More Democratic Geniosity

September 24th, 2010at 07:39am Posted by Eli

Three great examples of Obama and the Democrats’ seeming determination to do everything they can to ensure their own slaughter in the midterm elections (and probably 2012 as well):

On healthcare reform:

The damage that the health care bill was doing to Democrats in swing districts was so enormous and so patently obvious it was impossible to miss. Van Hollen had to know the same thing we did.

But instead of letting his members know they were in danger, he lied to them. He commenced a propaganda campaign to keep them from finding out the truth: that for many members, voting for the health care bill could very well mean the end of their political careers.

And so the Democratic leadership corralled them all in March, filled their heads full of shit and told them it would be a great thing for Obama, them and the Democratic Party when the bill passed.

The entire party leadership was in on it. It was a “Paths of Glory” moment, where the generals fired on their own troops in the bunkers and forced them into an unwinnable battle that many would not survive.

Funny that they were willing to apply so much pressure to pass a bill with no public option, no drug price negotiation, and no coverage for abortions that most voters hated, and unwilling to apply any pressure at all to pass a bill that most voters would have actually liked.  If you’re going to force members to commit political suicide, you should do it for something that will help the party as a whole, not hurt it.  Why, it’s almost as if their desire to claim the illusion of victory without angering their healthcare industry donors trumped all other considerations.

On the participation of progressive organizations:

Independent group messages have far more credibility and clout than those from party and candidate committees- even groups with generic-sounding names no one has heard of. Republican strategists like Rove got this early, and went about methodically organizing a network of corporate money to get involved in independent expenditure ads in swing races all over the country. But the Obama White House, sure of its fundraising ability and organizing genius, has consistently sent the signal to Democratic donors to not support outside efforts. They did it after they won the primary in 2008; they did it when they set up OFA to operate solely inside the DNC in 2009; they did it during the health care fight when they felt HCAN was being a little too independent in pushing for a public option, sending a clear signal to donors not to give to them at crucial times during the fight; they did it when ACORN had some bad publicity, very quickly making the decision to distance themselves and let them die even though no group has registered more voters or turned out more people in the last 10 years than ACORN.

I can’t even think of any rationale for this other than actively wanting to lose.  As the mention of HCAN suggests, I guess they didn’t want outside groups running around pushing policies that were too progressive for Obama.  God forbid.

And on tax cuts:

A senior Senate Democratic aide told TPM today there won’t be a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts in the upper chamber before the November election, a blow to party leaders and President Obama who believed this would have been a winning issue.

(…)

The aide said it’s already a winning message without a vote since Obama and Democrats have framed the debate as the Republicans being for the rich and Democrats wanting to help the middle class. Others have made similar arguments, but several lawmakers have said they think a vote is the only way to score a political victory. The senior aide doesn’t think so.

“We have a winning message now, why muddy it up with a failed vote, because, of course, Republicans are going to block everything,” the aide said.

Wow.  So instead of forcing Republicans to go on record with a vote against middle-class tax cuts, the Democrats are just going to assume that voters will blame the Republicans for their own inaction.  It’s a lot easier to campaign on actual votes than hypothetical ones.  “I voted to extend your tax cuts”, or “my opponent voted against extending your tax cuts”, or “my opponent wants to hold your tax cuts hostage so Paris Hilton can keep hers” is a lot more effective than “there was no vote to extend your tax cuts because we knew my opponent’s party would vote no”.

They. Want. To. Lose.  Or they value their cozy relationship with their corporate and wealthy donors more than they value their elected positions (and know that said donors have much more lucrative positions waiting for them if they get voted out for protecting those donors’ interests).

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Taxes,Wankers


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