vivid language that best describes Republican policies. They are unfair, mean spirited and irresponsible.
Republicans are more interested in squeezing out the last drops of profit from oil than in pursuing energy alternatives. Republicans are more interested in tax breaks for their wealthy friends than in controlling the enormous debt we are leaving to our children. Republicans are more interested in tearing down teachers than in investing in our children’s future. Republicans are more interested in profits than in people, and people are what make this country great. It’s time for government to work for the people again and that means framing the debate in our favor while the Republicans are floundering around trying to find a message. Let’s put them on the defensive for a while, and maybe, just maybe, we can win an election for a change.