Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pelosi's New Ideas & Nuanced Approach

The oft-quoted definition of insanity is to continue to do the same things and expect different results. By that definition, Nancy Pelosi is insane.

In a Boston Globe piece too rich to be missed, she says that Democrats this year will not repeat the mistakes they made in past campaigns - when they failed to 'stand up to' the President, and did not reach people whose 'personal interests are served by voting Democratic.'

This piece is so full of mistakes it's hard to detail them.

Pelosi complains that Democrats do not have an 'alliterative slogan' like 'God, gays and guns.' Yet 'God, gays and guns' IS the Democratic slogan! Does she think Republican candidates run commercials where they say 'God, gays and guns - vote for me?'

She says that voters are voting against their 'personal interest.' Perhaps she means 'economic interest,' since personal interest also involves cultural, religious, and other questions - a fact which Republicans at least, realize. Regardless, can she not acknowledge that some voters might judge their personal financial economic interest be with low taxes and free markets? Or is your message 'you're too stupid to look out for yourself.' That will go over well, even if it's not alliterative.

In Pelosi's defense, she seems to stumble upon something when she says 'they've not heard a Democratic economic message that addresses their needs.' This is likely to continue, because the only economic point she mentions is a need to help Americans get jobs. With a national unemployment rate under 5%, that is not going to appeal to too many people.

And her overall message? The columnist describes it 'a still-muddy, six-point theme,' dealing with healthcare, gasoline prices, college costs, the minimum wage, Social Security, and the deficit. Well! I'm convinced! Oh, don't get it yet? Let me present the Democratic message for you:

1) The Problem: healthcare, gas, college, wages, Social Security, the deficit;
2) The Democratic response: FIX IT
3) So Vote Democratic!

Who knew it was so easy!

She also says that Democrats need to address Iraq. The author notes the challenge, since polls show that a greater percentage of Americans disapprove of Democratic handling of Iraq than do that of the President.

How does Pelosi prospose to convince people that Democrats will do better than the President? What new idea has she come up with? Shes says that on Iraq, the Bush administration was ``wrong on the premise going in, wrong on the reception we would receive, wrong on the reconstruction and how soon Iraq could pay for it, and wrong on an exit strategy of mission accomplished. Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong, and they say `stay the course.' "

How much has Pelosi learned from the mistakes of the last Democratic campaign on Iraq? Is her message much different from Kerry's? He called Iraq "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time," and said "I would not have done just one thing differently than the president on Iraq, I would have done everything differently than the president on Iraq."

Perhaps I'm missing some subtle nuance, but it looks to me like Pelosi just added some more 'wrongs.' Kerry will be kicking himself when he learns this was the key. "If only I had said that President was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong-de-dong-flippin-dong, I'd be President today!'

As I often say, the best friend that Republican candidates have is the Democratic leadership. Pelosi has not found a single new thing to say from what Democrats have said before. If Democrats win the majority this year with thes message, it will not be through any effort of their own, but pure luck.

Back to the top.


Anonymous said...

Oh jeez... where to begin?

1. Kerry never said he wouldn't have gone to war with Iraq in the first place... Pelosi is clearly saying that now. That's the 'subtle nuance' you were missing. (I know, reading comprehension, history, etc... are not republican strong points)

2. If you vote for a republican for "cultural, religous, and other questions", you are being swindled. Republicans campaign on social issues and govern on economic ones (unless it's an election year..then the largely symbolic flag burning and gay marriage ammendments get trotted out)...but they spent a lot more time trying to give the Social Security funds to their buddies on wall street than on any of those social issues.

3. "low taxes and free markets" - that is laughable. deficit now = higher taxes later. you are just deferring the costs. LOW TAXES = LIVING OF THE CREDIT CARD - awesome idea, really. You should really look at the study which concluded that lower taxes = more government expenditures. You know, empirical data and serious study instead of idealogical blowhardiness...what a concept.

4. Finally, people are upset with democrats over Iraq because they didn't STOP the war. Because they provide no real opposition. Because they were cowed. Not because republicans were right. You have been wrong about so much, you'd think you would revise your worldview or something...probably easier to put your fingers in your ears and hum the national anthem.

The Editor at IP said...

Thanks for the comment.

1) So Kerry said the war was the wrong one in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he would have done everything differently. Pelosi says the same thing, but the fact that she opposed it at the start means that her plan for concluding it is better? That doesn't make any sense - unless you think voters care more about rewarding her retrospectively for being 'right,' than they do choosing someone to go forward.

2) So Republicans don't govern on cultural and religious questions? I'm saving that quote for the next Supreme Court nomination. It should blunt a lot of Democratic attacks. And as for flag burning and gay marriage, the only reason that they are 'largely symbolic' is because too many Democrats oppose them to pass them. Again, by that logic, minimum wage and a host of Democratic issues are 'largely symbolic.' I guess voters should ignore those, too.

3) 'Look at the study which concluded that lower taxes=more government expenditures.' I'll be interested to see the one you're referring to. Do I think spending should be less? Yes. But deficits are more acceptable when they paying for important objectives. People borrow today to own houses tomorrow; we borrowed in the '80s to win the Cold War. There are some deficits I can accept.

4) Again, you don't believe that voters are considering which party has the better idea on how to handle Iraq in the future. You think they oppose Bush for going to war, and oppose Democrats for not stopping him. If the picture were so clear, we would not be there. And Americans would not be opposed to an immediate pullout. I think the reason that voters don't trust Democrats on Iraq is because - shock of shocks - they recognize that Democrats don't have a position on Iraq.

Still, thanks for your comment.