“Obama Advisers Weigh Ad Assault Against the G.O.P” was the early page-one headline in The New York Times the other day. Ah, but this wasn’t just any old “ad assault.” No, this one was an assault against the dreaded tea party. The goal, according to the story, would be to “cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists.”
The White House denied the story (and the Times later tweaked the headline), but you just know it was true. I may not like the liberal tendencies of The New York Times, but they don’t simply make up stories over there.
Besides, on the same day the Times story came out (Sept 20), Vice President Joe Biden told a fundraiser in Ohio that the alternative to Democrats this fall is “the Republican tea party.”
And a few weeks earlier in Philadelphia, Ed Rendell, the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania (and savvy political operative), said the Republican Party “is slowly but surely being taken over by wackos. They’re nuts. They’re flat-out crazy.”
Memo to Democrats: For your own good, STOP!
Painting the tea party folks as extremist nut-jobs is a big mistake. Tying tea partiers to the Republicans will not hurt the GOP. It will help them and hurt you!
What a lot of Democrats don’t seem to get, even at this very late date, is that voters don’t think tea partiers are the ones who are extreme and out of the mainstream. They think Democrats are the extremists who have lost touch with the mainstream. They rightly see Democrats as the ones who are spending us into a hole so deep that no one knows when (or if) we will emerge. That, they are saying, is extreme. That is out of the mainstream.
Want proof? As the Times story reported, “Except for [Christine] O’Donnell in Delaware, Republican candidates that Democrats like to showcase as extremists — including in Senate races in Nevada, Colorado, Kentucky and even blue-state Connecticut– are even with their Democratic rivals in polls or ahead.”
In some other year, it might have been different. In some other year, voters might reject the more “colorful” candidates backed by the tea party. Not this year. This year, voters are so fed up with the party in control of both houses of Congress and the White House that they’d vote for Scooby-Doo rather than one more big-spending Democrat.
Besides, haven’t Democrats noticed that it’s not only those “crazy” tea partiers who are fuming? Independents, a group that supported President Barack Obama in 2008, are also fed up. They’re also mad as hell and don’t plan to take it anymore.
Of course, anything can happen between now and Nov. 2, but unless something big pops up, and unless the voters have been fooling with the pollsters, the Democrats are about to take a very severe beating in just over a month.
And it didn’t have to happen.
The architect of the looming disaster is the leader of the party, the same Barack Obama who had a halo over his head when he was sworn into office. With the help of his most loyal base — giddy journalists who slobbered all over him during the campaign — he came to office as Saint Barack, the messiah bringing hope and change.
But instead of focusing on how to right the economy and put his fellow Americans back to work, President Obama spent more than a year on his health reform legislation, which, according to the polls, Americans don’t want. Transforming America into a green nation with cap-and-trade legislation was supposed to be next, something else Americans don’t want.
With unemployment still high, and with so many Americans worried about hanging on to their jobs, the magic is gone — squandered away by a president and a Democratic Party that have become disconnected from the American people.
The Republican slogan in the final weeks of this campaign ought to be short and sweet: How’s that hope and change working out for you?