Democrats have long considered themselves the “party of the people,” an attempt to paint Republicans as wildly out of touch with normal Americans. Their actions tell a much different story than their words. Their stimulus bill was full of favors for their favorite constituents – unions. Health care reform and other budget busting legislation has created an atmosphere of uncertainty that threatens small businesses. And for all their talk not raising taxes on the middle class, there is only six months to go until the largest tax hikes in the history of our nation.
Of course liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas, founder of the popular (and steadfastly reliable) DailyKos tends to stick with the “party of the people” theme. In his latest article, titled “GOP giving away US” , he confidently (and hilariously) painted the GOP as the party of alienation: “[the] problem is, they’ve alienated so many regions, that it gets harder and harder to win anywhere”.
He’s referencing a fundraising email the Republican National Committee circulated parodying Obama’s Chicago-style politics (the same politics, Obama swore on the campaign trail, that would have absolutely no place in his administration). Along with California (who the GOP alienates in its entirety because of San Francisco and Hollywood), Massachusetts (that we apparently call “Taxachusetts”), there’s New York City, Detroit, New Orleans, Vermont…the list goes on and on. By Moulitsas’ calculation, the Grand Ole Party alienates anywhere between 20-50 million Americans.
Perhaps the Democratic Party really is the party of the people. So much so that their poll numbers are impressively high—the Democratic-controlled Congress has an approval rating at 21.8% , with 30.2% of Americans thinking they’re leading the country in the right direction. The Democratic president, Barack Obama, is so in tune with Americans nearly six in 10 voters say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country. Nevermind that only 38% of independents, and 46% of Americans in total, approve of his job performance – surely none of those people live on either coast or exist in any major urban city.
Moulitsas’ reasoning, aside from being utterly ludicrous, is typical of those that think Obama and Democrats can do no wrong. While Moulitsas is busy writing about the failures of the GOP and painting us as out of touch and alienating, he seems oblivious to a sobering, harsh reality: there is an increasing exasperation with Democrats that’s gripping the country, one that is sure to strike hard this November.
If all Americans (i.e. the ones the GOP hasn’t yet alienated) really thought like Moulitsas, Republicans wouldn’t have a chance in November. Instead, we’ve got the White House Press Secretary acknowledging the House very well could be up for grabs in less than four months. Day after day, Democrats are doing what they can to distance themselves from an administration and Congress that has made its own bed–one that they’ll be lying in soon enough.
Moulitsas can opine all he wants that the GOP alienates, but he’d be wise to pull his head out of the sand (or somewhere else) and realize that the Democrats aren’t the party of the people. Quite the contrary, Democrats have gone to extreme measures over the past two years to isolate themselves from huge swaths of the country.
President Obama has had some choice words for Vegas. This has happened not once, but twice . In February of this year, Obama proclaimed that “you don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college”, alienating not only those that live in Las Vegas, but also those that like to enjoy the city for all its potential. Unsatisfied with his drubbing of the struggling tourist hub the newly-inaugurated President chided companies who took trips to Vegas. These comments went so far as to alienate Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who rebuked the president for kicking a city while it is down.
Or what about Obama’s classic campaign declaration in Pennsylvania? Remember the one back in April of 2008 saying that small towns, because of unemployment and economic hardship, were driven to cling to bitterness, “guns or religion or antipathy, or anti-immigrant sentiment”. Was that not alienating not only in itself, but in a larger context? Did that comment not exude elitism, or a sense of entitlement, or a callous dismissal of those who live the small, rural town life? These people might not live in the big cities, but they’re still living the typical American life. To sit there and say that the GOP is the alienating party is laughable in comparison to this.
Or how about New York. President Obama thought he found could strike a chord with the general public by setting up a false dichotomy, pitting Main Street versus Wall Street. Turns out bashing the financial sector as a whole, rather than identifying the actual villains, could backfire. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg became increasingly flustered over the administration’s constant attacks saying he was “very concerned about it.” Bloomberg went on, “I think the bashing of Wall Steet is something that should worry everybody, from New York or Illinois.” Apparently the President failed to understand that regardless of how much the message appeals to populists it is the tax revenues from Wall Street that “pay[s] our cops and firefighters and teachers.”
Perhaps Markos should examine the negative impact the Obama administration’s policies have had on so many places and people before making the half-hearted argument that the GOP is alienating Americans. They may be the party of the people. Ya know, just a lot fewer people than before President Obama.
by Brandon Greife, Political Director of the College Republican National Committee (hat tip Leah Dow)