George F. Will has a fantastic commentary today regarding the Democrats shrinking stature in all the opinion polls that have been coming out for the past few months and how they are reacting to this. He does a great job focusing on the two major blunders that the democrats are going to be held accountable for this election cycle, namely the massive stimulus bill and the healthcare bill. He then goes on to say that because the democrats really don't have anything to run on that people are willing to get behind, that they will be forced to "pound the table" and make personal attacks against Republican opponents.
He couldn't be more right.
If you've been paying attention to the news in the past few days then you may have seen this attack ad by candidate Alan Grayson, implying that his opponent, republican Daniel Webster is a cooky religious nut. It's back-firing pretty bad for Grayson since Webster is up 7 points in this recent poll and will probably continue to rise higher.
In his article George Will uses the example of Barry Goldwater and the democrats successful undermining of his mental and personal credibility by using various psychiatrists to declare him unfit to hold office. This is a tactic that works well with the collusion of the media. What's the old saying? A lie can go around the world faster than the truth can tie it's shoes. Christine O'Donnell is currently getting a similar treatment. After winning the nomination, it was widely reported that her primary opponent, Mike Castle, didn't think she was fit for the position and would never win. That comment was quickly picked up by the media and started a narrative that O'Donnell will probably never be able to get out of. This in turn has caused a lot of background digging, going so far as the media to breathlessly announce the fact that she "dabbled" in witchcraft in high school. Seriously. That's stupid news. But it builds up that narrative that gives people a negative view of her and kills her standing in the polls.
Now, admittedly there have been other gaffes on her part. The anti-masturbation stance and the fact that she claimed to have studied at Oxford to name a couple but these are things that have come out afterwards and caused this snowball effect of negativity. Which in turn has allowed her opponent to claim that she is too far right from the average Delaware voter (which may be true) and hurt her ability to connect with the people, thereby giving the Democrats the advantage.
Sure there are examples like O'Donnell that liberal pundits point to in order to claim that they still have a chance at keeping the house and senate but when tactics of desperation like the ones being used this cycle are in play, it really does indicate how scared the democrats are. The Tea Party movement has been scoffed at from the very beginning. Yet in spite of all the punditry mocking it, it continues to grow. The people at the top simply aren't getting it. This is a grassroots movement, that while at times can be misguided and a little extreme, is an honest out-pouring of voter frustration. This is what is wrong with the democrats. They just don't get that these people are passionate about what they believe in and are willing to make big personal sacrifices of time and money to fight for it. I have several family members involved with the Tea Party movement (much to my dismay) and they are very ardent in their beliefs about the state of the country, Obama and the democrats policies. This has caused them to devote huge swaths of time and money to the cause and this is something that they are not unique in. I've been dragged to a few rallies and have seen the "rabble". They are, for the most part, everyday people who simply love this country but you can sense the anger they have towards the leadership on both sides of the aisle. The democrats used to be this way. When Bush was in power they were passionate about the war and various social causes. But now that they finally have control they seem to have lost a lot of that fire, perhaps power breeds complacency but it is a mistake they make at their own peril. No matter party you subscribe to people can be just as equally angry and passionate. Its what got the Dem's back in control in the first place. It's what brought them together.
What's wrong with the Dems? They forgot what the people were like. They have forgotten that when you have enough angry people they can quickly coalesce into a powerful group. They have forgotten that their policies and actions while in office will have an affect of the people and manifest come election cycle. it's why I think they are still in big trouble come November.