This is a continuation of my post-mortem of the 2014 mid-term massacre. As a commenter rightly pointed out, the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates bear a large amount of responsibility for Tuesday’s debacle.
Democratic candidates had two simple messages to deliver to voters during the campaign. The first is that, as Paul Krugman has pointed out, Obama has been an effective President on many fronts. The second; if you don’t like the economy, your anger should be directed at the Republican obstructionists in Congress, not the President.
Despite my own feelings about Obama’s performance, as a strategy, Democrats should have trumpeted his successes. Instead they ran away from the president as if he was an Ebola carrier, and we now see how successful that strategy was. Just as a side note, the Republican candidate who ran against Al Franken for a Minnesota senate seat, spent truckloads of money on television ads highlighting Franken’s many votes for Obama’s policies. He lost the race.
The second message should have been a no-brainer. Obstructionist Congressional Republicans are to blame for our current economic situation. Was that so hard? They shut down the government, and held the economy hostage for their own political gain. This message should have been a focal point of all Democratic arguments and been driven into the voter’s minds over and over again. Obviously it wasn’t.
Democrats have learned nothing over the past twenty years. They are still allowing Republicans to dictate the debate and playing by their rules. They seem to have already forgotten that Barack Obama won two presidential campaigns on a relatively liberal platform of hope and change. Despite his subsequent performance, voters are yearning for positive change in Washington, for someone to say, we can do better than this. Whether that’s possible or not is debatable, but Obama’s message of hope and change struck a chord with voters, and Democrats should make note of that in future election and stop wallowing around in the Republican muck.