They say that history is written by the winners.
Just imagine what would have happened had the British won the Revolutionary War. Would it have been called the War of Colonial Aggression? Would Benedict Arnold have been revered as a national hero? Would our forefathers be considered nothing more than a society of menacing rebels? Or, best question yet, what would today’s Tea Partiers be called?
But it is too late for Democrats to rewrite the history they’ve spent the past two years writing. The economy is not on the road to recovery. Healthcare costs are going up, not down. Homes are being foreclosed at record numbers. And the national debt will be a drag on future generations. Nobody wants to be on the losing side of history. So as Democratic candidates are rapidly losing ground in pre-election polls, they are attempting to align themselves with a different team. Rather than tie themselves to the mast of the sinking Obama, Pelosi and Reid ship they are cutting anchor and setting course for less choppy waters.
Obama, attempting to become a martyr for his own cause, recently said ,
“We’re in a political season where every candidate out there has their own district, their own makeup, their own plan, their own message. And in an environment where we’ve still got 9.5 percent unemployment, people are going to make the best argument they can right now. And they’re going to be taking polls of what their particular constituents are saying, and trying to align with that .”
Has President Obama come around to how unpopular his failed policies are amongst the electorate? Just last year President Obama urged his party members to embrace him and his policies regardless of the electoral consequences. Republicans “won’t go any easier on you,” he said. So what accounts for the 180-degree shift in the President’s rhetoric?
It appears as if he, like many Democrats this cycle, have abandoned principle when facing defeat. They are content to simply stick a finger in the wind, see which way the wind is pointing, and align their sails in that direction. The unspoken mantra of “win at all costs” has replaced the more principles, if incredibly vague, “hope and change” as the Democrats election year strategy. Is this really what we want from our elected officials? We want someone who listens to us. But we want someone to listen not just when it matters for their reelection. This is a representative democracy after all, but Americans views should be represented more often than once-every two years and in more ways than just an election talking point.
As Democrats will soon find out, the electorate is smart enough to figure out their attempt at revisionist history. You can’t vote for the stimulus package, vote for the healthcare bill, and vote for cap-and-trade and only then “try to align” with your constituents. That is not how history is written.
American voters can look beyond “the best arguments” Democratic candidates can make. They can see when a candidate is simply parroting what he learned from “polls of what their particular constituents are saying.” We can see because none of that changes the fundamental damage that has been done to the country. Government is bigger, the private sector is smaller. Our debt is larger, our chances for a prosperous future are smaller. Taxes are going up, wages are going down.
Unsurprisingly though Democratic candidates are happily accepting Obama’s offer to throw him overboard if it means a chance at reelection. I’ve found tons of examples which can be found here , but Tom White a Democratic House candidate from Nebraska is perhaps the best example yet. In a new campaign advertisement White actually criticizes the Republican incumbent because “every day, every child in America grows deep and deeper in debt, thanks to Washington politicians.” But does White point out that his was the party that sat behind the wheel as the nation sank? No. In fact, he doesn’t say anything about being the Democratic candidate, instead he brands himself as the “Nebraska Independence for Congress.”
History is written by the winners. But if Democrats win, what story will they tell. Will they tell the story of their valiant success in passing healthcare reform and how they saved the economy with their stimulus plan? Or will they tell the story they’re crafting now – that they are fighting against the Washington machine and are really fiscally conservative, against spending, and anti-tax? Either one would be a fairy tale.
by Brandon Greife, Political Director of the College Republican National Committee (hat tip Reiley Hooper)