Saturday, September 18, 2010

Charles Blow, Grand Illusionist!

I love reading Charles Blow in the New York Times. Whether he's unmasking the "minstrel show" that is the Tea Party or promoting Justin Beiber for President (because unlike adults, children aren't "bubbling over with anger, anxiety and frustration"), you can always count on Charles to present the Preferred Narrative with both panache and flare. In his latest column, for instance, Charles takes on the "grand illusion" of that impending electoral blow-out facing the Democrats this November:

Let me be clear: the idea of an inevitable Republican landslide in November is not a foregone conclusion. It’s a self-perpetuating bit of wishful thinking that’s gaining currency through the force of being recycled ad nauseam by overzealous pundits.
Pay no attention to all those polls, Democrats! They're just illusions of overzealous pundits and that noted wishful thinker and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs!
It’s no wonder then that Democrats with defeatist tendencies have bought into it. They are morose and slumped, prematurely assuming the crestfallen posture of a party rejected, rending their garments like a PETA spokeswoman in a meat dress.
Think it was actually Lady Gaga, "the most judgment-free human being on the earth," who wears a meat dress and PETA that criticizes her for it? Illusion! Like that impending electoral blow-out facing the Democrats this November!
Sure, some seats will change party control, but a landslide is hardly certain, particularly if Democrats can change their tune and energize their base. A New York Times/CBS News poll released this week asked respondents whom they would vote for in their own districts if the midterms were held today. Among those the poll determined to be likely voters, Republican candidates held a small edge. (Likely voter models are used to make predictions about the midterms.) However, among all registered voters, Democrats held a larger edge.
That whole difference between "likely voters" and "registered voters"? Illusion! Like that impending electoral blow-out facing Democrats this November!
The Democrats’ strategy of highlighting the scary Tea Party-supported candidates isn’t working for them. Fear factors don’t provide much traction. They turn off instead of turn out.
All that traction Democrats experienced over the years by saying Republicans are going to take away your Social Security/your Medicare/your Civil Rights? Illusion! Like that impending electoral blow-out facing Democrats this November!
These [new Obama] voters came to the polls in 2008 because they were inspired and hopeful, not angry and scared. They need to be inspired anew. Democrats must ignite their fealty, and they must do so with a positive, idea-based message.
Think anger over eight years of George Bush and two wars, the financial crisis, the Great Recession, and fear of a Second Great Depression had anything to do with new voters flocking to Obama? Illusion! Like that impending electoral blow-out facing Democrats this November!
They must stop running away from their legislative accomplishments — many of which directly benefit blacks, young people and women — and start running on them. And they must talk more about new proposals to jolt the economy out of stagnation.
Think the Stimulus didn't stimulate? Think financial reform left out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their subprime mortgage meltdown that helped get us into this mess? Think health reform is raising the cost of health insurance already? Think we've added $3 trillion in new government debt in just two years? Think blacks, young people, and women care about any of these things? Illusion! Like that impending electoral blow-out facing Democrats this November!
Regardless of what Republicans and Tea Party supporters would have us believe, voters have not abandoned the Democrats. The Democrats have abandoned their voters. Democrats must romance the base that delivered their majorities.
Think Obama won because independent voters flocked to him rather than to McCain/Palin? Illusion! Like that impending electoral blow-out facing Democrats this November!
As the saying goes, you have to dance with the one who brought you.
Very true. But "the one who brought" Obama (and those big Democratic majorities in Congress) wasn't the Democratic base, Charles. Not by any means. And thinking that it was is the grandest illusion of them all.

(H/T: Memeorandum)